Python for Beginners
New to programming? Python is free, and easy to learn if you know
where to start! Here are some places that can get you started
Before you start, you need Python on your computer, and you'll
probably need to download Python. You probably have a PC running
Windows. Here's a page with the most stable Windows download:
Python 2.2.2. If you are using a Mac, see the
For other systems, see the general download
page (but you'll want to download Python 2.2.2 if it's available for
Learn how to program with Python. By Magnus Lie Hetland.
A Non-Programmer's Tutorial for Python
By Josh Cogliati.
Day of IDLE Toying
A very gentle introduction to
IDLE, by Danny Yoo. Also translated into
- Two self-training courses from Dave Kuhlman, Python 101 -
Beginning Python and Python 201 -
(Slightly) Advanced Python.
An introduction to programming for those
who have never programmed before, by Alan Gauld. It introduces
several programming languages but has a strong emphasis on Python.
- How to Think Like
a Computer Scientist
The Python version of Allen Downey's
open source book,
with Jeff Elkner. Hosted by the
Open Book Project at
Ibiblio - the public's library.
Also available in book form, see "Books" below.
- Learn to Program using
A tutorial by Richard Baldwin.
of the Physics Computing Course
(Also in various forms at the
in Education page), a
preliminary course handbook for 1st-year university students with no
computing experience. This course material is still preliminary and
assumes some high school-level maths. It does
not cover object-oriented programming or graphical applications.
- Two courses from the Pasteur Institute are aimed at biologists but
are useful to anyone wanting to learn Python:
Python for Bioinformatics
By Patrick O'Brien. An article introducing Python as a useful and
viable development language for the computer programming needs of the
- Useless Python
A website run by Rob Andrews with an eclectic collection of code
snippets, tutorials, and other stuff, started on the tutor-list (a useful
resource in itself).
- For younger people:
A set of Python lessons used during 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002
children's summer camps in Britain by Richard Crook, Gareth McCaughan,
Mark White, and Rhodri James. Aimed at children 12-15 year old.
Port of the ancient (but still popular!) GUI system (Karel the
Robot) for teaching programming. Field-tested at Yorktown High School.
We've collected the online tutorials on this page; for additional
material specifically aimed at teachers, see the home page of the
If you experience problems using Python, and the
on-line documentation doesn't help, here are a few
suggestions on how to get help from real people:
Please don't write the webmaster! The webmaster should only be
contacted if you have found a problem with the website, such as a
broken link. If you think you've found a bug in Python, it's a good
idea to check first with one of the lists above; a complex system like
Python can sometimes appear to be broken when you're new at it.