When did you feel like Python finally "clicked" for you?

Hello fellow learners,

I’ve been using DataQuest for about two months now. I have following the Data Analyst in Python path, and just finished the Intermediate Fundamentals course.

I can’t help but feel like it’s just not clicking for me- when I get to the guided projects, there are segments of code I just don’t know how to create. I have to look up help multiple times along a project.

When did you feel like Python finally clicked for you? Was it after completing a certain task? Or after a certain amount of time? After reading a book or completing practice problems? I’m curious what others’ experiences are like.

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This is such a great question and I’m sorry I will not be able to provide you with an equally great answer…but that won’t stop me from trying! :sunglasses:

I have been using DataQuest (on/off) for approximately 8 months now. I’m not so sure I’ve hit the “it has clicked for me” moment yet but I am certainly more comfortable now than when I finished the Intermediate Fundamentals course.

This is completely normal. I believe no matter how well you know python, you will always have to google how to do certain things or can’t quite remember the name of a parametre and you will have to check documentation. But as time goes on and you learn more and more, these little “side missions” will take less and less time. Right now, you are at the stage of learning what is possible with python (and that’s a lot!) but eventually you will reach a point where you need only be reminded rather than “learning from scratch.”

Keep in mind, python is language…and a pretty robust and complicated one at that! Think about learning another spoken language and how long it takes before you truly feel fluent. It takes time and effort but rest assured, it will come!

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Hi Kevin,

Welcome to the Community!

Great question, indeed! In my case, it was exactly the same as you described, when I started learning Data Science, on another platform that time. I felt so helpless not understanding anything! :see_no_evil: I started thinking that the problem was with me, that I’m not clever enough to learn it, all that destructive self-criticism. Later on, on found another platform and restarted from the beginning, feeling more confident this time (well, the first platform was really awful indeed!). Then I found Dataquest and again started from the beginning. And then finally it clicked to me!

Of course, I still don’t know a lot of things, make notes, refresh learned materials, and google a lot. The difference is that now I’m really enjoying my learning process and progress. So, to sum up, I would say that it’s a matter of time, efforts, and patience. And don’t be too demanding to yourself, at least at the beginning.

I wish you happy and interesting learning! Don’t worry, it will clicked also to you, when the right moment comes :wink:

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Hi and welcome to the Community!
It´s an interesting question. I think it started to click for me after completing the first guided project. The one about Android and iOS apps. I remember that feeling of “Ivegotasuperpower” when I realized that I had just finished working with almost 17000 lines of data. Now, being halfway through the Data Analyst Path I do understand that the code I wrote there is similar to the first steps of my daughter: I still laugh to tears when I remember them but at that moment I was super proud of it.

Frankly speaking, when I work on the guided projects, I spent more hours on StackOverFlow and reading the documentation than actually writing the code. I think it´s something normal, especially when still learning.

Now I understand why I was advised once to learn Python having almost no programming experience: firstly, its syntax is very close to a spoken language so it´s relatively easy to remember it and to read someone else´s code, secondly, there are thousands of libraries that do all the “hard-coding” for us, we should just choose the correct one for the problem we try to solve. So, at least I would give it a try, maybe your “clicking” is right behind the corner.

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DQ gives only the basics of concepts and learning plan. For a further deeper understanding of the news, additional literature is required and consolidation of skills is required.
In my opinion, you should always have Learn Python 5E by Mark Lutz at hand - this is just the foundation, after which you can safely read the API and other documentation. As an additional source, you can also use https://realpython.com/ and https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/.
In fact https://stackoverflow.com/ this is just a pointer to the required API method, which allows you to simply screen the time to find the required method in the API))
To understand and study the theory of probability, statistics and linear algebra, you also need to look for additional books - I recommend using http://libgen.li/ by libraly Genesis project.

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Thank you for the thoughtful response Mike!

I feel as though you are correct in that I am in the stage of knowing what’s possible. As someone a couple more months along, it’s encouraging to hear you experience some of the same problems that I have been. I think I need to shift my perspective from “Googling an answer is a failure” to “I shouldn’t be expected to remember every function or syntax- but I am familiar with it”.

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Thank you Elena! I have followed a similar journey- trying to learn several times, getting frustrated, trying another platform, self-criticism, etc. etc.

I try to take good notes, and they have helped in my retention as I work through the guided projects. I’m going to take this advice and do more practice rather than chugging along through more learning courses. Playing around with code and what’s possible will help me have more fun with it :smiley:

Happy learning!

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Oh my, YES YES YES! Please make this shift immediately! :laughing: I felt that way too, so no need to feel bad in any way…I think it’s quite natural.

I think we would all be surprised by how much our “ugly feelings” are common to us all. That’s why I think it’s good to voice them in the community when you have them…because you’ll find (more often than not) that you are not alone! :sunglasses:

Having your feelings validated and feeling like you’re part of a community of learners is no small thing! I know I’ve felt really bad about my progress or level of understanding many times and coming here to discuss those feelings has helped a lot in moving past them. I hope we can help you do the same!

Happy coding!

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Thank you @ksenia.kustanovich!

Blockquote Frankly speaking, when I work on the guided projects, I spent more hours on StackOverFlow and reading the documentation than actually writing the code. I think it´s something normal, especially when still learning.

This is encouraging, as I was pouring over my notes and Googling for this as well. I agree that the libraries seem to do the “hard-coding” for us, I just need to be further along to see that magic happen.

Thank you for the encouragement!

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Ooh this reminds me of these tweets I tweeted a while ago: :wink:

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Replace word war with word programming and you get the exhaustive and detailed description of the essence of programming given Carl von Clausewitz two hundred years ago:

*** Knowledge in war is very simple, being concerned with so few subjects, and only with their final results at that. But this does not make its application easy.**
*** Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult.****

Google availability will not save you from understanding the essence of what and for what you are looking for in the Google.

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This is a great question, and I really appreciate others responses. From a broader sense, this applies to anything you’re learning. Learning isn’t always knowing everything, but to know where and how to find the answers when needed.

I also tend to look at help, use google and other resources as well, the point is to learn by the means the most useful to you at that moment. Having other resources is key, especially for complex topics. Stack overflow exists and is useful for a reason, because everyone needs help understanding something at some point.

I can tell you I was working through something recently I believed I understood, but I couldn’t get past an error in the code. After a good amount of time and research, I looked at the answer (feeling like a complete failure) and realized that I was missing something I believed didn’t need to be included. Yes, I looked at the answer, but bigger than that, Yes, I learned something; in fact that thing feels burned in now, because it was in contrast to what I thought was the right way. How could I have failed if I now I understand it?

You can learn how to do anything, other people have and you can too. A great teacher of mindset is Carol Dweck who does a lot of talks about what learning is versus what we think it is; her mindset is invaluable.

I have been working at the DE track for a bit now, and this is not the first exposure to python I’ve had, but what I have done has mostly clicked because of the cumulative and diverse exposure I’ve had.

Keep at it, it will come. Think about the things you have learned that you didn’t, even the “easy” stuff, that was once unknown, now you can do somethings out of reaction.

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