Learn Python – Resource List

I get asked about getting started with Python a lot since it’s the language I recommend for someone wanting to break into data engineering (unless they already know Scala or Java since those are heavily used also). In this post I share some Python resources that I think will help you learn, whether you are brand new to development or a seasoned developer who just wants to pick it up as an additional language. I obviously haven’t sat through every one of these courses so please leave comments on what is really helpful or if you find one is outdated or not high quality.

Free online resources – Videos

Intro to Python – Udacity
Udacity offers paid and free courses. I first learned Python from an older Udacity course, but this newer free course is a good option if you like a combination of videos, written instruction, quizes, interactive programming, and projects.

Python for Absolute Beginners
If you are a complete beginner to programming then this video may be good for you. If you have used other languages and are just looking to learn Python, you’ll probably need to pick and choose which video clips to watch.

Learn Python From Scratch
For an easy way to get started with Python 2.7 (rather than Python 3), this video has pretty clear descriptions of the basics of the language and it’s easy to skip through the topics once you understand them.

Python Crash Course (YouTube)
The title describes it well: a crash course on the Python programming language in 1.5 hours. If you are new to programming you may want to start with one of the other options, but it’s good programmers with some experience.

Python Tutorial – Programming with Mosh (YouTube)
This is a well done course on Python that covers a lot of topics over 6 hours. Definitely check it out and see if you want to invest the time in this one or choose one of the more fast-paced options that I have listed.

Free online resources – Written

Microsoft Learn – Python First Steps
Microsoft Learn is always a good option for training. This is a good starting point for a written tutorial, especially if you are already familiar with learning on this site.

Free introduction to Python with some in-browser interactive programming included. If you want to try out Python without much setup and commitment, check out this site.

Paid online resources

Real Python

Python 3 Introduction – Real Python
Real Python is a great place to find tutorials on both beginner and advanced Python concepts. If I want to learn a new concept I often start with their tutorials. They also have some premium options for learning such as this introductory course. I have not used their paid content but I expect it is high quality.


Pluralsight has a whole learning path for Python. When I first started to develop real data pipelines in Python I learned from earlier versions of a few of these courses. I highly recommend trying out these courses and try to follow along some of the exercises. Some of these may overlap so skip over modules as needed stay engaged.

Core Python Getting Started

Practical Python for Beginners

Importing Data: Python Data Playbook

Core Python: Functions and Functional Programming

Unit Testing with Python

Core Python: Classes and Object-orientation

Python SQLAlchemy

Python Packages and Virtual Environments

Python Code Quality

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