I truly, truly cannot stand/understand Python

The Control Flow section was so difficult for me that I had to take 3 days off thats how frustrated I am. I’m worried that my membership may expire before I’m able to even have a grasp of the concepts from this course (I’m a part of the laid off COVID-19 program). SQL came to me quite easily because I got to actually work in it at my previous job…but Python is absolutely horrid. I don’t know how any programmer does it. I’ve tried applying for jobs but every job seems to have some new condition (some involving Python, some involving T-SQL, or Azure, or any number of languages I don’t have a clue about), my $600 benefit is now gone, and I don’t see much hope for me or others in the future.

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If you’ve never done languages like Java, C++, or something similar, Python can be a very different beast to come to. There’s a learning curve that’s very common but once you’re past the first big conceptual hurdles it should feel more useful (and less hopeless).

If you want to continue learning it, there’s a lot of great free resources that you can and should equip yourself with. And this forum continues to be free, so you can (and should) ask questions about every little thing. Why is this this exact way? What’s a good strategy for learning this concept? Why do error messages behave in such a way? etc…

Do realize it’s an entire language and not everything will come fast, and that’s not only very ok, but normal. Of course, all of us trying to get new careers in pandemic conditions want to do so as soon as possible… but there are some things that can’t be rushed. It usually takes people at least a year+ (if not more) of serious, well-rounded study and projects before they can break into a programming job. The people I personally know that got jobs that quick are also constantly playing catch-up (on top of the work they have to do), and it’s not a given that they’ll thrive just because they get their foot in the door.

Hope this helps.


I can totally understand your frustration. (My background isn’t coding.) I know some html, xml, xsl, css and when I started learning sql and more importantly python a few years ago, it took awhile for things to solidify in my brain (I still get tripped up too!). I found myself saying, ‘HUH??!?’ often.

I don’t know what your process is, but what helped me is taking notes, drawing out diagrams, writing instructions in a way that made sense to me. Little by little, things started to click. I think repetition also helps. Do a lesson, get the green check mark, erase it, do it again, research concepts that you don’t get until you get them. It is exactly like learning a foreign language. Also, don’t beat yourself up. Know when to take a break and then come back.

IMO control flow is one of the more difficult things to understand w/Python. What helped me with grasping Booleans was writing out flash cards that I quizzed myself with.
True and False (False)
True or False (True)
True and True. (True) etc, etc.

The key? Any “and” expression that has a False in it is False. Any “or” expression that has a True is immediately True. Once I figured that out I had a better understanding.

As far as job postings go–most companies want a unicorn candidate. It’s a pretty ridiculous way to try to hire someone too. People tell me to apply for everything. Also show your willingness to learn new technologies and your continuing commitment to education too.
Learning to code can be frustrating and everyone feels that way at some point. (trust me). But, stick with it and when you write something that runs or have that “ah ha!!” moment, take a sec. to say, ‘yea, I did that.’


Yeah, I’ve never seen a “person spec” for a job posting that seemed reasonable… and when I started in my current role, I did not meet the spec. I met most of the “required” items on the spec, and a fair few of the “desirable” ones, but I sure didn’t tick all the boxes.

Instead, I capitalised on any and every opportunity to skill up and check off the missing bits of the spec… which I’m still doing, because tech is an ever-changing field! :smiley:

If you’re just doing a straight-up Python course, you’re probably in a better position than you realise in that regard.

Codecademy, at the time of writing, still offer the Python 2 course to everyone for free.

Yes, Python 2 is now EOL and is no longer under active development.
Yes, Python 2 is a little bit different than Python 3 in some respects.
Yes, Python 2 is not the version I’d have you learn in an ideal world.

However, broadly speaking Py2 is close enough to Py3 that if you can code and understand one you’ll be able to code and understand the other. They’re not drastically different languages in terms of the syntax or anything, most of the differences are small enough that they may catch you out once or twice but after that you’ll easily adapt to the changes.

I originally did the Python 2 course here, but everything I do now is in Python 3; so if you do run out of Pro, Python 2 is there as a fallback option. :slight_smile:

Time and practice, like anything else. :slight_smile: If you’re stuck on a specific concept or topic, as @toastedpitabread and @lisalisaj have said - that’s normal, and we’re here on the forums to help you out as best we can. :slight_smile: No question is too small or seemingly stupid, ok? :smiley: