Python Day AMA

Happy Python Day! Join us for this AMA-style Q&A with Codecademy’s very own Melanie Williams!

Bring your Python-related questions (or just general career or Codecademy questions) to this forum-based AMA.

Logistics

When: Tuesday, February 20th, 2024, from 1-2:00 pm EST

What: An AMA-style conversation w/ Codecademy’s Melanie Williams.

Where: Right here on this thread!

Our Guest

Melanie is a Product Instructional Designer at Codecademy, and she has built web development courses such as Connecting Front-End to Back-End and Learn MongoDB. She has also implemented updates to Codecademy’s JavaScript and React content.

Melanie has a background in biomedical science, previously conducting research at the National Institutes of Health and Mount Sinai’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. After completing the Full-Stack Web Development Fellowship at Pursuit in New York City, she went on to work in software engineering and tech education before joining Codecademy.

In her spare time, Melanie enjoys rock climbing, reading, treasure hunting for vintage, and working on jigsaw puzzles.

Attendance Disclaimer

At Codecademy, we are committed to empowering all people, regardless of where they are in their coding journeys, to continue to learn, grow, and impact the world around them. By participating in our event, you agree to the following:

Be Respectful: Harassment, bullying, or threatening will not be tolerated. We welcome learners of all backgrounds here, and we ask that you respect each others’ viewpoints and assume positive intent.

Be Authentic: While you are not required to provide your name and are always welcome to go by a username, please refrain from misrepresenting yourself in the community in a misleading way.

Adhere to the Law: Please only share your code (if relevant to the event) or content unless you are crediting the original author or source. Do not share code that infringes on others’ intellectual property. Do not share harmful code or anything that violates local, state, federal, or international laws.

Questions? Comments? Email [email protected]. And if you can’t attend this event and would like to attend more in the future, join our chapter.

Hi, I am fairly new to Python, and about half-way through the intermediat course. I am lacking a lot of knowledge surrounding the language itself. I hope it is ok if I ask some questions here and gather them in one post. So:

  • What type of work jobs or work is Python the best language for?

  • Is object-oriented programming as showcased in the courses on CodeAcademy the norm nowadays?

  • What are some typical frameworks that uses Python, and what is a framework really? Should I learn one, and if that is the case, which one is the best to start with?

  • What kind of projects is it good to focus on in your portfolio, what kind of knowledge is important to showcase? Are there any traps/common mistakes to avoid?

  • Are there other courses or general fields besides Python that are essential when applying for a job?

  • I have heard learning Git and Github is important. What is the difference between these two?

  • Any other general tips that you have based on the theme in this post?

Edit 19:07:

  • I also wanted to ask if you have any thoughts surrounding the use of AI in programming nowadays?
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Is the event still happening?

Yes. Opened 7 min ago.

Hey there! Yes you’re in the right place. Pos your questions in this thread, and our Instructional Designer will respond right here in the thread. I know they’re currently working on a response to the post above. =)

can you share the link ,please ?

You are here, its this discussion/thread.

Hey there! There’s no other link. This is the thread to post your questions. :slightly_smiling_face:

I have a question about editing code in Python: are there ways to know if our code can be more efficent or is it only possible to search for others solutions on internet if they do exist? And how predictable is it that we do make mistakes without the intervention of the editors for example in Django?
Thank you

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  • What type of work jobs or work is Python the best language for?

Python is a great language to learn because of its broad range of applications. It’s very popular in web development as a back-end language. It’s also quite popular for Data Science related careers (ie: Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer) as well as in the field of IT and systems engineering.

  • Is object-oriented programming as showcased in the courses on CodeAcademy the norm nowadays?

Python is an OOP programming language so that it how it’s most commonly used in the tech industry but it can also support functional programming.

  • What are some typical frameworks that uses Python, and what is a framework really? Should I learn one, and if that is the case, which one is the best to start with?

A framework is a collection of modules that have prepackaged language features built on top of the original language that are helpful in building certain types of applications. Some common Python frameworks are Django and Flask, that are both use for building websites. There are many other frameworks available for the different Python use cases.

  • What kind of projects is it good to focus on in your portfolio, what kind of knowledge is important to showcase? Are there any traps/common mistakes to avoid?

There’s really no “right” answer to this question. My best advice is to think about what sort of work you want to do professionally, or what industry you’d want to work as a developer in and build projects that are in line with that goal. For example if you want to work for an e-commerce site you might take a stab at building a lightweight e-commerce website and learning how to implement that type of logic. Its also beneficial to add a range of projects that can showcase different skills. Ideally, you’ll want to put together a curated list of 4 or 5 of your best portfolio projects, rather than every single thing you’ve ever created, so that you can show off your best work to potential employers.

  • Are there other courses or general fields besides Python that are essential when applying for a job?

The answer to this all depends on what you want to do professionally, but Python is a great first step because of how broad it’s application uses are. As you continue to explore careers and Codecademy content beyond introductory Python, you will probably start to get a clearer idea of what you want to do and what else you’ll need to learn.

  • I have heard learning Git and Github is important. What is the difference between these two?

Git is a version control system that allows you to keep track of versions as a project as you update and continue developing it. Github is an hosting service that lets you host and keep track of repositories/projects and easily share your code with others. You can work with Git entirely from the command line but GitHub is like a user interface that makes viewing and accessing code easier.

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Hi :v:

I am wondering if as a person with intermediate level python knowledge if it makes sense for me to continue down the path of python to specialize in something and hopefully land a low level job as soon as possible or should I hop the fence to front end stuff? I have thought about dabbling with flask for instance.

I don’t have a need to go into web jobs but it seems like the easiest to land job currently…

Thanks! Sorry for being a bit off topic.

I do not have any degrees worth mentioning.

Thank you. I appreciate all the answers. I have a couple of follow-up question to the portfolio subject.

  • Is there any “typical” length to a showcase project? In your experience, are there such things as too long or too short projects?
  • What is the usual way of showing off a portfolio to a company? Hosting it on GitHub?

Hey there! That’s a great question. Writing efficient and clean code is something that comes largely with experience and continued practice. The most important thing is that your code does what it intends to do. Testing can help with this a great deal, it can help you to catch edge cases and any unexpected behaviors your code might be producing. It’s also perfectly acceptable and valuable to search out other solutions online. I think the most helpful way to do this so that it enhances learning is to first attempt your own solution and then look up other solutions to compare to what you’ve done and see if there are notes your can take from other solutions that might improve what you’ve already come up with. The Codecademy community can also be a great place to share your code and get feedback from other members.

I’m not sure that I understand the second part of your question. Feel free to reiterate. What I can say is that making mistakes is a normal and expected part of the learning process and a great opportunity to improve your skills. Text editors have built in features that can be helpful in catching small issues but mistakes aren’t something you’ll be able to avoid entirely and thats a good thing! It means you are always growing.

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I think that hiring people want to see your best achievements, the more significants, to know what you enjoy doing, and if your project is usefull to others, it could be on Github or on any plateform but I suppose that if you did it at work you can give the mainlines for people to understand what it was about.

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Hi!! I’m just starting out in Python and would appreciate any advice you can give me to get started please.

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Also great questions!

Is there any “typical” length to a showcase project? In your experience, are there such things as too long or too short projects?

Not really. As a beginner, most of your projects will probably be on the smaller or shorter side because you’re still developing a grasp of the fundamentals. As your skillset develops, however, and you get more experience with libraries, frameworks, and more complex logic, your projects will also grow. Instead of length, I’d focus on learning to write clean code, annotate it well, and build features that work and work well. This is what will excite and impress employers the most, not necessarily how many lines you’ve written. If you are looking for project inspiration, our project hub has both on-platform an off-platform projects that you can build and customize to make your own.

What is the usual way of showing off a portfolio to a company? Hosting it on GitHub?

Getting started, GitHub is a great way to show off a portfolio as individuals can view the code and you can also include a link to a demo video or the live project. As you continue to develop your portfolio, it might be a good idea to build your own portfolio site at some point, this give you a bit more control and you can showcase your work in your own personal aesthetic, plus because you built the site your portfolio website ends up becoming a portfolio project in itself!

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Hello, you really do answer my question, I was thinking about the particularities of this language and the fact that it is sometimes complicated for me to compile and understand what problems are about, i find it difficult to create the logic of a programm because of the demanding and specific syntax.

Hey there! I think that depends a lot on what you want to do career-wise. The Python language has a broad range of applications, so if there’s something that excites you more than web development, for example Data Science, I’d check out a course on that and see if you like enough to continue in that direction. If web development is something you want to pursue, Python has a lot of back-end application there as well. There’s no right answer and it all depends on what excites you the most and your personal priorities!

3 Likes