Python and Machine Learning

One of the first online courses I took and completed was “Learn to Program: The Fundamentals” from the University of Toronto. It focused on key aspects of basic programming, using Python. Back then (2012), Python often was considered a beginners’ language and a steppingstone to more “sophisticated” languages such as Java, JavaScript and numerous others.

I managed to fight my way to a B- (or C+) finish and concluded I had no great future in the nitty-gritty aspects of modern software development. But I did enjoy the course, even if logic is not my strong suit. Since then, I have learned how to work with several other programming languages, while focusing on technical writing, book reviewing, and other endeavors.

Nonetheless, I still have fond memories of learning and using Python (and getting my brain’s butt kicked by some of the exercises in the online course).

That beginner’s course is still around on Coursera.org. Here’s the link: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learn-to-program

Meanwhile, as Joe Eames, CEO of Thinkster.io, writes in a new article:

“Python [now] is the language of Machine Learning, but it’s also a very common language for Web Servers. Even for JavaScript purists, learning Python can be a big benefit as it not only gives you familiarity with one of the most popular web server languages, it also gets you started on the path of working with Machine Learning and AI.”

Thinkster is now offering a free “Better Way to Learn Python” course. Here’s the link: https://thinkster.io/tutorials/a-better-way-to-learn-python´╗┐

To be honest, I do some non-programming tasks for Thinkster, so I am guilty of doing a bit of free promotional work here. But to be doubly honest, I still like the University of Toronto’s online course, too. If you are wanting to learn Python, I’d say give both a try, even at the same time. You might also try some of the Python how-to books available online from Amazon (https://amzn.to/2HT8GH1) and other sources.

To be triply honest, absolutely nobody’s going to hire this 75-year-old geezer to use Python or any other programming language in Machine Learning, AI, or web server support. But I can still use Python to exercise my brain and keep mental cobwebs at bay. And I still get a kick out of making my clunky programs run and answer such questions as: “What is the meaning of life?”

>42 (https://www.wired.co.uk/article/what-is-the-meaning-of-life)

I bet you can find reasons to check out Python, as well.

Si Dunn

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