Machine Learning Times
Machine Learning Times

2 years ago
10 Great Python Resources for Aspiring Data Scientists


Originally published in KDNuggets, September 10, 2019

Python is one of the most widely used languages in data science, and an incredibly popular general programming language on its own.

Many prospective data scientists are first faced with the issue of which programming language might be their choice when diving into data science. This is further complicated if you don’t already bring a set of existing programming skills on which to rely. Even better would be a thorough understanding of Python as you shift to data science (substitute another language if it is to be your preferred data science programming tool), but many newcomers to the field find themselves either starting from relative scratch when it comes to either programming in general, or Python more specifically.

This is a collection of 10 interesting resources in the form of articles and tutorials for the aspiring data scientist new to Python, meant to provide both insight and practical instruction when starting on your journey. Note that they are not data science tutorials, but cover peripherally-related topics and general Python programming know-how.

And so without further ado, and in no particular order, here are 10 resources meant to help you better learn Python.

1.  An A-Z of useful Python tricks

I use Python daily as an integral part of my job as a data scientist. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few useful tricks and tips.

Here, I’ve shared some of them in an A-Z format.

Most of these ‘tricks’ are things I’ve used or stumbled upon during my day-to-day work. Some I found while browsing the Python Standard Library docs. A few others I found searching through PyPi.

2. Migrating to Python 3 with pleasure

Python became a mainstream language for machine learning and other scientific fields that heavily operate with data; it boasts various deep learning frameworks and well-established set of tools for data processing and visualization.

However, Python ecosystem co-exists in Python 2 and Python 3, and Python 2 is still used among data scientists. By the end of 2019 the scientific stack will stop supporting Python2. As for numpy, after 2018 any new feature releases will only support Python3. Update (Sep 2018): same story now with pandas, matplotlib, ipython, jupyter notebook and jupyter lab.

To make the transition less frustrating, I’ve collected a bunch of Python 3 features that you may find useful.

3. Learn Functional Python in 10 Minutes

In this article, you’ll learn what the functional paradigm is as well as how to use functional programming in Python. You’ll also learn about list comprehensions and other forms of comprehensions.

4. Asynchronous Programming in Python: A Walkthrough

Before asyncio (sometimes written as async IO), which is a concurrent programming design in Python, there were generator-based co-routines; Python 3.10 removes those. The asyncio module was added in Python 3.4, followed by async/await in 3.5.

Here are a couple of asynchronous concepts that you should get your head around: coroutines and tasks. Let’s look at coroutines first.

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