Best Python course 2021: Top online coding classes

Something different: David Beazley’s Python courses for computer science

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So, you might not be a beginner. You might even be working for the US Department of Energy and need to produce codes in Python.

David Beazley, a veteran Python coder, offers both paid-for courses and a slightly lighter version for free, aimed squarely at people involved in or keen on computer science.

Beazley’s courses are not for beginners or the faint-hearted. He describes his free course as “a no-nonsense treatment of Python that has been actively taught to more than 400 in-person groups since 2007.”

“Traders, systems admins, astronomers, tinkerers, and even a few hundred rocket scientists who used Python to help land a rover on Mars–they’ve all taken this course.”

The point is that his Python courses really treat computer science as the starting point rather than Python. He’s posted some details about his courses on GitHub.

Due to the pandemic, all of his courses are online-only, and they’re not cheap. If you want to learn how to write a compiler in Python, it’ll set you back $1,250 for a one-week online crash course.

“From 2007-2018, I was heavily involved with corporate training of Python and taught upwards of 400 courses on the topic — typically to scientists and software professionals,” Beazley told ZDNet.

“The “Practical Python” course is a lightly edited version of the training materials that I developed and taught in these courses.”

He decided to release the course materials under the Creative Commons (CC) license in 2019 because he saw a lot of Python training material was either behind paywalls or on sites littered with advertisements and SEO.

“Not only that, I felt that a lot of it was presenting Python in an overly complicated, often muddled manner. Honestly, I was kind of annoyed, so I thought it might be useful to provide a battle-tested course in a spam-free format that anyone could access. Also, I figured that the CC license would encourage more creative use of the material. For example, foreign translations, or use by teachers in developing their own courses.”

He doesn’t want his courses at https://www.dabeaz.com/courses.html to be described as Python courses because they’re really about computer science.

“Although they often use Python, they are focused on core topics in computer science as one might encounter in the first year of a CS Masters or PhD program. Typical attendees are working professionals who would like to tackle advanced material without the hassle of enrolling in a graduate program,” he told ZDNet.

“These courses are quite challenging. For example, I offer a course titled “Advanced Programming with Python.” The ordering of the words in that title is important because the emphasis is on “Advanced Programming.” That’s something that’s quite different and substantially more challenging than simply learning a few “advanced” Python tricks.”

Pros:

  • The Creative Commons licensed content is free.
  • Industry leaders in data science have used Beazley’s content.
  • Beazley wants his content to be freely used and translated into other languages.

Cons:

  • It’s not for beginners.
  • It really aims for people who have or aspire for a computer science degree.
  • The courses are not cheap.

View Now at David Beazley

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