What is Python?

Python is a very simple language and has a very straightforward syntax. It encourages programmers to program without prepared code. The simplest directive in Python is the “print” directive — it simply prints out a line.


Python uses indentation for blocks, instead of curly braces. Both tabs and spaces are supported, but the standard indentation requires standard Python code to use four spaces

if name == 'Python':

Variables and Types

  • Python is completely object-oriented, and not “statically typed”.
  • No need to declare variables before using them or declare their type.
  • Every variable in Python is an object.


Python supports two types and they are:

  1. Floating

intergerValue = 10;
print(integerValue); //Outputs 10

floatValue = float(integerValue);
print(floatValue); //Outputs 10.0


Strings can be defined either in a double quote or a single quote.

stringValueSingleQuote = 'python';
stringValueDoubleQuote = "python";
print(stringValueSingleQuote) //outputs python
print(stringValueDoubleQuote) //outputs python
one = 1
two = 2
three = one + two
print(three) //outputs 3

hello = "hello"
world = "world"
helloworld = hello + " " + world
print(helloworld) //outputs hello world

Operator assignment

Assignments can be done on more than one variable “simultaneously” on the same line like this:

a,b = 2,4;
print(a,b) //outputs 2,4.


Lists are very similar to arrays. They can contain any type of variable, and they can contain as many variables as you wish. Lists can also be iterated over in a very simple manner. Here is an example of how to build a list.

listVariable = []
print(listVariable[0]) # prints 1
print(listVariable[1]) # prints 2
print(listVariable[2]) # prints 3
# prints out 1,2,3
for x in listVariable:
//outputs 1 2 and 3 in a seperate line.

Basic operators

Just as any other programming languages, the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division operators can be used with numbers.

print(1+2+3/3) //Outputs 2.

remainder = 11 % 3
print(remainder) //Outputs 2

squared = 7 ** 2
cubed = 2 ** 3

print(squared) //outputs 49
print(cubed); //ouputs 8

using operators with a string

helloworld = "hello" + " " + "world"
print(helloworld) //outputs hello world
surprisehellos = "hello" * 10
print(surprisehellos) //outputs hellohellohellohellohellohellohellohellohellohello

using operators with Lists

even = [2,4,6,8]
odd = [1,3,5,7]
allNumbers = odd + even
print(allNumbers) //outputs [1, 3, 5, 7, 2, 4, 6, 8]
print([5,6] * 3) //outputs [5, 6, 5, 6, 5, 6]

String Formatting

Python uses C-style string formatting to create new, formatted strings. The “%” operator is used to format a set of variables enclosed in a “tuple” (a fixed-size list), together with a format string, which contains normal text together with “argument specifiers”, special symbols like “%s” and “%d”.

name = "python"
print("World of, %s!" % name) //Outputs World of python

name = "python"
version = 3.5.1
print("%s latest version is %f" % (name, version)) //Outputs python latest version is 3.5.1
listVariable = [1,2,3]
print("A list: %s" % listVariable) //Outputs [1,2,3]

Important formatters to be remembered

  • %s — String (or any object with a string representation, like numbers)
  • %d — Integers
  • %f — Floating point numbers
  • %.f — Floating point numbers with a fixed amount of digits to the right of the dot.
  • %x / %X — Integers in hex representation (lowercase/uppercase)

Basic String Operations

Strings are bits of text. They can be defined as anything between quotes

  • index()
  • count()
  • upper()
  • lower()
  • startswith()
  • endswith()
  • split()
stringVariable = "python learning and knowing it's basic syntax."

print(len(stringVariable)) //Outputs 46

print(stringVariable.index('o')) //Outputs 4

print(stringVariable.count('o')) //outputs 2

print(stringVariable.upper()) //Outputs the string in uppercase

print(stringVariable.lower()) //Outputs the string in lowercase

print(stringVariable.startswith('python')) //Outputs True

print(stringVariable.endswith('syntax')) //Outputs True

Special list operations

stringVariable = "Hello world!"
print(stringVariable[3:7]) or print(stringVariable[3:7:1])//Outputs lo w
print(stringVariable[3:7:2]) //Outputs lprint(stringVariable[::-1]) //Ouputs !dlrow olleHprint(stringVariable.split(" ")) //Outputs ['Hello', 'world!']


Python uses boolean variables to evaluate conditions. The boolean values True and False are returned when an expression is compared or evaluated.

x = 2
print(x == 2) # prints out True
print(x == 3) # prints out False
print(x < 3) # prints out True

Boolean operators

The “and” and “or” boolean operators allow building complex boolean expressions.

name = "John"
age = 23
if name == "John" and age == 23:
print("Your name is John, and you are also 23 years old.")
if name == "John" or name == "Rick":
print("Your name is either John or Rick.")

The “in” operator

The “in” operator could be used to check if a specified object exists within an iterable object container, such as a list:

name = "John"
if name in ["John", "Rick"]:
print("Your name is either John or Rick.")
  • The standard Python indentation is 4 spaces, although tabs and any other space size will work, as long as it is consistent.
  • Notice that code blocks do not need any termination.
if <statement is="" true="">:
<do something="">
elif <another statement="" is="" true="">: # else if
<do something="" else="">
<do another="" thing="">
x = 'NA'
if x == 'NA':
print("x equals NA!")
print("x does not equal to NA.")
  1. An object which is not considered “empty” is passed.

The ‘is’ operator

Unlike the double equals operator “==”, the “is” operator does not match the values of the variables, but the instances themselves.

x = [3,4,5]
y = [3,4,5]
print(x == y) # Prints out True
print(x is y) # Prints out False

The “not” operator

Using “not” before a boolean expression inverts it:

print(not False) // Prints out True
print((not False) == (False)) // Prints out False


There are two types of loops in Python, for and while.

The “for” loop

odds = [1, 3, 5, 7]
for number in odds:
print(number) //outputs 1 3 5 7 in a seperate line

range() vs xrange()

  • range() and xrange() are two functions that could be used to iterate a certain number of times in for loops in Python.
  • Note: In Python 3, there is no xrange, but the range function behaves like xrange in Python 2.
  • Note: If you want to write code that will run on both Python 2 and Python 3, you should use range().


This returns a list of numbers created using the range() function.


This function returns the generator object that can be used to display numbers only by looping. The only particular range is displayed on demand and hence called “lazy evaluation“.

Both are implemented in different ways and have different characteristics associated with them. The points of comparisons are:

  • Return Type
  • Memory
  • Operation Usage
  • Speed

Return Type

  • range() returns — the list as return type.
  • xrange() returns — xrange() object.
# Python code to demonstrate range() vs xrange()
# on basis of return type

# initializing a with range()
a = range(1,10)

# initializing a with xrange()
x = xrange(1,10000)

# testing the type of a
print ("The return type of range() is : ")
print (a) //[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10]

# testing the type of x
print ("The return type of xrange() is : ")
print (x) //xrange(1, 10)


//Prints out the numbers 0,1,2,3,4
for x in range(5):
//Prints out 3,4,5
for x in range(3, 6):
//Prints out 3,5,7
for x in range(3, 8, 2):

“while” loops

While loops repeat as long as a certain boolean condition is met.

//prints out 0,1,2,3,4count = 0
while count < 5:
count += 1 # This is the same as count = count + 1

“break” and “continue” statements


is used to exit a for loop or a while loop


is used to skip the current block

//Prints out 0,1,2,3,4count = 0
while True:
count += 1
if count >= 5:
# Prints out only odd numbers - 1,3,5,7,9
for x in range(10):
# Check if x is even
if x % 2 == 0:


can we use the “else” clause for loops?

unlike languages like C, CPP.. we can use else for loops. When the loop condition of the “for” or “while” statement fails then the code part in “else” is executed. If the break statement is executed inside for loop then the “else” part is skipped. Note that the “else” part is executed even if there is a continue statement.


//Prints out 0,1,2,3,4 and then it prints "count value reached 5"count=0
count +=1
print("count value reached %d" %(count))
//Prints out 1,2,3,4
for i in range(1, 10):
print("this is not printed because for loop is terminated because of break but not due to fail in condition")


What are Functions?

Functions are a convenient way to divide your code into useful blocks, allowing us to order our code, make it more readable, reuse it and save some time. Also, functions are a key way to define interfaces so programmers can share their code.

How do you write functions in Python?

Python makes use of blocks.

1st block line
2nd block line

Functions in Python are defined using the block keyword “def”, followed by the function’s name as the block’s name.

def my_function():
print("Hello From My Function!")
my_function() //prints Hello From My Function!

Import feature

Classes and Objects

  • Objects are an encapsulation of variables and functions into a single entity.
  • Objects get their variables and functions from classes. Classes are essentially a template to create your objects.

A very basic example is that:

class MyClass:
variable = "blah"
def function(self):
print("This is a message inside the class.")

Accessing Object Variables

class MyClass:
variable = "blah"
def function(self):
print("This is a message inside the class.")
myobjectx = MyClass()print(myobjectx.variable) //prints blah
class MyClass:
variable = "blah"
def function(self):
print("This is a message inside the class.")
myobjectx = MyClass()
myobjecty = MyClass()
myobjecty.variable = "yackity"# Then print out both values
print(myobjectx.variable) //prints blah
print(myobjecty.variable) //prints yackity


A dictionary is a data type similar to arrays but works with keys and values instead of indexes. Each value stored in a dictionary can be accessed using a key, which is any type of object (a string, a number, a list, etc.) instead of using its index to address it.

phonebook = {}
phonebook["John"] = 938477566
phonebook["Jack"] = 938377264
phonebook["Jill"] = 947662781
//Outputs {'John': 938477566, 'Jack': 938377264, 'Jill': 947662781}
phonebook = {
"John" : 938477566,
"Jack" : 938377264,
"Jill" : 947662781
//Outputs {'John': 938477566, 'Jack': 938377264, 'Jill': 947662781}

Iterating over dictionaries

Dictionaries can be iterated over, just like a list. However, a dictionary, unlike a list, does not keep the order of the values stored in it. To iterate over key-value pairs, use the following syntax:

phonebook = {"John" : 938477566,"Jack" : 938377264,"Jill" : 947662781}
for name, number in phonebook.items():
print("Phone number of %s is %d" % (name, number))
//Phone number of John is 938477566
//Phone number of Jack is 938377264
//Phone number of Jill is 947662781

Removing a value

To remove a specified index, use either one of the following notations:

phonebook = {
"John" : 938477566,
"Jack" : 938377264,
"Jill" : 947662781
del phonebook["John"]
//oputputs {'Jack': 938377264, 'Jill': 947662781}
phonebook = {
"John" : 938477566,
"Jack" : 938377264,
"Jill" : 947662781
//oputputs {'Jack': 938377264, 'Jill': 947662781}

Modules and Packages

In programming, a module is a piece of software that has a specific functionality. For example, when building a ping pong game, one module would be responsible for the game logic, and another module would be responsible for drawing the game on the screen. Each module is a different file, which can be edited separately.

Exploring built-in modules

Check out the complete list of built-in modules in the python standard library.

Two very important functions come in handy when exploring modules in Python:

  • dir
  • help
import urllib;

Numpy Arrays

Numpy arrays are great alternatives to Python Lists. Some of the key advantages of Numpy arrays are that they are fast, easy to work with and allow users to perform calculations across entire arrays.

//Create 2 new lists numbersOdd and numbersEven
numbersOdd = [1, 3, 5, 7]
numbersEven = [2,4,6,8]
//Import the numpy package as np
import numpy as np
# Create 2 numpy arrays from height and weight
np_numbersOdd = np.array(numbersOdd)
np_numbersEven = np.array(numbersEven)
<class 'numpy.ndarray'>
<class 'numpy.ndarray'>

Pandas Basics

Pandas DataFrames

  • Pandas is a high-level data manipulation tool developed by Wes McKinney.
  • It is built on the Numpy package and its key data structure is called the DataFrame.
  • DataFrames allow you to store and manipulate tabular data in rows of observations and columns of variables.

There are several ways to create a DataFrame. One way is to use a dictionary. For example:

dict = {"country": ["Brazil", "Russia", "India", "China", "South Africa"],
"capital": ["Brasilia", "Moscow", "New Dehli", "Beijing", "Pretoria"],
"area": [8.516, 17.10, 3.286, 9.597, 1.221],
"population": [200.4, 143.5, 1252, 1357, 52.98] }
import pandas as pd
brics = pd.DataFrame(dict)
area capital country population
0 8.516 Brasilia Brazil 200.40
1 17.100 Moscow Russia 143.50
2 3.286 New Dehli India 1252.00
3 9.597 Beijing China 1357.00
4 1.221 Pretoria South Africa 52.98
dict = {"country": ["Brazil", "Russia", "India", "China", "South Africa"],
"capital": ["Brasilia", "Moscow", "New Dehli", "Beijing", "Pretoria"],
"area": [8.516, 17.10, 3.286, 9.597, 1.221],
"population": [200.4, 143.5, 1252, 1357, 52.98] }
import pandas as pd
brics = pd.DataFrame(dict)
brics.index = ["BR", "RU", "IN", "CH", "SA"]
area capital country population
BR 8.516 Brasilia Brazil 200.40
RU 17.100 Moscow Russia 143.50
IN 3.286 New Dehli India 1252.00
CH 9.597 Beijing China 1357.00
SA 1.221 Pretoria South Africa 52.98


Generators are very easy to implement, but a bit difficult to understand.


import randomdef lottery():
# returns 6 numbers between 1 and 40
for i in range(6):
yield random.randint(1, 40)
# returns a 7th number between 1 and 15
yield random.randint(1,15)
for random_number in lottery():
print("And the next number is... %d!" %(random_number))
And the next number is... 33!
And the next number is... 17!
And the next number is... 11!
And the next number is... 17!
And the next number is... 10!
And the next number is... 15!
And the next number is... 2!

List Comprehensions

List Comprehensions is a very powerful tool, which creates a new list based on another list, in a single, readable line.

Before list comprehension:

sentence = "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
words = sentence.split()
word_lengths = []
for word in words:
if word != "the":
['the', 'quick', 'brown', 'fox', 'jumps', 'over', 'the', 'lazy', 'dog']

After list comprehension:

sentence = "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
words = sentence.split()
word_lengths = [len(word) for word in words if word != "the"]
['the', 'quick', 'brown', 'fox', 'jumps', 'over', 'the', 'lazy', 'dog']

Multiple Function Arguments

Every function in Python receives a predefined number of arguments.

def foo(first, second, third, *therest):
print("First: %s" % first)
print("Second: %s" % second)
print("Third: %s" % third)
print("And all the rest... %s" % list(therest))

First: 1
Second: 2
Third: 3
And all the rest... [4, 5, 6]
def bar(first, second, third, **options):
if options.get("action") == "sum":
print("The sum is: %d" %(first + second + third))
if options.get("number") == "first":
return first
result = bar(1, 2, 3, action = "sum", number = "first")
print("Result: %d" %(result))
The sum is: 6
Result: 1

Regular Expressions

Regular Expressions (sometimes shortened to regexp, regex, or re) are a tool for matching patterns in text. In Python, we have the re module. The applications for regular expressions are widespread, but they are fairly complex, so when contemplating using a regex for a certain task, think about alternatives, and come to regexes as a last resort.

# Exercise: make a regular expression that will match an email
import re
def test_email(your_pattern):
pattern = re.compile(your_pattern)
emails = ["john@example.com", "python-list@python.org", "wha.t.`1an?ug{}ly@email.com"]
for email in emails:
if not re.match(pattern, email):
print("You failed to match %s" % (email))
elif not your_pattern:
print("Forgot to enter a pattern!")
# Your pattern here!
pattern = r"\"?([-a-zA-Z0-9.`?{}]+@\w+\.\w+)\"?"

Exception Handling

When programming, errors happen. It’s just a fact of life. Perhaps the user gave bad input. Maybe a network resource was unavailable. Maybe the program ran out of memory. Or the programmer may have even made a mistake!

def do_stuff_with_number(n):
the_list = (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)for i in range(20):
except IndexError: # Raised when accessing a non-existing index of a list


Sets are lists with no duplicate entries. Let’s say you want to collect a list of words used in a paragraph:

print(set("my name is Eric and Eric is my name".split()))
{'Eric', 'is', 'name', 'and', 'my'}
a = set(["Jake", "John", "Eric"])
{'Eric', 'John', 'Jake'}
b = set(["John", "Jill"])
{'John', 'Jill'}

The different methods are:

  • intersection()
  • symmetric_difference()
  • difference()
  • union()
a = set(["Jake", "John", "Eric"])
b = set(["John", "Jill"])
a = set(["Jake", "John", "Eric"])
b = set(["John", "Jill"])
{'Eric', 'Jake', 'Jill'}
{'Eric', 'Jill', 'Jake'}
a = set(["Jake", "John", "Eric"])
b = set(["John", "Jill"])
{'Eric', 'Jake'}
a = set(["Jake", "John", "Eric"])
b = set(["John", "Jill"])
{'Jill', 'Eric', 'John', 'Jake'}


Data serialization is the concept of converting structured data into a format that allows it to be shared or stored in such a way that its original structure to be recovered. In some cases, the secondary intention of data serialization is to minimize the size of the serialized data which then minimizes disk space or bandwidth requirements.


The native data serialization module for Python is called Pickle.

import pickle//Here's an example dict
grades = { 'Alice': 89, 'Bob': 72, 'Charles': 87 }
//Use dumps to convert the object to a serialized string
serial_grades = pickle.dumps( grades )
//Use loads to de-serialize an object
received_grades = pickle.loads( serial_grades )
{'Charles': 87, 'Bob': 72, 'Alice': 89}

Partial functions

You can create partial functions in python by using the partial function from the function tools library.

from functools import partialdef multiply(x,y):
return x * y
# create a new function that multiplies by 2
dbl = partial(multiply,2)

Code Introspection

Code introspection is the ability to examine classes, functions and keywords to know what they are, what they do and what they know.

  • dir()
  • hasattr()
  • id()
  • type()
  • repr()
  • callable()
  • issubclass()
  • isinstance()
  • __doc__
  • __name__
# Define the Vehicle class
class Vehicle:
name = ""
kind = "car"
color = ""
value = 100.00
def description(self):
desc_str = "%s is a %s %s worth $%.2f." % (self.name, self.color, self.kind, self.value)
return desc_str
//Print a list of all attributes of the Vehicle class.
['__class__', '__delattr__', '__dict__', '__dir__',
'__doc__', '__eq__', '__format__', '__ge__', '__getattribute__',
'__gt__', '__hash__', '__init__', '__le__', '__lt__', '__module__',
'__ne__', '__new__', '__reduce__', '__reduce_ex__', '__repr__', '__setattr__',
'__sizeof__', '__str__', '__subclasshook__', '__weakref__',
'color', 'description', 'kind', 'name', 'value']


A Closure is a function object that remembers values in enclosing scopes even if they are not present in memory.

Before using nonlocal

def transmit_to_space(message):
"This is the enclosing function"
def data_transmitter():
"The nested function"
data_transmitter()print(transmit_to_space("Test message"))//Output
Test message

After using nonlocal

def print_msg(number):
def printer():
"Here we are using the nonlocal keyword"
nonlocal number


  • Classes can inherit from other classes.
  • A class can inherit attributes and behaviour methods from another class, called the superclass.
  • A class that inherits from a superclass is called a subclass, also called heir class or child class.
  • Superclasses are sometimes called ancestors as well. There exists a hierarchical relationship between classes. It’s similar to relationships or categorizations that we know from real life.
class Person:    def __init__(self, first, last):
self.firstname = first
self.lastname = last
def Name(self):
return self.firstname + " " + self.lastname
class Employee(Person): def __init__(self, first, last, staffnum):
Person.__init__(self,first, last)
self.staffnumber = staffnum
def GetEmployee(self):
return self.Name() + ", " + self.staffnumber
x = Person("Marge", "Simpson")
y = Employee("Homer", "Simpson", "1007")
Marge Simpson
Homer Simpson, 1007
def __init__(self, first, last, staffnum):
super().__init__(first, last)
self.staffnumber = staffnum

To be continued……………………

I am Master's student in the Netherlands and has a previous work experience of 4 years in the field of Software Development.