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    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Learning Python. Recommendations?

    I got Python (both the base system and Anaconda) installed yesterday and am hoping to learn it. I've already found some videos on Youtube that look instructive as well as a book recommendation (A Whirlwind Tour of Python), but I was wondering of other recommendations.

    In particular, if anyone has recommendations for someone already knowing SAS and R. That probably doesn't matter much, but to give some idea of what languages I know and so what might seem more or less intuitive. Professionally, I'd mostly be using it to read-in data (CSVs, mostly), do frequency counts of various categorical variables, do descriptive statistics, and spit out CSVs.

    I have already noticed that I seem to like the base Python editor more than Anaconda's Spyder, but I think that's just because I'm use to using the default R interface (not R Studio), so the fancier, more-helpful Anaconda interface is a tad confusing to me. I reckon I'll start to like it more as I get into more complex stuff.

    As a side note, I've heard of Jupyter, but think I want to learn Python without it before trying to integrate that tool.

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    DeTess's Avatar

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    Default Re: Learning Python. Recommendations?

    First, since you seem to consider anaconda and python to be separate things: what installations like anaconda do is bundle python with a lot of the more common libraries, such as numpy and the like. You can use what you consider the base python interface (which I reckon is IDLE?) with the anaconda environment without any issues or needing a separate installation.

    I personally feel the best way to learn is by doing, so using python for a set of coding challenges like for example project euler might be helpful.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Learning Python. Recommendations?

    SAS is a kinda different language to a scripting language like Python, so you'll need a bit of adjustment I think. If you know SAS macros, it's a bit closer to that than base SAS. Don't know R, although they are threatening to make me learn it.

    I learned using the 'official' tutorial, but my recent expertise is in Perl which is a lot closer. Certainly worth a look to get started though.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Learning Python. Recommendations?

    If you already know R, and have a narrow field of tasks you want to apply python on, I'd suggest googling for specifics on these applications and using streamlined tutorials like tutorialspoint to get to what you want. Don't go through the whole tutorial, just jump around to get your bearings when you want to know something specific.

    As for CSVs and statistical analysis, just use pandas. It's ridiculously simple.
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Learning Python. Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feantar View Post
    If you already know R, and have a narrow field of tasks you want to apply python on, I'd suggest googling for specifics on these applications and using streamlined tutorials like tutorialspoint to get to what you want. Don't go through the whole tutorial, just jump around to get your bearings when you want to know something specific.

    As for CSVs and statistical analysis, just use pandas. It's ridiculously simple.
    R does seem pretty similar.

    It seems that Anacondra has pandas already installed, since import pandas gave me no errors.

    Your second link is the same as your first. Did you mean to link to a pandas tutorial?
    This one was the first hit on Google, but I'd appreciate any recommendations for a good one. My biggest hang-up so far was finding how to read CSVs -- typing "read csv python" into Google didn't help -- but now at that link I see it's a really basic command from pandas. Cool.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

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    Default Re: Learning Python. Recommendations?

    The official tutorial isn't bad. It's not especially thorough, but it covers a lot of syntax and basic stuff you might wonder how to do....The kind of things that can produce a lot of headaches trying to figure out while debugging your own code.
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