Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie edition by Reuven M. Lerner

Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie edition

Improve your Python fluency, one exercise at a time

The shortcut to learning Python like hard-core developers, devops engineers, and data scientists

(Psst: Want to skip this text, and get two free, sample exercises from WPE?  Just click here.)

What’s your reason for wanting to learn Python? Here are some of the most common reasons my students have told me (see if any of these resonate with you):

  • To harness Python’s power for data science, machine learning, and deep learning
  • To become an in-demand developer and get a satisfying, well-paying career
  • To develop your own personal projects that you’re passionate about

These are all totally legitimate reasons for wanting to learn Python. And many of the people who have learned Python from me have achieved these goals.

Most people who take my courses eventually want to get a rewarding, mentally stimulating, well-paying career using their Python skills.

And I can tell you that they chose the right programming language to do that. Here’s why:

Knowing how to write Python is a very valuable skill, for both the professional world and for many other types of projects

There are *TONS* of jobs for people who can code Python. It's hard to exaggerate just how desperately companies are looking for people who know the language.

That’s why the majority of my time is taken up by being yanked around the globe by big companies that are begging me to come in and teach their developers how to write Python.

And a lot of the content in my online Python courses is adapted straight out of the classes I teach to developers who work for Apple, HP, VMWare, and others.

But up until now I haven’t really offered anything for people who are really new to Python. But that’s changed.

A warning before I go any further...

I’ve got good news and bad news. First the good news:

Python is a pretty darn easy language to jump into, whether you’re already familiar with some programming or you’ve never coded a single word. That’s why there are so many people out there trying to learn it. But…

Here’s the bad news:

Most of the people who start learning Python on their own eventually hit a wall: they start getting stuck when they’re faced with complex problems that need to be solved with code.

Here’s the thing: once you know a bit of Python you’ll want to start using it to accomplish cool stuff (like machine learning or data science). 

But here’s the problem: the learning curve gets steeper at this point.

And you’ll find it more difficult to figure out solutions to problems that you don’t have enough knowledge to solve.

That’s a difficult barrier to get over. That’s just kinda how it is with Python. At that point you’re “good enough” to write some code and execute some simple tasks. 

But the issue is that there are a lot of “good enough” Python developers who kinda just stay at this “not-a-total-noob-but-definitely-not-a-pro” skill level. 

And there are far fewer Python developers in that upper skill level who are the ones working on the really cool stuff like machine learning.

So how do you jump that barrier from “good enough” to “hard core” pro developer?

The key to getting over that skill barrier is Python fluency

Here’s an illustration to show you what I mean by “fluency”:

Picture yourself moving to a foreign country (where they don’t speak your language). And the only knowledge you have of their local language is from 2 years of language class you took in high school.

Living there would be really hard, right? With such a limited knowledge of the language you’d have a difficult time trying to communicate exactly what you wanted to say.

It’s the same thing with Python: only having a “survival level” knowledge of the Python language holds you back from really unlocking its full power and accomplishing what you want with it (and getting the attention of people who will pay you to write it)

How do you achieve Python fluency then? There are tons of resources out there on the Internet that you can use to get there, right?

Well, here’s the problem...

Online courses alone can never make you fluent in Python

If you try to learn Python by taking online courses, reading books, watching tutorials, or browsing forums, you’ll eventually discover the main issue they all have:

They only teach you basic concepts––they don’t help you become a well-rounded programmer that can see what needs to be done and instantly know how to write the code that’s going to accomplish it.

So what are these learning resources missing? What is it that’s going to take you from a “good enough” Python programmer (who can’t ever get past that skill barrier and start doing really awesome things with Python) to a “fluent” developer that has full command of the language?

There’s gotta be another way to learn… right? There is.


Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition

15 problem-and-solution exercises designed specifically for Python newbies that kick start your skills enough to actually be useful

The best way to become fluent in any language is to put yourself in situations where you are challenged to use it in new and unfamiliar ways. That’s called immersion.

Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition helps immerse you in the language of Python. And it offers you 2 unique advantages:

  1. It’s a “safe place” where there are no consequences when you try and fail
  2. You’re given the correct answer to every new problem you’re tasked with solving after you’ve had time to try solving it yourself

WPE: Newbie Edition is not a Python course

Rather than being an online course where you simply read material, watch video lessons, and complete “assignments” that are never actually reviewed by the instructor, WPE is a series of 15 problem-and-solution exercises that are delivered to you by email over the course of 15 weeks (one exercise per week). Here’s how it works:

  1. When you sign up, you’ll be added to the “WPE Newbie Cohort” (a group of Python developers who are enrolled in WPE: Newbie Edition)
  2. Starting on January 22nd, 2019, I’ll send you a new problem each Tuesday for you to solve by writing Python code
  3. You’ll have the following 6 days (Wednesday through Sunday) to formulate a solution 
  4. Each Monday (6 days after you receive each problem) I’ll send you the best solution to the exercise, plus an explanation of how I got there

You’ll also have access to the Weekly Python Exercise private forum. In this forum you’ll be able to discuss the exercises with other Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition students. 

Plus, I’ll host live office hours every month for the duration of Weekly Python Exercise (4 months). Here you’ll be able to ask me questions and get clarifications on the exercises. (And if you’re unable to attend any live office hours session, you’ll have access to the recorded version).

Who is Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition for?

Here’s the cool part: I created WPE: Newbie Edition because a lot of people on my email list were asking me to make it.

A while ago I released the “regular” Weekly Python Exercise, which is for people who already have at least a couple years of experience using Python. 

After I released WPE (regular), I was shocked with the huge number of of responses from people who wanted to enroll, but who felt they were too inexperienced with Python to understand the more advanced exercises. So I got to work on building WPE: Newbie Edition.

So who is Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition for? It’s perfect for you if:

  • You’re a Python newbie: you’ve recently started learning Python, but you’ve quickly become confused by the mess of information and learning resources available online or otherwise
  • You’re a programmer of another other language: you’re already into programming another language, but now you want to learn Python
  • You have always wanted to program, and have heard that Python is a great way to learn and you are simultaneously taking a Python course or reading a book. (WPE won't teach you Python or programming, but it'll reinforce the concepts you're learning in your course.)

Here are the topics that WPE: Newbie Edition covers

  • Basic data structures - learn to create and modify strings, lists, tuples, and dictionaries: they keys to understanding how Python works
  • Working with user input - discover how to translate simple user input into complex and useful data to accomplish important tasks
  • Presenting output to the user - go beyond the basic “print” function and display output in a meaningful way to users
  • Iteration with "for" and "while" loops - sometimes you’ll need to execute something multiple times… learn how and when you should
  • Reading from and writing to text files - you'll want to communicate with the outside world, and that often means reading from someone else's files and/or writing to files that someone else can read… we’ll practice how to do both in Python
  • Writing (and calling) simple functions - understand one of the most important actions in programming: “packaging up” commonly used code into simple packages that are easy to access and use

Get access to Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition for $75

Don’t wait: enrollment is only open until January 15... here’s why

WPE: Newbie Edition is NOT an “always open course”.

Rather, it’s a real-time “class” that is delivered to you in separate pieces over a period of 15 weeks.

There are 4 reasons it’s done this way:

  1. So you can collaborate with others in your cohort who are working at solving the same exercises as you (through the private forum)
  2. So each office hours session revolves around the most recent exercises (rather than an unrelated mess of questions about other topics)
  3. So I can keep the exercises current and updated for each new cohort (and you’re not learning outdated or irrelevant information)
  4. So you can learn at the best pace to become fluent in Python (not too fast so you forget, not too slow so you get bored) 

So don’t wait to enroll until it’s too late! Sign up for Weekly Python Exercise today.
Enroll now

The most common objections to Python courses… and why Weekly Python Exercise is different

“I can get just as good at using Python by just putting in the time and effort to learn it on my own.”

I’m not going to lie to you, this is true. But just how much time are you willing to put in to become fluent? How much time are you able to put in? If you’re like most people, your time is already stretched thin. And learning through trial and error and searching the Internet for answers can take years… especially if you’re looking for solutions for very specific problems.

Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition is designed to give you the most relevant, widely applicable skills so you can start getting over that Python skill gap faster than if you were learning on your own.

“Most courses only teach bare basics… they don’t help me understand how to solve most real-life problems.”

That’s true. One of the complaints I get most from Python users about other courses is that they’re too “top level”. The example problems they give you are way too simple… and the problems you face in real life are rarely as cut and dry.

This is literally why I created Weekly Python Exercise: to solve this issue. Every exercise has been thoughtfully constructed to give you a valuable knowledge of Python that allows you to tackle challenges you’d face in real life settings.

“Python courses can’t give me feedback or help when I’m stuck like a real person could.”

Yep. It’s extremely frustrating when you get stuck on something that a Python expert could easily help you with… but a lifeless online course just keeps moving forward, whether you actually understand the material or not.

As a Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition student, you can get help from real people in three different ways:

  1. Through discussions with other students in the private WPE forum
  2. By mentioning me in a forum post so I can respond directly
  3. During live office hours each month with me 

100% Money Back Guarantee (no time limit)

I’m confident that Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition is going to help you get a valuable start in learning Python. So I’ll put my money where my mouth is. 

If you enroll in WPE: Newbie Edition and find at any point that it’s not helping you move towards fluency, just email me and ask for your money back. No need to feel bad. 

I’m not even going to give you a time limit. No 30 or 60 day refund restriction. I’m a reasonable person, and I trust that you are, too!

Join Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition today

Fifteen weeks to fluency in core Python skills. If you’ve been wanting to learn the same language that hard-core developers, devops engineers, and data scientists are using, Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition will short cut your path to get there.

Sign up for Weekly Python Exercise before enrollment closes on January 15th!
Join Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition

Because better developers have better careers

Have a more satisfying, successful, and lucrative career, by becoming more fluent in Python, Git, and related technologies. 


How much Python do I need to know to enroll in Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition?

WPE: Newbie Edition is meant for people who (a) took an intro Python course, and need to reinforce the ideas they learned, (b) never took a Python course, but use it every day in their work and want to really understand what they're doing, or (c) experienced programmers in other languages who want to make the transition to Python, and enjoy the "jump in, head-first" approach to things.

If you've never programmed before, then WPE: Newbie Edition will probably demand a bit too much.  But if you're willing to put in the time and effort, then you might be able to make it work!  

Along with each weekly exercise, I’ll point you to resources (blogs, tutorials, and videos) that teach you what you need to know in order to figure out each exercise. This ensures that even if the course or tutorial you took isn't fresh in your mind, you'll still have the tools you need to answer the question.

And of course, a huge part of WPE is the community on the forum, in which people help one another.  Don't forget that by communicating with others and working through the problems with them, you'll be learning quite a lot

How long will the weekly exercises take me to complete?

Usually about 1 hour’s worth of work per week on average (if you’ve already been learning some Python basics). If you have no knowledge of Python, it will take longer, since you’ll need to read up on the learning resources I suggest each week.

What version of Python does WPE use?

Python 3 (as of writing this, 3.7).

Am I required to participate in the forums or live office hours?

No, of course not! But in my career as a Python instructor, I’ve seen over and over that people who solve exercises together learn and retain more than those who don't.

If you can't make it to office hours, then submit your questions in an email, and I'll answer them — then, when you have a chance, you can view the office hours recording.

Am I really committing to a 4 month long course, 15 weeks in a row?

Yes and no. The content of the exercises, the discussions in the forum, and the topics of the live office hours will be tied to one another, and will reflect the most recent exercises.

But no one is forcing you to do the exercises along with everyone else! You can skip exercises or do them later. The forum and office hours recordings will be available for you to use, watch, and review at any time, forever.

However, I developed WPE: Newbie Edition to help you start learning Python in the most efficient, effective way possible. And it should only take about an hour each week, which is a very achievable time investment that will yield huge benefits for your career (or other Python-related goals).

When will office hours be held?

Office hours will be held about once each month. I'll vary the days and times so that no matter where you live in the world, you'll be able to participate at least occasionally.

I’ll email you in advance of every office hours session to let you know exactly when it will take place.

Are there any discounts available for Weekly Python Exercise?

Yes, there are 3 discount options:

  • If you join with a group of 5 or more, each person gets 20% off
  • If you’re a student or pensioner, you get 20% off
  • If you live in any country outside the 30 wealthiest countries in the world, you can get a discount (email me for exact discount percentage)

If you’re eligible for any of these discounts, contact me via e-mail, and I'll be delighted to provide you with the appropriate coupon code.

Is there a “trial” version or sample of Weekly Python Exercise: Newbie Edition?

You bet!  Just go here:


Sign up for this “mini” version, and you'll get two exercises (and their solutions), just as you would in the full version of WPE. This sample squeezes it into five days.