Computer programming on a laptop. Photo by:
Computer programming on a laptop. Photo by:

Step 1: Let Go of Conventional Wisdom

In 2019, millions of Americans, as well as citizens in other developed countries are looking to obtain new skills in computer programming.

As a Web Developer with over 9 years of experience, I have seen a lot of trends come and go within the computer industry. One of the more recent trends is the programming language known as Python.


When first starting out as a programmer, I would often ask other professionals which coding language should I learn? They would often respond, ‘it depends what you want to develop.’ This is similar feedback I would get when asking professional photographers which camera and lens they would use for different photos. They would also inform to use hardware/software that will translate well for the project that I am working on.

My best piece of advice is to learn as many coding languages as possible, and apply those skills to contract work for several years before obtaining a full-time position. The second YouTube video below supports this idea with noting to do freelance work to get started as a developer. 

I’ll be candid for a moment, and explain that coding is a passion of mine, but coming from a family with less resources, I found myself being attracted to the idea of computer coding, but often rejected from being able to work with companies for not having enough experience or an ivy league education. I’m sure many people around the globe have felt a glass ceiling, and I have found a way through it.

In addition to learning Python over the next 30 days, I am also going to provide a window into my career development to give those in need some direction.

The following definition is from

Python is a clear and powerful object-oriented programming language, comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, or Java.

For those that have never heard of Python, or these other languages, it might be best to start with HTML and CSS. Those are two introductory forms of programming.

Obtaining Software

After you have a solid foundation for computer coding, download a code editor, such as Sublime, or Dreamweaver by Adobe. In order to properly learn how to code in Python, it will be important to have a text editor.

Programmers will also need to download the latest version of Python. The versions for this software have minor changes between them, and new versions are updated multiple times each year. As a Mac user, I needed to make sure I obtained the correct version that aligned with my operating system.

Once you have a text editor to work with you can start by identifying a problem you want to solve by programming a solution. Python allows users to develop interactivity with Web servers, work on data analysis, scripting, machine learning, as well as reading and modifying files.

Major corporations will often have large private servers that contain large amounts of highly sensitive information. Programmers that can manage, debug, and support these servers are currently using languages similar to Python.

In addition to learning Python, I want to also help teach and train others to reinforce the learning process with myself.

On my first day or learning Python, my goal was to provide a general overview and steps to obtain the needed software. I’ve created a category on this site for Python, and group all of my posts over the next month together to make it easy to learn.

The project that I plan to build in Python is a Web-based concept covering how to program computer code that I hope to be able to upload and display next month.

Please watch the following videos on YouTube, and obtain the required software to build with Python.


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Matthew McGuire is the founder and editor of Crescent Vale News. In 2014, he acquired a master's degree in Professional Media and Media Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.