Microsoft Launches New Python Video Series

Posted on September 19, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Dev with 25 Comments

Microsoft has launched a free new video series on YouTube called Python for Beginners.

“We won’t cover everything there is to know about Python in the course, [but] we want to make sure we give you the foundation on programming in Python, starting from common everyday code and scenarios,” Microsoft senior program manager Christopher Harrison announced. “At the end of the course, you’ll be able to go and learn on your own, following along docs, tutorials, books, etc. We promise we’re keeping things quick and to the point, so you can dive straight into the areas that you’re most interested in (or confused by!).”

There are 44 episodes in the series, but each is only a few minutes long, so you should be able to get through it pretty quickly. Based on the description, the series is aimed at those who know other programming languages and perhaps learned via school, a book, or an online resource, and want to learn Python.

“Picking up a new language is a common situation for modern-day developers,” Harrison continues. “The days of going your entire career focused on one language are long since gone. Fortunately, concepts typically don’t change as you move from one programming language to the next. Sure, the syntax might be different, but an if statement is still an if statement even when it’s written using { } or End If. So, we don’t need to learn how to program, but rather how to program in a new language.”

Sounds good to me. You can find Python for Beginners on YouTube.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (25)

25 responses to “Microsoft Launches New Python Video Series”

  1. dallasnorth40

    Do they have something similar for C#? If not, why not? Why would one choose Python over C#?

    OK, I have way too many questions. :-)

    • lvthunder

      In reply to dallasnorth40:

      Python is a scripting language from what I know about it. I would think they would have picked Javascript since that's the langauge they want the new style Office addins written in.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to dallasnorth40:

      1. Yes. And it's highly recommended.

      2. Asking why one would choose one language over another semi-pointless in that you get a job, they have whatever requirements, and you use that. Python is extremely popular, certainly more so that C#/.NET. It's second only to JavaScript in popularity in most surveys.

    • Usman

      In reply to dallasnorth40:

      There's multiple factors

      • Python is one of the most sought out jobs
      • School curriculums are foccused on it, so therefor jobs are more foccused on python
      • Annecdotal, but everytime someone asks me about programming, they always say they were told to do python.

      It's just ecosystem of python developers, the fact Google and Amazon push it, the fact most maths libraries are written in it and thus physicists and mathmaticians have to learn it, therefore many machine learning libraries are based on it.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to dallasnorth40:

      Yes. They’re on Microsoft’s site, though. C# For Absolute Beginners. Excellent series produced by Bob Tabor.

    • sandman

      Different languages for different things. Python is popular for data scientists, web servers, and scripting among other things. It is used a lot in azure. It is also used in ansible for automation. It depends on who they are targeting.
      In reply to dallasnorth40:

  2. justme

    Why would one choose Python over C#, or C++? Javascript? I suppose it depends on who their target audience is and what their intended use is. Oh, for the days of Old Malt FORTRAN.... :)

    • mattbg

      In reply to JustMe:

      There are a surprising number of things written in python. It's a very clean language that has a nice mix of scripting and programming structures, so you can get started quickly without a lot of bootstrapping while also building some rather complex things.

      It forces or strongly-encourages you to write readable code as some features rely on proper indentation to work properly.

      It's also become popular by non-IT types for data science.

      Some people are surprised to learn that it's quite popular in web development as well, via the Django framework. Spotify, YouTube, DropBox, Instagram, Reddit, etc. run on this.

    • Usman

      In reply to JustMe:

      For new programmers and students learning from school. It's been 5 or so years since the raspberry pi and coding initiatives. Back then C# was windows only and node.js was in its infancy.

      it's just a culmination of easy to use, right language for learning at the time and it has rode that wave of data science, machine learning, coding curriculums, maker culture, dev tools and ecosystems in these past years.

  3. christian.hvid

    Really nice series, but is it true that you're not a real developer unless you have 600 stickers on the back of your laptop? Asking for a friend...

  4. brettscoast

    Terrific thanks for the heads up Paul. Excellent initiative.

  5. martinusv2

    Then they will do the same with Rust? I feel that Microsoft doesn't like C#. I wonder why they didn't used it to make the Windows 10 apps.

  6. jules_wombat

    I hope they cover the nightmare of how to set up coherant python environments. It quickly becomes a dependency mess, aka dll hell of the past.

    Just try to maintain a consistent deep Q learning stack of tensorflow, cudann, numpy, pandas, along with a multitude of git based python librarys, openai and reinforcement learning packages. The dependency tree typically fails to be consistent after a few months.

    • Jim Lewis

      In reply to Jules_Wombat:

      It's great to use Anaconda and Juypter Notebooks - Microsoft does throughout its NINE AI course track on With the installation of Anaconda, you get Python 3.7.3 currently. Then from a CONDA terminal from Environments in the Anaconda Navigator, you can install both TensorFlow and Keras to the BASE environment or whatever other environment you want. I've done it both under Windows 10 Pro and Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS running under VirtualBox on the same machine with no problems. I highly recommend using Juypter Notebooks to run and annotate Python code. Works great as a learning environment. I haven't mastered pickling notebook contents, though. It's a pain to do some time-consuming neural network computations, set the notebook aside, and come back and have to rerun previous computations to get results if the new part of an exercise not yet done depends on previous computations (I do Checkpoint and Save Juypter notebooks, though, which at least preserves the output if not the machine/object state, etc.)

    • Usman

      In reply to dcdevito:

      SEO / branding / marketing /, to be relevant to developers who don't think about Microsoft.

      There's many non-microsoft devs on youtube that teach people to develop, there's courses using non-microsoft technologies. I wouldn't be surprised if 'learn python' has higher search queries than 'learn c#'.

  7. F4IL

    This is a good idea. Python is extremely popular especially with beginners and is trivial to setup and start writing code.

    • ragingthunder

      In reply to F4IL:

      For the maximum impact on novice developers, I will always recommend Visual Studio and VB.NET. You can quickly build useful GUI apps instead of meddling around in the uninspiring command-line and a somewhat difficult setup.

      Last time I tried to integrate Python in Visual Studio, it took more than a few clicks.

  8. constable

    I understand the need for Microsoft to stay relevant but really, python is a mess compared to .NET/C# and they shouldnt be ashamed of pushing it harder to novises.