Learn Python from Microsoft for Free

Learn Python from Microsoft for Free

Python is the top programming language of 2019 as per a report released by IEEE Spectrum. It has quickly become a language of choice not only among the Data Scientists, but in other fields too.

The popularity of the language is mainly because it is not that difficult to learn, has plenty of libraries, allowing developers to interface with machine-learning frameworks like Google-developed TensorFlow, and the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK). But looking at the number of courses available online, and offline, one wonders which one would be an ideal course to master Python. Here comes Microsoft to the rescue!

Microsoft has launched a new 44-part series called Python for Beginners on their Developer YouTube channel. The playlist contains three- to four-minute lessons from two self-described geeks at Microsoft who love programming and teaching.

It's not for absolute beginners, as the name suggests it to be. But anyone coming from a programming background wouldn't take much time to pick up the lessons.

Microsoft has also published a page on GitHub containing additional resources, including slides and code samples to help students become better at Python.

The Python for Beginners YouTube playlist is curated by Christopher Harrison, a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, and Susan Ibach, a business development manager from Microsoft's AI Gaming unit.

Now you might ask how would Microsoft's benefit from all this? Well, Microsoft's own Python extension for VS Code is its most popular extension in the company's marketplace for developers. VS Code itself has also become hugely popular with developers. And as part of Microsoft's continuous focus on AI, the company has made VS Code available as part of the popular Anaconda Python distribution. But the main apparent benefit is that Microsoft can expand the population of Python developers using Azure for building AI applications.

The new course features a number of 'quick start' tutorials, including how to detect human faces in an image using the Azure Face API and Python, and how to use the Computer Vision REST API. Both are part of Microsoft's Cognitive Services.