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Learn Python Episode #17: Default Arguments

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In this video we were going to discuss arguments a bit further, and we were going to move on to keyword arguments. Before we do that however, it is going to make more sense to cover default arguments first. So, let’s go ahead and write a function.

def print_something(name, age):
print("My name is ", name, + " and my age is " + age)

print_something("Nick", 27)

This won’t run. Remember, when we concatenate strings we must convert integers to strings as well. While we could use the str function to fix our code, it is much easier to separate the four pieces of data with commas.

def print_something(name, age):
print("My name is", name, "and my age is", age)

print_something("Nick", 27)

The results will be the same as if we converted the integer to a string and concatenated the four strings together. So, what happens if we only want to pass our function 1 of the 2 values? This is where we can use default arguments.

def print_something(name = "Someone", age = "Unknown"):
print("My name is", name, "and my age is", age)

print_something("Nick")

When we run this bit of code, Python will print out My name is Nick and my age is Unknown. As you can see, Python will default to the argument we provided it if no data is given.

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Learn Python Episode #16: Adding Arguments to a Function

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In this video we’re going to expand on functions, and we’re going to learn how to implement arguments into our functions. The following function is completely static.

def my_function():
print("This is a function!")
print("A second string.")

my_function()

We could call this function 10 times and each time it’s going to print out the same strings. So, how can we make our functions more dynamic? The way to do this is by adding arguments, and arguments go in the parenthesis at the end of the function name. So, let’s add two arguments in to our function.

def my_function(str1, str2):
print(str1)
print(str2)

my_function()

Now if we try to run this we would get an error. Python is looking for the values str1 and str2 and they are undefined. Let’s go ahead and define them.

def my_function(str1, str2):
print(str1)
print(str2)

my_function("This is argument 1", "This is the second argument which is also a string.")

Now when we call my_function it will print out the two strings. Let’s call the function again and print out two different strings.

def my_function(str1, str2):
print(str1)
print(str2)

my_function("This is argument 1", "This is the second argument which is also a string.")
my_function("Stringy", "Hello World")

As you can see, Python will print out all four strings.

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Learn Python Episode #15: User-Defined Functions

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Let’s get into user-defined functions. Now, every programming language has functions, however they are going to look different depending on the language. If you have any experience with PHP or JavaScript, functions in Python are going to look similar. So, we are now past the need to use terminal, and from here on out we are going to use our IDE. In addition to functions, we are going to cover a few of the PEP guidelines. PEP is basically a style guide for the Python language, and the first thing we need to do is drop down two lines from the top of the script. To begin defining a function in Python, all you need to do is type the word “def”. When naming functions we must be mindful of the PEP guidelines. With Python you will be using snake case, words separated with underscores, when naming your function.

def my_function():

Within the parenthesis we can pass parameters into our function, then we end the line with a colon. So, now we have a function but it doesn’t perform any actions, yet.

def my_function():
    print("This is my function!")
    print("A second string.")

my_function()

Now our function will print out two strings. Notice that our IDE automatically indents 4 spaces. When you indent in Python you are creating block of code. When we skip a line and remove the indentation, we are telling Python that our function is completed. Lastly, we will call our function. In the next video we will talk about arguments and how use them inside your function.

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Learn Python Episode #14: Builtin Functions

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In this video we are going to talk about a few of the built-in functions available in Python, and then we’re going to get into defining our own functions, and the different parts of a function. So, these are some basic (very basic) functions that we need to learn about. We are not going to get into any specific modules like the math module, or anything like that, I’m just going to demo a few basic functions. A few of these we have already use earlier in the tutorial series.

print
str
int
bool
len
sorted

In the next video we will begin building our own functions.

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Learn Python Episode #13: Variables

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In this video we are going to cover variables in Python, and as you may have guessed, a variable is an object that is variable in nature. So, why do we use variables in our code? Well, when we explicitly write strings they are not reusable. If I were to simply write “This is a sting,” I would be unable to reuse that line of code later on in my script. So, one reason we use variables is for re-usability. Another reason we use variables is for passing values into functions, but we will get into that in a later video. The nice thing about Python is that we don’t need to declare or define the type of variable. Creating a variable is as simple as this:

greeting = "hello world"

When you hit enter in your terminal or command prompt, Python will not output a response. However, when we call our new variable, Python will print out “hello world”

print(greeting)

Now that the greeting variable is stored in memory, we can make changes to it.

greeting = greeting.split (" ")[0]

If we print(greeting) now it will returns hello. We can write the following to return hello nick:

print(greeting + " Nick")

In the next video we’re going to be talking about some of the built-in functions available to you in Python.

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Learn Python Episode #12: Dictionaries

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In this video we will cover dictionaries in Python. In the previous video when we created a list we used square brackets and comma separated values. To create a dictionary we will use curly brackets instead of the square brackets. In a previous video I may have mentioned that we do not use curly brackets in Python, and that was a lie. What I meant is that we don’t need to wrap code blocks in curly brackets like PHP or JavaScript. So, let’s go ahead and define a dictionary.

{"name": "Nick", "age": is 27, "hobby": "code"}

As you can see, instead of just comma separated values we used in the list, the dictionary uses a key and a value separated by a colon. You can access an item in the dictionary like so:

{"name": "Nick", "age": is 27, "hobby": "code"}{"name"}

Python will then print out “Nick.” Dictionaries will be very important when we get to the JSON part of the course, because we will need to parse though a ton of data.

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Learn Python Episode #11: Lists (Arrays)

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In this video we are going to discuss lists and what they are in Python. So, if you have experience with programming in other languages, let’s say PHP, you know to create an array, and what an array is. For those who do not have experience programming, an array is a way of keeping data organized and within a single construct. For single-dimensional arrays, we can implement it as a list in Python. To create a list in Python we use square brackets:

["Movies", "Games", "Python"]

This becomes a list that has 3 indexes. To call the first item in the list you write the following:

["Movies", "Games", "Python"][0]

Remember, when programming the first ID of the item in a list or an array will be 0. We can also concatenate a list item with a string.

print("I Like" + ["Movies", "Games", "Python"][0])

If we were to change the index to number to 1 it would print out “I Like Games”. So, that is what a list is in Python. It’s just a way to create a collection under one variable. In the next video we will cover dictionaries.

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Learn Python Episode #10: Boolean Operators

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In this video we’re going to be talking about Boolean operators. So, what is a Boolean? This is a general programming concept, and a Boolean consists of two items – true and false. Basically, truth checking. So, let’s have a look at some of the ways we can generate a true or false. Let’s start with 5=5. In math terms this is true, but a single equal sign is used to assign a value to a variable in Python. When comparing two numbers or strings you will need to use double equal signs like so.

5==5

Python will return True. If we try 5==4, Python will return False. We can also write the following:

5 is 5

Python will return True. If we were to write 5 is 4, Python will return False. Similarly, 5 is not 4 will return True. We can also compare strings.

"I like pizza"=="I like pizza"

Python will return true. In the next video we will cover Python’s version of arrays which are called lists.

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Learn Python Episode #9: String Manipulation

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What are some of the fun and useful things that we can do with strings in Python? Go ahead and open up a either your IDE, terminal, or command prompt and follow along. I find that if you’re simply told to do something you may not remember the procedure next time. However, if you actually perform that actions yourself, it is much more likely to stick. So, the first thing we are going to cover is concatenating strings. Concatenating is essentially gluing two things together. Below is an example of concatenating two strings together:

"Hello, " + "Nick"

As you can see, you concatenate two strings by using the “+” operator. You can also use the string function to convert an integer to a string like so:

"This costs" + str(6) + "dollars

You can also perform mathematical operations within the string function parameter.

"This costs" + str(6+5) + "dollars"

So, how do we do the opposite of concatenation? We can split strings by using the “:” operator.

"Hello:Nick"

This all may not seem very exciting, and you may or may see how this could be useful, but you will see later on why concatenating is useful when coding.

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Learn Python Episode #7: Numeric Types

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Before we actually get into functional programming with Python we need to discuss some basic types, and then variables, and some other stuff. So, in this video we ‘re going to be covering numbers. So, what is a number? Well, I’m sure everyone knows what a number is. We have all been through grade grade school. For our purposes, there are two types of numbers – integers and floating points. A floating point is basically any number that has a decimal included in it. In this video we will write some numbers on the screen, perform a few mathematical operations, and convert numbers into strings.

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