02 Sep 2019
Angela J. Bryant
The Most Helpful Tips And Tricks For Python
Python is one of the most powerful and popular programming languages out there, but sometimes certain nuances of its possibilities can baffle even the brainiest, most experienced Python programmer out there. We all need a little help from time to time with this mammoth language, so this collection of tips and tricks should help you to keep on track with your learning and application of Python, keeping code to a minimum and effectiveness to a maximum.
If you need to measure the time it takes for your code to loop through, don’t mess about with counters and simple variables, because this will make everything far more complicated than it has to be. In reality, Python has a simple little module called Time which can be imported and used to create an end variable which can then be printed to tell you exactly what the time for the loop was.
“If you want to get rid of some duplicates from a list, there’s a really simple solution,” Mark Thomas, a tech writer at Last minute writing and Writinity, suggests, “just change your list into a set. It’s really that simple! Sets don’t allow duplicates, and you can simply use a command to turn your pre-existing list into a set in order to achieve this.” Once the list becomes a set, the duplicates will disappear, since sets are only allowed to be unique values.
Printing values alongside their numbers for their order in a list is called using the enumerate command, and it’s helpful for when you need to know the order of your list - winners and runners up in a competition, for example. In this case, you would use the enumerate command and find out who came first or last depending on their position in the list, which you should’ve already made sure was in the program.
Lots of words in a list sometimes mean that you want to or have to put them together somehow, and that somehow is the join command. It takes all of the elements from one list and squashes them together into one string variable, which can then be printed. If you were creating a program which focused on words and creating sentences then this would be the perfect command.
Printing File Paths
“For any imported modules that you have, you can easily find out their file paths within Python,” Reece Blake, a website admin at Draft beyond and Research Papers UK, states, “just by importing them and then printing them directly afterwards. This can save you time sifting through file after file trying to find your modules and remembering where you saved them.”
Dictionaries can be merged easily by a simple command which is very similar to an addition or, more accurately, a multiplication, since an asterisk is used - but two of them at once, and at the start of each term as it is assigned into a new variable. You can then print this new variable and it will be the old variables all put together, both sets, and merged.
Some calculations require or work better with different numbers of decimal points. A line of code can be added into the program which prints the number but formats it first, and one of the options is decimal places. For example, if you are doing a calculation which requires you to round all numbers to three decimal places, you could use this command and perform the calculation with ease.
Python can be difficult to learn, but it’s ten times harder to master. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will have introduced you to some new concepts within Python which will make your life a little bit easier, since they can speed up time you would’ve spent messing around with basic code or searching for specific lines of lists and numbers into Google, just trying to make your code work desperately - we’ve all been there. These tips and tricks should save you from writing out a few bits of laborious code and instead make your code one hundred percent working and one hundred percent efficient, instead of you having to deal with fifty lines just for an extra calculation or careful adding together of list over several lines which just isn’t needed.