Exercise but no actual lessons!

Hello. I am trying to use Exercism but the exercises look like they assume that I know python. Where can I learn python before I do any exercises? I’ve been using Codecademy and they usually teach you a concept and then test you on it.

Hi @guyjabs,

You’re totally right, this is a weak point of Exercism that is currently on the roadmap to be addressed. As discussed in this thread, the exercises do indeed assume that the student is somewhat familiar with at least one programming language.

Until our Learn to Code series is launched, it is recommended to keep using Codecademy or the like to gain the basic skills, and then come back if you’re still interested once you’ve leveled up.

Sorry we couldn’t be more help here, but you’re still welcome to stick around if you’d like :slight_smile:

EDIT: For resources on learning Python from scratch, you can check out the links our maintainers have collected here: Exercism’s Track Docs

I have personally found the official documentation tutorial very helpful. Python was the first language I picked up when I began seriously learning to code, and I started there without any background at all. Within a few weeks I was writing my own simple programs, so I believe it should contain all the info you need.

It’s possible that you might be looking for something more engaging, and that makes sense. Written documentation can be kind of “dry” sometimes. While it may not be as high-quality as some of the other resources, I have found lessons on Sololearn to be a fun, casual way to pass time on my phone while waiting for appointments, etc. that I’d otherwise spend playing games or something, so I like to have the app installed in case I find myself stuck somewhere with nothing to do.

Freecodecamp and Automate the Boring Stuff are also highly recommended. And while I haven’t tried Microsoft’s Python Learning Path, I usually find their documentation to be excellent!


There’s hundreds of resources online to learn programming, and, depending on your learning style, some may work much better for you than others. Google does a half decent job of filtering based on popularity.

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Hey @guyjabs,

It looks like @porkostomus and @IsaacG have beaten me to getting your query answered (and done a great job of giving a bit of what the lie of the land is looking like for a learner!)

I personally used CodeAcademy as the starting point for me when I wanted to learn Go. I had a similar experience where the exercises made very little sense to me…but because I’d not learnt some of the fundamentals.

I’m sorry we couldn’t help you right at this point, but do keep your eyes peeled for our Learn to Code platform…


A very good point. Exercism takes a bit for granted that you have a basic understanding of how programming works. The languages which have “learning mode” makes it a bit easier since they have some documentation explaning the different methods. Currently Exercisms best usecase is to improve knowledgee in a language you already know or learn another language. It is quite hard being a newbie.

With this said I “started” programming with exercism and my basics come from exercism. With the samll caviat that I had done some less complex programming like very simple ardunio programming(c++) and scratch. What helped me get over the bumps in the begenning was that I had a friend who I could ask all the questions I had. Although you can use mentoring for that instead.

That freind also pointed out that a very important skill of being able to code is to be able to “google” in an efficent way. Therefore as I fast as I had a problem I started googeling and tried to find some documentation how to solve it.