Python is a versatile, high-level programming language known for its readability, simplicity, and wide range of applications. In this quick guide, we will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of Python in just 10 minutes. Whether you are a complete beginner or looking to brush up on your skills, let’s dive into the world of Python programming.

This article was developed in partnership with London Data Consulting (LDC), the leading data consulting firm.

1. Installation

To start learning Python, you’ll need to install the language on your system. Visit the official Python website ( and download the appropriate version for your operating system. Follow the installation instructions, and you’ll be set up in no time.

2. Running Python Code

There are several ways to run Python code, such as:

  • Interactive Python Shell: Open the Python shell by typing ‘python’ or ‘python3’ in your command prompt or terminal. You can execute Python code line by line in this environment.
  • Text Editor/IDE: Write your Python code in a text editor or integrated development environment (IDE) such as Visual Studio Code, PyCharm, or Sublime Text, and save the file with a “.py” extension. Execute the file by running ‘python’ in the command prompt or terminal.
  • Online Python Interpreters: Use web-based platforms such as or Jupyter Notebook to write and execute Python code without installing any software.

3. Variables and Data Types

Python has several built-in data types. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Integers (int): Whole numbers, e.g., 5, -3, 42
  • Floating-point numbers (float): Decimal numbers, e.g., 3.14, 0.001, -7.89
  • Strings (str): Text enclosed in quotes, e.g., “Hello, world!”, ‘Python is fun!’
  • Lists (list): Ordered, mutable collections of items, e.g., [1, 2, 3], [‘apple’, ‘banana’, ‘cherry’]

To declare a variable, simply write the variable name followed by an equal sign and its value:

pythonCopy codeage = 30
pi = 3.14159
greeting = "Hello, world!"
colors = ['red', 'green', 'blue']

4. Basic Operations

Python supports various arithmetic, logical, and comparison operations:

pythonCopy code# Arithmetic Operations
addition = 5 + 3
subtraction = 9 - 4
multiplication = 6 * 7
division = 16 / 4

# Logical Operations
and_operation = True and False
or_operation = True or False
not_operation = not True

# Comparison Operations
equals = 5 == 3
not_equals = 5 != 3
greater_than = 5 > 3
less_than = 5 < 3

5. Control Structures

Control structures allow you to create conditional statements and loops in Python:

  • If-else statements:
pythonCopy codex = 10

if x > 5:
    print("x is greater than 5")
elif x == 5:
    print("x is equal to 5")
    print("x is less than 5")
  • For loops:
pythonCopy codefor i in range(5):
  • While loops:
pythonCopy codex = 0

while x < 5:
    x += 1

6. Functions

Functions are reusable blocks of code that perform a specific task:

pythonCopy codedef add_numbers(a, b):
    return a + b

sum = add_numbers(3, 7)
print(sum) # Output: 10

7. Importing Modules

Python has a rich ecosystem of modules that you can import to extend the language’s functionality. Some popular modules include `math`, `os`, and `random`. To import a module, use the `import` keyword:

```python import math print(math.sqrt(25)) # Output: 5.0

8. List Comprehensions

List comprehensions provide a concise way to create lists based on existing lists:

pythonCopy codesquares = [x * x for x in range(5)]
print(squares)  # Output: [0, 1, 4, 9, 16]

9. Error Handling

Error handling is an essential part of programming. Python uses try and except blocks to catch and handle exceptions:

pythonCopy codetry:
    result = 10 / 0
except ZeroDivisionError:
    print("Cannot divide by zero!")

10. File I/O

Reading and writing files is simple in Python. Here’s a quick example of how to read and write a file:

pythonCopy code# Write to a file
with open("example.txt", "w") as file:
    file.write("This is an example file.")

# Read from a file
with open("example.txt", "r") as file:
    content =
    print(content)  # Output: This is an example file.

Congratulations! You have learned the basics of Python programming in just 10 minutes. While this article only scratches the surface of Python’s capabilities, it should give you a solid foundation to start exploring more advanced topics and applications. Happy coding!


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