Python for Everybody, Everywhere

I am very proud to announce courses from my popular Python for Everybody (PY4E) MOOC series is now live and open for enrollment on edX. The series is composed of two courses, Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) and Python Data Structures – you can enroll in both and start learning today.

Back in 2009, my goal for PY4E was very simple: create the ideal first programming book and course for my students at the University of Michigan. There were lots of solid “beginning Python” courses that, in many ways, are not aimed at real beginners with absolutely no technical training, or math knowledge. So I created a course that does not try to teach Computer Science using Python but instead teach a subset of Python that represented the essentials of programming.

When I was originally building the course (in Python 2.0 at the time), I would not have predicted the exciting growth of Python and the success of the MOOC movement. Ten years later, PY4E has reached more than 2 million learners to become the largest Python course in the world, graduating thousands of new Python programmers every week.

As a result of its own success, PY4E is an incredible de-facto prerequisite for almost any Python-oriented course or MOOC. If a person wants to learn “Data Mining” or “AI,” and they have no Python background, they may quickly realize they need to step back and learn the foundations of Python programming. In other instances, students in a first Python programming course may find the technical perspective a bit daunting and can enroll in my introductory Python courses to build confidence.  PY4E helps to fill in the gaps by giving learners a complete picture of programming avoiding language that might be challenging for a beginning learner.

One way or another, PY4E has become the entry point into programming for hundreds of thousands of new programmers. Given the success of the course, free textbook and support materials, and free supporting website ( – my new goal is to share this introduction to programming with any and all learners.

That is where edX comes in.

PY4E is coming to millions of learners on edX, who are welcome additions to this growing community of Python learners and practitioners. I hope PY4E can serve as a low-barrier introduction to programming for edX learners prior to pursuing any number of excellent Python courses from great institutions. This is an exciting moment toward the goal of reaching as many learners as possible in as many countries as possible.

I’m excited to welcome the edX community to start their programming journey with PY4E. Enroll here today and let’s learn together!