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FAQ: Python Online Course

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Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone, with or without previous programming experience, who wants to learn Python. There are three categories of students who can benefit from this course:
  1. The aspiring quant or data scientist who needs to become proficient in Python for school or to do their job.
  2. The 'casual coder' (i.e. a trader on a desk, an accountant, or hobbyist) who want to learn how to quickly write useful Python scripts to help with their day to day work.
  3. The hardcore programmer who would like to learn Python.
The practical projects, detailed code reviews, and feedback from dedicated TAs provide immense value to those who have previous Python coding experience as well, by instilling best practices, code structure, and techniques grounded in industry standards.

Should I take the Quantnet C++ courses first?

If you fall into category 2 above, then you may enroll in this course without any prior C++ knowledge.

For non-casual Python coders, a solid grounding in a 'hard' programming language is extremely important before learning 'soft' languages such as Python. This is vital to instill proper understanding of lower-level programming concepts and habits. C++ is the ideal language for this. From our experience in the field, coders who do not have a solid grounding in a language such as C++ prior to learning Python have far inferior coding skills (tangible and intangible) compared to those who have a solid C++ (or similar) grounding.

Consequently, if you fall into category 1 or 3 above, then C++ Programming for Financial Engineering must be taken prior to this course, unless you have multiple years of professional experience coding in C++. Advanced C++11/C++14 and Multidisciplinary Applications is not required to be taken before this course.

What is the learning format of the course?
The course is organized in 10 levels with access to the next level automatically provided when finishing the current level.

Once enrolled, every student is assigned a personal Teaching Assistant (TA) who will answer questions and grade the programming exercises and case study. A private forum is available to the students taking the course for interacting with the TA and with other students.

What is the best way to study for the course?
To best benefit from the learning format of the Python Programming Certificate, it is suggested that you study the material in the following sequence:
  • Watch all videos in a single level. You should proceed in the provided level order.
  • Read the accompanying materials, especially the 'Tips, Tricks, and Pitfalls' documents, which contain a lot of very useful, practical tips. Note that the 'Tips, Tricks, and Pitfalls' documents will be updated with additional tips based on students’ experience (feel free to suggest additions!).
  • Try out the examples demonstrated in the videos:
    • Try out the exact examples demonstrated.
    • Play around with the examples, make changes, etc., to get an intuitive feel for things.
    • The lecture example code is deliberately not provided (except in rare cases), as it is important to code things up manually to gain a better understanding.
  • Ask questions in the forum which can be answered by your TA or other students
  • Do the assignments for the level. Feel free to ask questions on the video or to the instructor (highly encouraged).
  • Take the quiz at the end of the level
  • Repeat from the beginning for the next level
What is the refund policy?
Full tuition refund is granted upon request within 14 days of enrollment. No refund is provided after that.

What certifications do students receive upon successfully completing the course?
Quantnet will issue a Certificate of Completion to students who pass the final exam and obtain a 70% or higher average. A Certificate of Completion with Distinction will be awarded to students with 90% or higher average. The certificates are electronic and will be emailed.

Is there a time limit to finish the course?
While students have indefinite access to the course materials, they have a maximum of 12 weeks to earn the certificate. Once enrolled, they are expected to submit the first level’s homework within two weeks. After the 12 week deadline has passed, students lose the ability to earn the certificate and lose TA support (can no longer submit homework for feedback/grade). There are no exceptions to this policy.

To progress to the next level, you need to finish all programming assignments of the current level and pass a quiz.

Do I have access to the materials after I complete the certificate?
You will have unlimited access to the private forum and the materials. This can be useful when you need to refresh memory and refer to the projects you have done.

What is the geographical location of the students who completed the Quantnet programming courses so far?
Programming certificates were granted so far to people on five continents: Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.
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Which software do I need to study for the course?
The teaching instruction by will be based on PyCharm and Anaconda/JupyterLab. The software is all available for free/open-source. Below are the links. The first lecture will demonstrate how to download/install PyCharm. Anaconda/JupyterLab will be demonstrated at level 8, for the data science component of the course.

There are versions of both PyCharm and Anaconda for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Any OS may be used.

What hardware do I need to study for the course?
A recent desktop/laptop, broadband internet connection.
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Course planner (suggested study time for each level)

Video Lectures
Approx Duration (hours)
# of exercises
Suggested TTC (12 weeks)
730:14Case Study2

Please note that the above is simply a recommended plan of study. There is no deadline to complete individual homeworks/levels -- you may work at your own pace. The only deadline is the 12-weeks to complete the entire course for the certificate.
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