My brother-in-law is a recent materials science grad. He knows MATLAB but asked my advice on becoming a better programmer. I suggested he teach himself Python and then sent him this email:
Here’s what you need to know to get started with Python:
- It’s already on your Mac: open a terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.app) and type “python”, then keep Terminal pinned to your dock.
- You’ll want a real text editor. Sublime Text is good but asks you for money (you don’t have to pay). TextWrangler is less good but actually free.
- The official Python Tutorial is probably the best way to get started.
- The SciPy library effectively gives Python the same scientific capabilities as MATLAB.
Also, FYI, here’s “the” list of programming language dominance.