How To Learn Python Data Structures

Python is an incredibly popular, easy-to-learn programming language with a wide range of applications. Data structures are an essential aspect of Python, allowing users to store and manipulate data easily and efficiently.

Whether you’re new to Python or looking to deepen your understanding of data structures, this tutorial is for you. In this tutorial, we will focus on some of the basic, built-in data structures in Python, such as lists, tuples, sets, and dictionaries.

Step 1: Understand Lists

A list is a mutable, ordered collection of items. Items in the list can be of any type and can be accessed via indices starting from 0. Lists are created using square brackets [] or the built-in list() function.

Creating a list:

Accessing an item in the list:

Step 2: Understand Tuples

A tuple is similar to a list, but it is immutable, meaning its content cannot be changed once it is created. Tuples are created using parentheses () or the built-in tuple() function.

Creating a tuple:

Accessing an item in the tuple:

Step 3: Understand Sets

A set is an unordered collection of unique items, with no duplicate elements. Sets are mutable and are created using curly braces {} or the built-in set() function.

Creating a set:

Notice how the unique_numbers set only contains unique elements:

print(unique_numbers) # Output: {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Step 4: Understand Dictionaries

A dictionary is a mutable, unordered collection of key-value pairs. Keys must be unique and can be of any hashable data type. Dictionaries are created using curly braces {} with key-value pairs separated by colons, or using the built-in dict() function.

Creating a dictionary:

Accessing a value in the dictionary by its key:

Step 5: Use Basic Operations and Methods

Each data structure has built-in methods and supports some basic operations. For example, the len() function can be used to find the length of a list, tuple, set, or dictionary:

Methods for lists:

Methods for sets:

Methods for dictionaries:


By following this tutorial, you should now have a solid understanding of Python data structures, including lists, tuples, sets, and dictionaries. Familiarize yourself with these concepts and practice using them in your Python programs to enhance your coding skills and write more efficient code.