My Journey into Python from Scratch
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The last time I wrote some code was during my time at the university about 10 years ago, and since then, I only maintained a limited number of scripts, mainly Perl and Basic.
So I started reading some Hacker-News posts and job listings to see which languages were still needed and used today, what would be the easiest for me to re-start my code skill after so many years out? Finally I read this post by eddy chan and found that I fit into this story and decided that I would learn Python.
I have three main goals while learning Python:
- I hope my journey will inspire others to do the same.
- I hope my journey will eventually lead to me controlling the language.
- I hope this journey will create new opportunities for me.
So I clicked the first link that leads to Google's Python class and here it is: My Journey into Python from Scratch using Google Class:
The first tutorial page is of course the Landing Page- Doesn't need any skill yet, takes only a few minutes to read.
Second lesson, Python Setup- It took me around 2 hours since I thought to run it on a Virtual-Box setup but somewhere in the middle I realized it wouldn't be comfortable to run notepad++ and command-line on one screen, so I thought it better to use my 2 wide screens on my desktop.
Installing Python was easy and fast and I was ready for my next challenge.
Third lesson, Introduction- I read about the Python Interpreter (Nice feature) and did some debug like tricks, also read some notes comparingPython to other languages.
Later I did the first examples from this page and found myself thinking how easy it is compared to my c++ studies in U of TLV (OpenU).
My first real obstacle was understanding the boilerplate __name__ == '__main__' (the truth is that I still do not really understand why it is so complicated, but I am a good student and do what I was asked to do).
After reading some forums I understood why and how important is to use indentation correctly and that Google recommends to use <space> for better indentation, I prefer to use <tab> as I see the spaces better and clearer.
Anyway, reading this section and letting the info drill into my brain took me some time and effort and it was late at night. I knew that in a few hours my 2 baby boys would wake up for a new day that needed my full attention and so I called it a night and finally went to sleep.
The next day I was more excited than the day before and couldn't wait for the night to come, after work and after putting my 2 boys to sleep I opened the 4th lesson, String page- This is actually the first page where I was dealing with real code, handling strings and manipulating them.
I also learned the if Statement which is very important for any code.
It took me about 3 hours to learn the information on this page and then I called it a night.
After I finished learning strings I felt ready to do my first exercise- 7 functions which I was asked to write.
I decided to do it early in the morning when I was awake and not tired after a long day at work and dealing my children. So I took the exam on Saturday (Shabbat) and, to my surprise, I had successfully finished it after only 2 hours.
And now I am here, tomorrow I will probably start the next topic to learn- Lists. So far my impression from Python is that it is an easy language for beginners, it is an easy language to convert from C++ like I did, and I have found the internet very helpful with questions I've had during my studies so far.
Stay tuned for more lessons to come of My Journey into Python.
Published at DZone with permission of Hod Benbinyamin. See the original article here.
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