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My Journey into Python from Scratch

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My Journey into Python from Scratch

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I have worked for 14 years in the High-Tech industry as QA doing manual testing in a manager position.  After so many years, I reached a point where I wanted to do something else, to write some code like I had initially planned, even though life had somehow led me down a different career path.

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:

  1. I hope my journey will inspire others to do the same.
  2. I hope my journey will eventually lead to me controlling the language.
  3. 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.

Take a look at an Indigo.Design sample application to learn more about how apps are created with design to code software.

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