[BangPypers] how to learn programming

Kenneth Gonsalves lawgon at au-kbc.org
Sat Jan 17 13:06:30 CET 2009

On Saturday 17 Jan 2009 5:04:07 pm Chetan Nichkawde wrote:
>   The only way to learn programming is to program.

I have been writing code since 1986, but never considered myself a programmer. 
My code does what is needed and doesn't crash, but most of it is cut and 
paste and repair without really knowing what I was doing. This year I decided 
to do something about it. I remember reading somewhere about setting oneself 
small problems and incrementally increasing the complexity. Rather like going 
to the driving range of a golf course now and then to shore up the 
fundamentals. At the same time I am too busy (and not the type) to take a 
book and work at it from beginning to end.

At the same time I have to keep to deadlines and produce working 
applications - so what I do now is: Every day open the Python cookbook at 
random and work on whatever recipe it opens at. Try to customise it. Often it 
is stuff that I know (or think I know). I do it anyway - one recipe. 
Thorough. The first one happened to be writing a class to convert 
temperatures from any scale to any other - that took me three days exploring 
all the highways and byways it opened up.

Coding against deadlines does not really help one improve one's skills - the 
deadline is there, so one repeats what one already knows and resorts to ugly 
hacks and compromises. Also workarounds since there is no time to learn 
something new.

Kenneth Gonsalves

More information about the BangPypers mailing list