[CentralOH] Python mentor

Christopher Bumgarner christopher.bumgarner at gmail.com
Tue Nov 16 01:31:49 CET 2010

Thanks for replying, Josh,

I'll try to describe some of the troubles I run into. The code I write at
first is ugly, usually consisting of lots of nested if statements. I can get
the code to work, but I'd want to refactor it to make it more readable
(i.e., get it to work without 9 levels of nested if statements). I haven't
been able to find a good resource on Python refactoring, so I have no idea
how to do it. Fowler's book on refactoring is of limited use because it's in
C. So I end up with code that I'm afraid to share because it's ugly.

Another problem I am having is learning existing applications so I can
contribute improvements. I have been trying to learn the hachoir project,
but it is quite complicated and tough for me to grok. Part of the problem is
the code is poorly documented, but I would like to learn it so I can write
the documentation (no one else will). I've tried stepping through the code
with Winpdb, but it doesn't seem to help.

I've read several python books, but I find it tough to learn because their
example code is far too contrived to be helpful. "Pizza.bake" is not
helpful, and "foo.bar" is 'FUBAR.' I mean, I understand what decorators do,
but I haven't found a book that tells me when to use them. Same thing with
generators. I'd really like to see a real world example of generators
(that's documented and easy to read) that actually solves a real-world
problem and not the Fibonacci sequence.

I feel that having a coach could help me over some of the hurdles.


On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:05 PM, Joshua Kramer <josh at globalherald.net>wrote:

>  Hi Chris,
> Can you describe what kinds of trouble you run into when you are building
> your scripts?
> I know that I have a lot more success when I have a debugger handy - I like
> using Eclipse and PyDev... it makes things go smoother when you can look
> inside the program and see what's going wrong.
> I'd be happy to help you out of the jams you might encounter, if you'd like
> to drop me a line directly, or on-list if you'd like to do that.
> Cheers,
> -Josh
> On 11/14/2010 10:45 AM, Christopher Bumgarner wrote:
> I heard some speakers at PyOhio mention that they mentor python students. I
> was wondering if there is anyone in the Dayton area interested in mentoring
> me. Or even anyone else who is willing to mentor remotely. I am willing to
> compensate, of course.
> As a brief background, I have a good understanding of Python syntax and
> basic OOP principles. However, I am having trouble building even basic
> scripts and applications. I need help overcoming this hurdle. Usually, when
> I get stuck, I end up losing interest. I don't want that to happen with
> Python. I'd like some coaching.
> Anyone interested?
> Chris Bumgarner
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