[Chicago] How did you learn Python?

Garrett Smith g at rrett.us.com
Fri Mar 6 19:50:11 CET 2009

I like a good book to get things started. IMO, the first chapter of Dave
Beazley's book is the best introductory material I've seen on any
language. I'm biased toward brevity though.


Python's a really, really straight forward programming language. The
hard parts are in how you use it -- but, duh.

To get a real handle on the language, I'd recommend picking a problem of
interest in and working on it. This could be a simple web site or a
screen scraping thingy or quote of the day engine or whatever. Dive in,
fiddle around, drink and have fun.

E.g. Josh Cronemeyer (list frequenter) dove into Python and wrote a
console history logging service on Google App Engine. Now that's the way
to freakin' do it!

To really, really grow in Python, I suggest reading code written by
seasoned (10+ years experience) developers. The safest and  easiest bet,
I think, is read modules in the standard library. In my experience,
reading code written by leaders in a development community is, hands
down, the best way to get up to speed on not just the language, but the
Tao of its ecosystem.

> James Snyder wrote:
>> This discussion makes me curious about something though...
>> 1. How many people here started as self-taught Pythonistas vs. 
>> learning it from some sort of course/workshop/guided instruction?
>> 2. Regardless of how you got started, have you taken some 
>> instruction?  Was it useful/helpful?

More information about the Chicago mailing list