greenbeen seeks advice (24 recommended exercises)

Nick Perkins nperkins7 at
Fri Jul 20 10:08:24 CEST 2001

ok, but what do i do *after* lunch??

"Mike Brenner" <mikeb at> wrote in message
news:mailman.995542832.23503.python-list at
> Mike Brenner wrote:
> > > ... most programmers don't write programs that meet specs. Most
> > > programmer define greatness to be having fun while making money.
> > > To be great in that sense, instead of meeting specs, write the
> > > following Python programs (and for extra credit, do each program
> > > twice -- once using wxPython graphics, and once using Jython.)
> >
> > [snip list of trivial first-year programs ;-)]
> >
> > I think you left out one small thing.  How, by writing those programs,
> > fun it may be, would I make some money?
> >
> > Peter Hansen, P.Eng. peter at
> Hi Peter!
> I agree that the majority of those exercises are first year exercises.
> The 24 recommended exercises were for a person who stated they would
> like to BEGIN a career in programming. Upon completion of about 20 out
> of the 24 exercises they should be able to support themselves as a
> computer programmer.
> That is because they would have developed the basic Python and web
> skills required. They would also be able to transfer those Python skills
> over to Java or various mega-corporate languages.
> You appear to be a different case, because you put "P.Eng." after your
> name. People who have a degree or a professional license after their
> name ALREADY have a resource that can make them money. Therefore, a
> different set of recommended exercises would be needed to raises you to
> the next level of YOUR game.
> So, here are some exercises that you could probably sell to make money
> for yourself at your level. Each exercise suggests who you could sell
> the software to.
> 1. FAA. Do a multi-player Air Controller game with 50 Air Traffic
> Controllers controlling 10,000 aircraft in the sky over the country at
> one time flying 10,000,000 people between the airports and airstrips of
> a large country, preventing collisions and near collisions, both on the
> ground, while in the neighborhood of an airport, and in between
> airports. Maximize safety and Minimize passenger waiting time both on
> the ground and in the air.
> 2. NASA. Do a multi-object simulation game with 1,250,000 representing
> all of the space junk, meteors, asteroids and comets that might hit the
> earth as they bounce off all the gravitational fields of the planets.
> Determine when and if each object will hit the Earth or leave meteor
> trails.
> 3. Army. Program the BOLO Tank, fully autonomous weapon system, which
> according to the famous science fiction novel was invented by General
> Motors in 1990 and in 1997 rebelled against the Army and determined that
> the human race was the enemy and exterminated it. EXCEPT, program it to
> not exterminate the human race. Using satellite sensors, the Bolo will
> fly itself to any part of the world and shoot its target.
> 4. Space Com. Do a satellite game that shows the portions of the Earth
> covered by each satellite. Automatically pick the best satellites to
> communicate with, to sense the earth with, to send signals across from
> other satellites, etc.
> 5. Air Force. Do an advanced three dimensional pilot station for a new
> type of air-space fighter craft that acts like an airplane when in the
> atmosphere but like a space craft above 80,000 feet. Track the pilot's
> eyeballs to see what he is looking at on the radar scope. Read the
> pilot's blood pressure helmet to see when she is emotionally angry, to
> know when to fire the missiles. Integrate a bunch of radars, weapons,
> defenses, escape mechanisms, communication systems, control systems,
> backup systems, reentry systems, scientific research systems, satellite
> repair systems, and atmospheric measurement systems into the game.
> 6. CIA. Program a robot that understands English and obeys orders with
> the intelligence of an 8 year old, but who never gets bored.
> 7. Department of Clone Wars. Program a biological simulation of all the
> genes in a DNA molecule that predicts what kind of monsters or diseases
> will come out if you switch around a given set of genes.
> 8. Mobile-Phone Companies. Program an interface that lets mobile phones
> run applets, commercial windows software, commercial linux software,
> Python programs, http, ftp, etc., SECURELY on wearable internet phones.
> 9. Mobile-Phone Companies. Program a method of surfing the internet
> anonymously (including statistical anonymity) from mobile-phones.
> 10. Proprietorship. Make a much better Internet Search Engine that
> really understands natural language and finds what you wish.
> Hope everyone who reads this finds a project that raises them to the
> next level!

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