time to invest ???

Grant Griffin not.this at seebelow.org
Mon Mar 26 06:54:44 CEST 2001

Yvon Boulianne wrote:
> Hello, i start to learn Python some day ago, with lot of knowledge as
> a system admin but little as programmer and i wonder what is the
> average time/hours someone have to invest to be able to use a language
> like that easily.  i talk as well about devlopping the way of thinking
> of a programmer and the knowledge of the language. please don't tell
> me theres no average, at least take the idea of a normal guy, not a
> genius and not stupid  ;-)

Guilty as charged.  Perhaps your experience will be like mine.

I "learned" Python in a day by going through the tutorial that came with
it.  Then, having "learned" it, I was able to write very simple
programs.  (My personal favorite exercise at this stage is writing a
Fibonacci function.)

I got nominally "good" at it in few months.  The main thing here was
learning the important library functions, and how to use them.  I
suggest you start with sys, os, os.path, string, re (and probably a
couple of others.)

My background helped a lot: I had been doing Perl and C++ for several
years.  If you aren't versed in scripting languages and object-oriented
languages, it might take you longer.

After six months, I think I was thinking somehwhat Pythonically, that
is, I began to really understand how things fit together.

Now, after a year, I say I'm "fairly good" at Python.  There was a lot
of study along the way.  I read two books ("Learning Python" and "Python
Essential Reference"), and I read a lot of web and newsgroup stuff.  I
also studied Numerical Python's manual.  (Not everybody needs that,

In hope to truly "master" Python in the next few years.  (That is,
assuming I don't find something better first. <wink>)

Python is simple, but still complex.  It has a lot of power, and can do
a lot of things.  The library and all the third-party modules are
extensive.  There's no getting around the fact that it takes time to
learn.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that it's "approachable":
you can learn it a little at a time, in layers, and you can begin to do
useful things with it within a day.  IMHO, it's very much worth the time
and effort, both in thems of what you can _do_ with it and also in terms
of what you will _learn_ from it.

> Thanks verry much and sorry for my english, my first language is
> french.

Tres bon! (Or whatever it is you people say. <wink>)

   -think-pythonic-ly y'rs,


Grant R. Griffin                                       g2 at dspguru.com
Publisher of dspGuru                           http://www.dspguru.com
Iowegian International Corporation            http://www.iowegian.com

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