Is it worth learning python?

Gerhard Häring gerhard.haering at opus-gmbh.net
Wed Aug 21 21:18:25 CEST 2002


Raphael Ribeiro wrote:
> I wanna start learning some real programming language (I know now only
> Visual Basic , but i don't find it interesting, sorry for the vb
> programmers, but this is my opinion).

Understandable :-)

> And I was reading some docs, which were talking about lots of programming
> languages, I saw there Python, and took a look at some python sites. I
> saw some snippets and read some docs and liked the language a lot. But I
> don't know if this language is well-accepted in the market and if having
> a good python knowledge would give me a good job.

As for the job market, Python isn't among the buzzwords that you'll find in
job descriptions most of the time. But software development isn't that much
about particular technologies, the important part is learning concepts. If
you learn Python, you won't be able to avoid learning (at least):

- Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
- Procedural Programming

There's a lot more concepts that you can learn while using Python, as you
advance a little more:

- Functional Programming
- Test Driven Development
- Dividing software into components

> I am only 17 and I'm only making plans, so if you have any suggestions
> tell me.

Ok, I'll try :-)

Learn concepts, not tools. At least in the long run, this will make you
more attractive to employers who have a clue about what's important in the
software industry.

There are some more skills that are especially important:

- Team work: dividing up tasks. Defining the interfaces up front to avoid
  blocking other team members who wait for you. Using a source code control
  system [1]

- Communication/efficient problem solving: not trying yourself for days to
  solve a problem that could be solved a lot more efficiently by calling
  the client or writing an email - I've had problems with this myself in
  the past, I guess that's not an uncommon problem for developers.

- Software reliability: that's a difficult one. IMO experience,
  concentration, unit tests, and always trying to improve on yourself help
  you achieve it.

[1] If you have some spare time you can learn that by joining an Open
Source project.
-- 
Gerhard Häring
OPUS GmbH München
Tel.: +49 89 - 889 49 7 - 32
http://www.opus-gmbh.net/



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