best way to learn

Geoff Howland ghowland at
Tue Oct 22 06:51:41 CEST 2002

On Mon, 21 Oct 2002 20:20:20 -0700 (PDT), ed <coo_t2 at> wrote:

>Hey all.  I'm a python newbie, but I have experience
>in other very high level languages, mainly php.  
>I was wondering what is the best way to become
>proficient in python quickly?  

I would say this is similar for all languages.  You should pick a
project that interests you, but is not so complex you cant just start
working on it, and that will drag you along having to learn the

>Should I get a book, if so which one?  
>"Learning python", "programming python", "python
>Or can I get pretty much everything I need on the web,
>like a lot of good tutorials and some good language references?

I found the python tutorial pages on the site, and the
modules to answer a lot of my inital questions.  So they are a good
part of it.

I also bought 'Core Python Programming' by Wesley J. Chun (Prentice
Hall) and it's been very useful.  I use its tables on dict/string/list
functions enough I should probably photocopy them, or get a memory.

>If I get a book I'd like to get one that works as a
>newbie tutorial but by the end of the book deals with some advanced
>topics and will also work somewhat well as a reference.  Is that
>asking too much? 

Might be, others may have advice on books that actually do this.  I
haven't found many that actually seem to work at the right pace for
the amount of material they have to cover in a coherent manner.
That's why I suggest the 'pick a project' method.  Once you've done
one, refactor it and/or do another and keep going.

Making things work in a non-trivial project will cause you to hit your
toe against quite a few walls until you find your light switch.  Then
new programs explore new territory...

-Geoff Howland

More information about the Python-list mailing list