Newbie Looking for direction

Stephen Ferg steve at
Fri Sep 13 08:58:00 EDT 2002

Some thoughts...

Python is a great general-purpose language.  If your aim is to develop
just database-type applications, using a DBMS that everyone else at
your workplace has, then you are probably better sticking with one of
your database packages.

On the other hand, if you really want to get a taste of a real
general-purpose programming language, one that is not tied to a DBMS,
then Python is an excellent choice.

In my experience, most of the things I do have nothing to do with
databases.  I write a lot of little utilities, one-time quick and
dirty programs, etc.  All the stuff that you'd like to be able to
automate easily.  And for that, you need a programming (or scripting)
language like Python, just the way you (once) needed batch files or
shell scripts or JCL or whatever.  It is something every computer-user

So I would recommend that you continue to learn and use Python.  But
at the outset, you might want to avoid trying to do database
programming with it.  Play with the language a while, write some
little utilities in it, get a feel for the language.  Once you've done
that, you can decide whether you want to go on and do database
programming with it.  But of course, by that time, you'll also find
that Python has become an invaluable tool in your toolbox, whether or
not you decide to do database programming with it.  And you'll have
found that your concept of what you can do with a programming language
has become much broader than it was when you were programming only
with languages tied to a DBMS.

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