age of Python programmers

brianc at brianc at
Thu Aug 19 17:04:59 CEST 2004

20 on!

-Started doing HTML for school projects in 9th grade. 
-Program my TI-82 (basic?) to help me cheat in classes. 
--Failed 10th grade and dropped out of high school. 
-Messed around hacking computer games for a year. 
--Worked at a non-profit doing menial labor. 
--Showed I had aptitude for research. 
-Started with Excel and Access(SQL), writing macro's in VB. 
-Couldn't handle large enough datasets, started using MySQL.
-Started PHP and MySQL to enhance websites. 
-That didn't scale well enough for the large datasets I was
using, started using ZOPE. (If you live in MD, check this out,
  I designed/wrote the entire thing:
-Fell in love with writing ZOPE Python scripts to handle logic.
-Wrote python scripts for data manipulation as well then (a
lot of MySQLdb module work)
-Got an internship this summer in computational chemistry at a
pharmaceutical company. (doing high throughput docking)
--Use python for just about every project.
--Before I came they were using csh and perl (so I've had to
become familiar with them, yuck) to call proprietary software
that often doesn't work as advertised. 
--Started to become a linux power user (awk, grep, sort, uniq,

Now my question is... am I a programmer yet? or still just a
script kiddie? 

I've started to use classes regularly, so does that make it a
yes? However, everything I've written this summer has been 
take data-->do something to each record-->output data
That sounds like a script to me. 

However, I've created totally self contained "scripts" that
does stuff in minutes that other "professional" software takes
days to do. 

I'm not talking pushing a few SQL statements around like I
used to, now it's taking millions of possible drug candidate
molecules, breaking into chemically similiar sets, computing
comparison matices, doing fuzzy logic to decide which is the
best and in the end making sure the entire thing can run on a
128 processor linux cluster.

Am I a programmer yet? The only class I've ever taken dealing
with computers was 5 years ago on using CSS to ease webpage

Oi, sorry, tomarrow's my last day at this internship, I could
probably be knocking out 3-4 more python programs by then.=-)
Without Python, I wouldn't know where the hell I would be. 

Thank you all!

---- Original message ----
>Date: 19 Aug 2004 07:16:40 -0700
>From: steve at (Stephen Ferg)  
>Subject: Re: age of Python programmers  
>To: python-list at
>> Finally, someone in my cohort :-).  52.  
>I'm 58.  
>Started programming in 1979 -- 25 years ago.  Cut my teeth on
>Later COBOL, Pascal, Basic, Java.  For a while I liked REXX
very much,
>but it just ran out of steam.
>Been programming in Python for about 4 years.  
>Perhaps we have a two-hump demographic: youngsters in teens and
>twenties, and old farts in 50's.

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