how to become a really good Python programmer?

Ray Cote rgacote at
Wed Jun 16 08:58:24 EDT 2004

At 1:06 AM -0500 6/16/04, Randall Smith wrote:
>I've been programming in Python for about 2 years.  I think it 
>offers the best combination of simplicity and power of any language 
>I have explored.  As I write more and larger and complex programs, I 
>need to code better.  By better I mean clearer, cleaner, more 
>efficient and maintainable.  As the subject states, I want to become 
>a really good Python programmer.  I learn most everything from 
>random examples and experience and that's good, but now I would like 
>some sound, directed guidance.  Following Guido around would be 
>ideal, but I will settle for a good book.  Any recommendations for 
>learning resources?

Hi Randall:
Some random thoughts in random order.

1: Write lots of code.
2: Show it to other Python programmer's for comment/criticism.
3: Show it to other non-Python programmer's who will question why you 
did it a certain way.
4: Write lots of code.
5: Read about Python, product design (not just software), aesthetics, style.
Python idiom.
6: Spend time in an art museum.
7: Go back and review, re-document, and redesign what you wrote last year.
8: Use other languages (Lisp, Java, Smalltalk, C++, C#, Perl, ...) to 
understand their approach to problem solving.
9: Test lots of code and try different approaches to solving the same problem.
10: Read lots of other people's code.
11: Walk through your code in the debugger.
12: Become familiar with one assembler language and walking through 
it in a debugger.
13 Become comfortable with Python idioms so your code 'looks like' 
the Python way to do things.
14: Oh yes, write lots of code.


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