Beginning with Python; the right choice?

Mensanator mensanator at
Sat Jun 27 00:09:04 EDT 2009

On Jun 26, 9:22�pm, " at" < at>
> Hi,
> As you can imagine, I am new, both to this group and to Python. �I
> have read various posts on the best book to buy or online tutorial to
> read and have started to go through them. �I was wondering, as someone
> with virtually no programming experience (I am a photographer by
> trade), is Python the right language for me to try and learn?

Yes, absolutely.

> I do vaguely remember learning what I think was BASIC on some old
> Apple's back in elementary school (circa 1992). �Would something like
> that (the name at least makes it SOUND easier) be more feasible?

No, go with Python. You can still get BASIC today, but it is usually
far different from what you saw on early Apples. If you have Excel,
try doing some macro programming to get a feel for what BASIC is like.
Excel's macro language is actually Visual Basic for Applications.
I use it extensively, not because it's a wonderful language, but
I have things that need getting done in Excel, such as looking at the
contents of a cell and deciding which of the Inhalation vs. Ingestion
TACO standard has been exceeded and performing formatting accordingly.

Nice to have that kind of power on your spreadsheet when you need it.

But away from Excel, I drop Visual Basic like a live grenade. I do
math research as a hobby and Excel even with VBA can't hold a candle
to what I can do in Python.

> If I do choose to learn Python, are there any tutorials for the
> absolute beginner. �I do not mean beginner to Python, but rather,
> beginner to programming. �Someone who hasn't a clue what object
> oriented whatcha-ma-whoozit means. �

I've been using Python for 10 years and have never once done any
object-oriented programming, so don't be intimidated by the fact that
Python has it. You don't HAVE to use it. Sure, it would nice to learn
it, but it need not stand in your way.

> I ask again because I understand
> that content is always evolving and there might be new tutorials out
> there.

I'm not up on what's available, tutorial-wise, but I'm sure others
will point you in a decent direction.

> Thanks!
> -Daniel Sato

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