What was your strategy?

MRAB python at mrabarnett.plus.com
Mon Nov 15 01:16:36 CET 2010

On 14/11/2010 23:53, Ben Finney wrote:
> Jorge Biquez<jbiquez at icsmx.com>  writes:
>> I was wondering if you can share what was the strategy you followed to
>> master Python (Yes I know I have to work hard study and practice a
>> lot). I mean did you use special books, special sites, a plan to learn
>> each subject in a special way.
> I find that my strategy with learning Python was similar to strategies
> for learning a natural language:
> * Use it, as often as feasible. Keep practicing.
> * Use it, as often as feasible, for real problems. The kind of problems
>    that I actually need a solution to will motivate me to learn when a
>    contrived exercise would not.
> * Additionally, seek out areas of the language I'm not actively using
>    and learn them too. This pretty much means I'll need contrived
>    exercises, but it guards against staying in a rut of the familiar.
> * Use it, as much as feasible, in public. Put my inevitable errors on
>    display where they can be discovered and suggestions can be made for
>    improvement. This has the not inconsiderable benefit of encouraging
>    humility also.
I'd also say: don't fight the language, but follow its idioms, and
listen to advice from those who know it better, because there's usually
a good reason why something is done this way and not that way. It will
all make sense in the end. :-)

> Those all worked well when I learn a natural language, and they work
> well for learning a programming language.
> After all, a programming language is a constructed language for
> human-to-human communication. It happens to have the additional
> constraint of communicating with computers as a side goal :-)

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