What was your strategy?

rustom rustompmody at gmail.com
Mon Nov 15 03:24:17 CET 2010

Jorge Biquez <jbiq... 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).

One of the basic mistakes that folks (kids?) studying a language do is
to study *only* the language.  I guess the mistake happens more in the
Java, VB type languages than in python but the mistake is pervasive
nevertheless.  (Its particularly dangerous with C++ which you can
study without mastering for a lifetime)

Python is obviously simpler/cleaner etc but still the mistake persists
of studying past the point of diminishing returns.  Specifically, an
intelligent person who has a background of other languages can get the
minimal,basic hang in a a day (not so intelligent and inexperienced
may be a week or two).  After that you need to study OTHER things.

Here is such a list

1. "python"
2. IDE (emacs+python-mode in my case, but whatever you use, learn to
use it)
       - debugger
       - introspection
       - ipython looks promising
3. CS
   - algorithms
   - data structures
   - 'theory:' FSM, complexity, computability limits, O notation etc
4. Operating Systems
   How python fits into the OS you are using
5. Paradigms
   - scripting
   - functional
   - oo
6. 'Advanced' Stuff
   - TDD
   - Profiling
   - C interfacing

The difficult part is studying this stuff independent of python and
then making the bridge.
eg. 75% of (typical) data-structure books deal with things like
'linked-lists' -- useless in python-- but the remaining 25% you need.

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