What was your strategy?

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.com.pl
Fri Nov 19 05:23:29 CET 2010

On Sun, 14 Nov 2010, Paul Rubin 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). 
> 1. Read the tutorial http://docs.python.org/tutorial/ 
> 2. Start writing code, and encounter various issues as usually happens.
> 3. Refer to the other reference manuals, web search, and ask questions
>    in the newsgroup as you run into issues.
> 4. After a while you'll have hit most of the usual issues and learned
>    how to deal with them, and how to find resolution for new issues that
>    might come up.  That's about as close to mastery as one normally
>    reaches in this world.
> Python is a pretty easy language if you have a reasonable programming
> background when you first start with it.  I think the way it's currently
> organized, it may not be so great for self-study if you're not already a
> programmer.
> > I mean did you use special books, special sites,
> Nah.

Wow, exactly same strategy by me. Do you think it should be GPLed, by 
chance ;-) ?

I find this way of learning to be a bit hard (it must have helped that I 
was no beginner), but somehow none other option came to my head when I was 
approaching Python some years ago. I guess I'm not a good follower of 
various written "rules of engagement". So, after tutorial I jumped over 
the standard Python docs (module index, plus library & language 
references) until I found whatever was needed at the moment.

So choice of strategy depends on choice maker.

BTW, I think it was very important in my case to have specific program in 
mind, begging me to write it in Python. So learning was more exciting 
thanks to this.

I came to Python from some other languages, of which only C retains it's 
value to me nowadays. I consider myself kind of departed from Pythonland, 
in search of some other, maybe better alternatives - but it is quite 
possible Python will join C. I'm undecided, as I've not tried 3.x yet.

As a side note, I'm not quite sure Python is good for beginners. Yes, it 
is very simple and easy to grasp. And yes, it is a bit too simple, maybe? 
So a beginner learns to think in terms of nails and hammers, but may never 
hear of screwdrivers in his programing life. I may be wrong but, thinking 
of it, I feel it was good I have been exposed to Pascal and C (and few 
other things) long before Python. I would advise Python to casual/Sunday 
programers, knowing there is big chance they will never learn more than 
this, so Python is their best option IMHO. But in case of 
"serious"/"serial" ;-) programing, I would save Python for second or third 
language. I mean, I perceive it as rather "one way to do it" language and 
forcing this "one way" on unformed programer doesn't look good.

No offence. See? I'm still here.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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