[Tutor] Why I'm learning Python (OT and long)

dman dsh8290@rit.edu
Fri, 31 Aug 2001 12:01:15 -0400

On Thu, Aug 30, 2001 at 10:27:42AM -0400, Bill Tolbert wrote:
| I spent some time reading Useless Python last night and went to bed
| totally depressed. I feel that even Useless is above my skill level. So,
| what follows is the story of why I'm trying to learn Python. Perhaps some
| will understand; some may be in a similar situation; some may want to send
| me money. Maybe it can become an installment for the soapbox on Useless.

As Javier said, you learn it little by little.  You read docs, you
experiement, and practice and you end up knowing the stuff that is
interesting to you.  None of us know everything.  In fact, computers
and software are so complex nowadays that nobody can ever know
everything about any given system, and certainly not everything about
all (or even several) systems.  Just keep on working and learning
things as you go.  Study the things that you find interesting.  You
can learn a lot on the web or mailing lists like this, and even
discuss the exact issue you are having difficulty with.

If you want to learn SQL, get a Linux sytem and try out PostgreSQL or
MySQL.  (I don't think they are availble for Windows, but they are
Free).  Then you can tinker with it with no fear of losing data (only
store data you want to tinker with and don't care if you accidentally
destroy it).  Get the manuals and tutorials and work it one step of
the way.  Find something the you think would be useful and try and get
it to work.  For example, take some snippet of a database that you
work with at work and try toying with it in a SQL database.  There are
even python bindings for PostgreSQL and MySQL.  Little by little
you'll start to understand it.  I read/skimmed through the Postgres
docs, and I understand very little right now.  However I know where I
would start if I had a need (or stronger desire) to learn SQL.

Whenever you sit back and think of all the things that various gurus
who have had formal training and decades of experience know you will
invariably realize that there is lots you don't know.  However if you
consider the things you do know that the "average" person doesn't, you
will realize that it is significant.  The ability to read docs and
learn (by trial and error usually) goes a long way to increasing your
knowledge and experience in incremental steps.

If you have some python code that you think could be designed better
don't hesitate to share it and illicit other people's opinions and
styles.  (Unless you signed some sort of NDA regarding it ;-)).