[Tutor] self-learning Python

Julia midnightjulia at gmail.com
Sun Mar 9 19:03:14 CET 2008

On Sun, Mar 9, 2008 at 5:00 PM, Lowell Tackett <lowelltackett at yahoo.com>

> There's an essential (in my opinion) principle of learning programming
> that doesn't seem to have made its' way into this conversation.  I'll
> preface my thoughts by saying that in-again, my opinion- Michael Dawson's
> book, Python Programming for the absolute beginner is more than a
> book...it's a hallowed tome.  A lot of learning is not only absorbing stuff,
> but what I call (and I'm certain it didn't originate with me) "finger
> time".  That's simply spending time at the keyboard and vicariously
> interacting.  Things will come to you, but it needs hours and hours of
> fairly productive interaction.  Mr. Dawson's book provides that cycle of,
> 'do...feedback...oh, yea!' like nothing else available.
> Of course, a person is gonna need to jump away and do independent stuff.
> But this book provides concrete milestones from which to jump and apply
> concepts to independently thought up projects.
> That, after having used Mr. Dawson's book, and appreciating the solid
> grounding it provided me, is my humble opinion.
> Lowell T.
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> That was a really interesting post Lowell. Great feedback! I've thought
about something like this but I haven't been sure how to express it (English
isn't my mother tongue). You also set a better tone then I used in my first
reply. I apologize for it.

What you are talking about is very important. Succeeding and making
something work is a thrill and it will motivate one try even harder the next

For me "Beginning Python" provided a better ground for this learning
experience because I got to try many variations of the many important parts
of Python. I wrote the code from the examples and I saw it work. With Dawson
there where some really extensive examples but I didn't really understand
how the isolated parts worked. There where many more "oh, this is cool"
thoughts with "Beginning Python". I also believe that by using a more
technical book I gained an experience with the programming methology (e.g.
coding and debugging code).

What I am claiming is that the productive experience is greater with
Beginning Python than with Dawson. Don't be afraid of the big and more
technical books. They are big, but big means there's more fun inside.

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