[Tutor] What was your strategy?
steve at pearwood.info
Mon Nov 15 00:13:07 CET 2010
Jorge Biquez wrote:
> 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 started by working through the book "Learning Python" by Mark Lutz and
I wrote lots and lots of little Python scripts and classes and
functions, to get a feel for the language. I must have started a million
different projects, and abandoned most of them due to time and distractions.
I spent a *lot* of time on Usenet, comp.lang.python (also available on
the python at python.org mailing list, I believe) reading people's
questions and answering them, and generally having an opinion on nearly
everything :) Any time somebody would ask a question that I thought I
*could* handle, but didn't already know the answer, I would call up the
interactive interpreter and try to solve the problem.
I learned to *never* post code unless I'd run it myself, unless I
clearly labeled it as untested or pseudo-code.
Be prepared to get told You're Doing It Wrong a lot. This is a *good*
thing -- you learn by making mistakes and being corrected.
I read a LOT of idiomatic Python code by the masters: people like the
timbot, the effbot, Raymond Hettinger, and many, many others. I read the
Python Cookbook and studied their code. If they answered a question, I
tried to understand how their answer was better than mine. Usually I
learned something. Sometimes I thought I knew better. Most of the time
that I thought I knew better, I learned that I didn't, and the rest of
the time it was just a matter of personal taste.
I spent a lot of time (and still do) looking up unfamiliar terms on
Google. Wikipedia is your best friend. The Python Cookbook at
ActiveState Python is your second best friend. The c2c wiki is *not*
your friend, but you'll learn a lot from reading it. Since 90% of the
discussions there are about Java, C or Lisp, what you'll mostly learn is
how happy you are to be using Python instead. But the other 10% of the
time will really stretch your brain.
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