[Newbie] How do I get better at Python programming?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Anon, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Anon

    Anon Guest

    I've gotten off to a good start for programming using Python (my first
    programming language). I can do the basics (different kinds of loops,
    variables, functions), but I'm not too good with classes yet. I've
    written some really small programs just for kicks (most involve
    statistics of different situations using random numbers).

    I'd like to get to the next level, but I'm not sure how. Are there any
    suggestions for continuing to learn? How did you guys learn?
     
    Anon, Mar 29, 2005
    #1
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  2. Anon said unto the world upon 2005-03-29 00:07:
    > I've gotten off to a good start for programming using Python (my first
    > programming language). I can do the basics (different kinds of loops,
    > variables, functions), but I'm not too good with classes yet. I've
    > written some really small programs just for kicks (most involve
    > statistics of different situations using random numbers).
    >
    > I'd like to get to the next level, but I'm not sure how. Are there any
    > suggestions for continuing to learn? How did you guys learn?



    Learning is a process and I'm far from done :)

    Python was also my first language (save for some BASIC long ago). The
    the single most useful thing for me was the Python tutor list
    <http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor>.

    Aside from getting helpful answers to your own questions, you can
    learn a lot just by watching. Early on, I didn't get much out of
    reading c.l.p, but the tutor list was pitched at a level much more
    appropriate to the understanding I had.

    Other than that:

    Write code. Read code. Repeat. :)

    Best,

    Brian vdB
     
    Brian van den Broek, Mar 29, 2005
    #2
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  3. Anon

    James Stroud Guest

    You've come to the right place.

    Lurk on this list for a while and read interesting threads. These guys here
    will teach you something. I personally learn about 2 new python concepts a
    day here.

    That being said, go back and read the "Python Cookbook, 2'nd. Edition is
    published" thread that started yesterday, some good books are mentioned.

    James

    On Monday 28 March 2005 09:07 pm, Anon wrote:
    > I've gotten off to a good start for programming using Python (my first
    > programming language). I can do the basics (different kinds of loops,
    > variables, functions), but I'm not too good with classes yet. I've
    > written some really small programs just for kicks (most involve
    > statistics of different situations using random numbers).
    >
    > I'd like to get to the next level, but I'm not sure how. Are there any
    > suggestions for continuing to learn? How did you guys learn?


    --
    James Stroud, Ph.D.
    UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics
    Box 951570
    Los Angeles, CA 90095

    http://www.jamesstroud.com/
     
    James Stroud, Mar 29, 2005
    #3
  4. Anon

    Steve Holden Guest

    Anon wrote:
    > I've gotten off to a good start for programming using Python (my first
    > programming language). I can do the basics (different kinds of loops,
    > variables, functions), but I'm not too good with classes yet. I've
    > written some really small programs just for kicks (most involve
    > statistics of different situations using random numbers).
    >
    > I'd like to get to the next level, but I'm not sure how. Are there any
    > suggestions for continuing to learn? How did you guys learn?


    Where programming's concerned it's never too soon to start reading other
    people's code, and fortunately there's a huge amount of Python about and
    available as open source.

    I personally learned a lot by reading the Python library sources that
    come with most present-day releases, and by lurking on comp.lang.python
    and seeing what was discussed. Now I have less time I still lurk, but
    there's always something going on.

    Finally, don't be afraid to think about problems you don't yet know how
    to solve. Stretch to grow.

    regards
    Steve
    --
    Steve Holden +1 703 861 4237 +1 800 494 3119
    Holden Web LLC http://www.holdenweb.com/
    Python Web Programming http://pydish.holdenweb.com/
     
    Steve Holden, Mar 29, 2005
    #4
  5. Anon

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Anon <> writes:
    > I'd like to get to the next level, but I'm not sure how. Are there
    > any suggestions for continuing to learn? How did you guys learn?


    I'd say look at some more general computer science books, maybe not
    Python based.
     
    Paul Rubin, Mar 29, 2005
    #5
  6. Anon

    Roy Smith Guest

    In article <>,
    Paul Rubin <http://> wrote:

    > Anon <> writes:
    > > I'd like to get to the next level, but I'm not sure how. Are there
    > > any suggestions for continuing to learn? How did you guys learn?

    >
    > I'd say look at some more general computer science books, maybe not
    > Python based.


    This is excellent advice. Software is really about algorithms.
    Programming languages are just a way to implement those algorithms. But,
    baby steps first. My suggestion would be:

    1) Find some problems in your daily life that you want to solve, and start
    writing Python programs to solve them (keep in mind, however, that not all
    problems in life can be solved with software).

    2) Hang out on this group and ask good questions (see
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html for some hints on how to
    do that).

    3) After you've spent 6 months or so mastering Python, go learn another
    language. Which one? I don't know, there are so many good (and bad)
    choices. Java, I guess. Maybe C# or Visual Basic, or even C++. The
    particular choice of which is not so important as the decision to learn
    another one. It's not so much that it's better or worse than Python, but
    that it's different, and in experiencing the differences you will gain
    insight into what both of them have in common.

    4) Here's the hard part. Every year, for the rest of your programming
    career, learn another language. Some languages you will learn because they
    lead to paychecks. Some you will learn because they're cool and different
    and it's worth exploring the corners of the envelope. Each one will teach
    you something new about programming.
     
    Roy Smith, Mar 29, 2005
    #6
  7. Anon

    Larry Bates Guest

    1) If you write for MS Windows Get a copy of Python Programming on
    Win32.

    2) Get a copy of Python Cookbook (2nd Edition just shipped). It
    has 100's of examples with detailed explanations of what the
    code does. It starts out with very simple recipes but by the
    end of the book you are covering very advanced techniques.

    3) Read the standard library documentation and source code. You
    can learn a lot.

    4) Read this list every day. I learn something daily.

    Larry Bates

    Anon wrote:
    > I've gotten off to a good start for programming using Python (my first
    > programming language). I can do the basics (different kinds of loops,
    > variables, functions), but I'm not too good with classes yet. I've
    > written some really small programs just for kicks (most involve
    > statistics of different situations using random numbers).
    >
    > I'd like to get to the next level, but I'm not sure how. Are there any
    > suggestions for continuing to learn? How did you guys learn?
     
    Larry Bates, Mar 29, 2005
    #7
  8. Anon

    Tim Jarman Guest

    Roy Smith wrote:

    > keep in mind, however, that not all problems in life can be solved with
    > software.


    +1 QOTW

    --
    Website: www DOT jarmania FULLSTOP com
     
    Tim Jarman, Mar 29, 2005
    #8
  9. Anon

    alex23 Guest

    Re: How do I get better at Python programming?

    Steve Holden wrote:
    > Where programming's concerned it's never too soon to start reading

    other
    > people's code, and fortunately there's a huge amount of Python about

    and
    > available as open source.


    I found the Cookbook to be especially helpful for this initially:
    digestable code chunks with plenty of explanatory text to provide
    context.

    _Dive Into Python_ is also great and should help the OP with
    understanding classes at least.

    -alex23
     
    alex23, Mar 30, 2005
    #9
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