Diving in to Python - Best resources?


M

Matt Watson

Getting in the habit of dropping in a google group for any new project - everyone tends to be so helpful.

I work in the automotive sales industry(management) and find myself doing so many day to day tasks that could easily be automated. I'm a very tech saavy person, but after running in fear from a Javascript class in undergrad 8years ago I haven't ever looked back. I simply had no interest because I saw no applications.

Now that I have a solid career I see SO many applications for programming in my industry alone. Automating data movement/calculations from websites, spreadsheets, pricing, etc will be my primary use. I'm OK saying I didn't retain 1% of what I learned in the Javascript class, I've dabbled in HTML, I've tweaked code in Excel macros or AutoIt scripts, but I'd classify myself as a complete beginner in programming.

Like a kid, I learn by tearing things apart and watching them tick. I have started the Code Academy on Python, but I'm not sure a constant IV dosage of adderall could keep my attention. I also run into exercises that absolutely lose me and I have to spend 30 minutes googling a solution because the lesson and hints are useless.

My question to you guys is... for someone like me, what route would you take to learning Python? "Learn Python the Hard Way" sounds like a good route,but I prefer some testimony before I make a purchase. Again, I understand the details are the building blocks of programming, but I don't think I canhandle writing 10 lines of true/false (boolean right?) calculations on Code Academy only for the next course to speak a foreign language to me. Any other methods you would suggest? I've even considered auditing a college class if I can find one for Python.

Thanks in advance!
 
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C

Chris Angelico

My question to you guys is... for someone like me, what route would you
take to learning Python?


I'd work my way through the tutorial [1] then pick a work based project and
start right in. Ask questions along the way.

[1] http://docs.python.org/2/tutorial/

I'd agree, except that I'd use this link [2] instead, and a Python 3.x
interpreter. Unless you have a good reason for writing Python 2 code
and learning Python 2, skip it and go straight to Py3.

ChrisA

[2] http://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/
 
R

Rustom Mody

Getting in the habit of dropping in a google group for any new project -
everyone tends to be so helpful.
I work in the automotive sales industry(management) and find myself
doing so many day to day tasks that could easily be automated. I'm a
very tech saavy person, but after running in fear from a Javascript
class in undergrad 8 years ago I haven't ever looked back. I simply
had no interest because I saw no applications.
Now that I have a solid career I see SO many applications for
programming in my industry alone. Automating data
movement/calculations from websites, spreadsheets, pricing, etc will
be my primary use.I'm OK saying I didn't retain 1% of what I
learned in the Javascript class, I've dabbled in HTML, I've tweaked
code in Excel macros or AutoIt scripts, but I'd classify myself as a
complete beginner in programming.

It looks like
1. You are familiar with spreadsheets
2. Your work is spreadsheet-like

Why not develop that into a bigger strength?

Most people -- even those using spreadsheets -- dont seem to think of
the spreadsheet macro language/VBA as a programming language but it
is and it may well be all you need. This is written by one of the
biggest names in programming languages today

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/simonpj/Papers/excel/excel.pdf
 
T

Terry Reedy

It looks like
1. You are familiar with spreadsheets
2. Your work is spreadsheet-like

Why not develop that into a bigger strength?

Most people -- even those using spreadsheets -- dont seem to think of
the spreadsheet macro language/VBA as a programming language but it
is

Definitely. I once worked out how to do nonlinear regression with a
spreadsheet, after doing it with Basic (and later C).
 
E

Ethan Furman

Most people -- even those using spreadsheets -- dont seem to think of
the spreadsheet macro language/VBA as a programming language

Ack, are you trying to put him off programming again?!? ;)

Python us fun and a pleasure to use. VBA is not. (IMNSHO & YMMV)
 
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N

notbob

My question to you guys is... for someone like me, what route would
you take to learning Python? "Learn Python the Hard Way" sounds like
a good route, but I prefer some testimony before I make a
purchase.

You sound a lot like myself, in that you are easily frustrated. I
discovered long ago I'm NOT a programmer. I've dipped a toe into
basic, html, C, bash script, lisp, etc, but have never gotten beyond
the "pissed" and/or "bored-to-tears" level. Much of this is due to
almost every single book/tutorial/howto/etc having either mistakes in
the code or crippling omissions, requiring a 30 min search on the web,
jes like you sed. I hate that!

So, Learning Python the Hard way. I love it!! No mistakes. No
omissions. Everthing explained. I'm about a doz lessons in and the
author has me chuckling (he has a sense of humor) with pleased delight
after I successfully complete a lesson. I also use the 2.7.6 Python
Standard Library as a reference in case I wanna know more. I'm
enrolled in an online python course starting in Mar and I'm hoping
LPtHW will get me sufficiently primed. I think it will. I highly
recommend it.

nb
 

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