My Journey into Python from Scratch
The last time I wrote some code was during my time at the university about 10 years ago, and since then, I only maintained a limited number of scripts, mainly Perl and Basic.
So I started reading some Hacker-News posts and job listings to see which languages were still needed and used today, what would be the easiest for me to re-start my code skill after so many years out? Finally I read this post by eddy chan and found that I fit into this story and decided that I would learn Python.
I have three main goals while learning Python:
- I hope my journey will inspire others to do the same.
- I hope my journey will eventually lead to me controlling the language.
- I hope this journey will create new opportunities for me.
So I clicked the first link that leads to Google's Python class and here it is: My Journey into Python from Scratch using Google Class:
The first tutorial page is of course the Landing Page- Doesn't need any skill yet, takes only a few minutes to read.
Second lesson, Python Setup- It took me around 2 hours since I thought to run it on a Virtual-Box setup but somewhere in the middle I realized it wouldn't be comfortable to run notepad++ and command-line on one screen, so I thought it better to use my 2 wide screens on my desktop.
Installing Python was easy and fast and I was ready for my next challenge.
Third lesson, Introduction- I read about the Python Interpreter (Nice feature) and did some debug like tricks, also read some notes comparingPython to other languages.
Later I did the first examples from this page and found myself thinking how easy it is compared to my c++ studies in U of TLV (OpenU).
My first real obstacle was understanding the boilerplate __name__ == '__main__' (the truth is that I still do not really understand why it is so complicated, but I am a good student and do what I was asked to do).
After reading some forums I understood why and how important is to use indentation correctly and that Google recommends to use <space> for better indentation, I prefer to use <tab> as I see the spaces better and clearer.
Anyway, reading this section and letting the info drill into my brain took me some time and effort and it was late at night. I knew that in a few hours my 2 baby boys would wake up for a new day that needed my full attention and so I called it a night and finally went to sleep.
The next day I was more excited than the day before and couldn't wait for the night to come, after work and after putting my 2 boys to sleep I opened the 4th lesson, String page- This is actually the first page where I was dealing with real code, handling strings and manipulating them.
I also learned the if Statement which is very important for any code.
It took me about 3 hours to learn the information on this page and then I called it a night.
After I finished learning strings I felt ready to do my first exercise- 7 functions which I was asked to write.
I decided to do it early in the morning when I was awake and not tired after a long day at work and dealing my children. So I took the exam on Saturday (Shabbat) and, to my surprise, I had successfully finished it after only 2 hours.
And now I am here, tomorrow I will probably start the next topic to learn- Lists. So far my impression from Python is that it is an easy language for beginners, it is an easy language to convert from C++ like I did, and I have found the internet very helpful with questions I've had during my studies so far.
Stay tuned for more lessons to come of My Journey into Python.
(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)