Resources for learning Python

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Ravenwing
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Joined: 02 Jan 2016, 02:51

Resources for learning Python

Post by Ravenwing » 07 Jun 2016, 23:55

For a number of reasons, not the least of which include my job needing me to rewrite someone else's code in Python, I find myself needing to learn how to code. I took a single quarter intro to programming class in college where we learned some basics of C++, but even after that I don't really understand what a pointer is or even exactly what it means to be object-oriented. Sooooo, I figured there seem to be a lot of programming and coding savvy people around here and thought I might ask you all for suggestions on resources to learn! Preferably free cause I'm cheap and don't need to know that much lol. I've already started with Zed Shaw's Learn Python the Hard Way and found that to be pretty helpful. I don't really understand his aversion to Python 3.x but he has helped me start getting over my phobia of the command line so yay. Anyway, any suggestions would be awesome!

aesylwinn
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Joined: 14 Dec 2015, 20:30

Re: Resources for learning Python

Post by aesylwinn » 08 Jun 2016, 06:53

Well, I can't really offer any specific resources for learning python, but I can offer some general advice.
1. Whenever you finish a tutorial or lesson, mess around with it a bit. You'll learn and retain more that way.
2. Once you have a basic understanding of how to code with python, try to design and implement a couple programs that interest you. For example, I believe it is relatively easy to code a screen scrapper and gather data from websites in python.
3. All the standard practices for learning anything also apply here. Take it at a good pace, don't burn yourself out. Try not to copy and paste code, especially if you don't understand it. Take notes and review them, and more stuff you probably already know. ;)

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raevol
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Re: Resources for learning Python

Post by raevol » 08 Jun 2016, 07:17

My big advice is just to have your eye on a medium sized project that you want to do yourself.

I learned the most programming (not that I know that much now, but still) from working on a tilescroller RPG engine written in LUA. Doing a project that was a couple hundred lines of code instead of a few dozen is really where you start to learn; how to organize, how to plan ahead, how to write stuff so it's reusable and efficient.

So if there's something bigger you want to write, get some basics under your belt and then tackle it. The process of messing things up and learning how to fix them on a project that's bigger than just a tutorial exercise is where things really come together.

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Zini
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Re: Resources for learning Python

Post by Zini » 08 Jun 2016, 08:29

This is a pretty good resource.

I can also recommend all YouTube videos by Raymond Hettinger about python (just do a YouTube search).

raven
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Joined: 26 May 2016, 09:54

Re: Resources for learning Python

Post by raven » 08 Jun 2016, 08:37

For me learning programming languages became much easier once I realized that it is all about processing data. You have some input and write code/instructions to produce some output. The rest is about memorizing language syntax.

Object oriented programming is just a way to organize your data and code. Some languages offer syntactic sugar to reduce the amount of code you have to write. But you can write object oriented code in any language.

The data you are processing has to be stored somewhere. This storage is called memory. A pointer is the location/address of the data in this memory.

The code/instructions you write to process data are also stored in memory. So you also can have pointers to it, which makes things much more interesting. :)

PS:
At some point you'll realize that code is also just data, and that you can write instructions to produce new instructions.

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Ravenwing
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Re: Resources for learning Python

Post by Ravenwing » 09 Jun 2016, 23:43

Thank you all for the recommendations and advice! I'm excited to be able to actually code some stuff!

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