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July 9, 2007

Learning Python progress

A while back I mentioned that I will learn Python programming language. I have kept my word and made some progress. At a time of making this claim I had not realized how challenging it would be to learn a programming language. I have never taken a programming course before. I found that I lack even the most basic understanding of what is involved in learning a language.

I started my Python learning by reading tutorials by Alan Gauld. I got about half way through when I wanted to try to create something on my own. I also found that reading on the web for a long period of time get's tiresome. I thought that perhaps a book might help. I researched and red reviews on several Python books and settled on the one by Daryl Harms and Kenneth McDonald called the Quick Python book. I hadn't realized that the book is not meant for beginners. I found myself quickly over my head and bored. I needed a different way to get started. I needed to solve some problems.

Luckily I scrolled down on the python.org beginner resource site and found Guido van Robot. This little game captivated my attention for several weeks. The last assignment was quite challenging, but motivating.

Following my desire to continue learning from writing the code, I started working on LiveWires modules. Unlike Guido van Robot, the LiveWires module has you writing actual Python code. I was hooked. I completed worksheets 2-4. Currently I am working on the last worksheet which again proving to be quite challenging. Upon completing of the fifth worhsheet I will have created a game where robots are chasing a player on the board. The Livewires modules have taught me a great deal about functions, variables, if statements and looping. I am getting to get the picture of what programming is all about. I am still eager to learn Python.