Learning Python

Dearest nerdy friends: starting out learning python. My last scripting language was autoexec.bat. Recommended resources, sites, books?

Is that similar to Parseltongue?




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Notepad++ is a good text editor for Python, and has plug-ins to debug code.

I’ve heard good things about Code Academy. And they have a Python stream.


*Note - I’d never heard of Code Academy before last week, and have no idea as to whether or not they are actually any good at all.

I have been playing with Codecademy Python stream, and also grabbed a few of the ebooks floating around. There is a wealth of information available. Shocking, I know.

I was up early this morning to take my dad to the airport shuttle, so I’m trying to catch up to @Sunbeam at the Codecademy lessons before the kids wake up.

Fun fact: the last time I tried anything resembling programming was in 1995, pretending to learn Turbo Pascal in sixth period. The real highlight, of course, was just hanging out with my friends in the computer lab and flirting with a cute girl I liked.

…who so far has turned out to be better at Python than I am.


I’ve already gotten farther than I did in a year of high school. But I still haven’t caught up with my wife, who started later and was juggling my children all day yesterday.

At least for getting one’s feet wet, the Codecademy approach is pretty amusing.

Stop posting your Python code on my Facebook!

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It’s really odd seeing someone I know from here on my wall and making the connection.

OK, that was rather odd, yes.

About halfway through the Python stream. Quality definitely varies a bit on the instructions and the “grading” mechanism that checks whether you did what they wanted. Sometimes the hints are just a reiteration of the instruction, rather than anything that might help you actually do the task. Each task is linked to a Q&A forum where other people are struggling for the same answers, and often providing them, so there’s that.

Somehow or another I stumbled on [ipython][1], so there’s also that.

Edit: this sounds down. I’m actually still really enjoying this, though no matter how early I get up to play with it, my kids are awake 15 minutes later…
[1]: http://ipython.org/

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During game this Sunday, a friend of mine who does python recommended Mouse vs. Python as a good resource.

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I took a hiatus, so @sig is much farther along than I am now. :smiley: However, I got about 4000 words of a story written yesterday. I need to jump back in before I forget everything…

Finished the Codecademy.com stream. I have a modest sense of accomplishment.

Other things I have looked at or am using:

I have an ipython3 instance running on my Beaglebone Black; I’m using the notebook feature to store interesting bits of code and ideas as I go.

Also looking at Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science 2nd Edition in dead tree format, because sometimes that’s nice to have.

I :heart_decoration: dead trees.

Adding Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python here for further reference.

Also Project Euler, for after you figure out FizzBang.

There’s an excellent Python self-study course on the network at work, complete with a personalized ipython notebook instance to experiment with. It’s hard to overstate how cool this is in an environment where I can install nothing and have no internet access. Unfortunately, I have no real work need case for it, but I can play after hours or in between real things that I’m supposed to be doing.