Python update

I haven’t posted about my Python learning curve lately. I’m giving it 8 hours a day (except the last 2 days I skipped because I was in so much pain from my pulled leg muscle). Learning something on your own is HARD. Learning Python on my own is hard. However, I am encouraged by surfing the internet and finding the blogs and pages of people who have taught themselves Python from scratch, so I know it’s doable. I’m moving along at a good pace for a self-starter. I thought if I could find one or two good Python curriculums to follow online that my work would be half done, but as it turns out, one curriculum that worked for someone else may not work for me. I tried “The great Python Mashup lesson plan – Elizabeth Wickes” but I really don’t like Codecademy or the book Python for Informatics, so I have cobbled together my own curriculum.

Basically, I’m using Pycharm Edu with its intro coursework and other lessons that are downloadable to my laptop. I’m also using w3schools.com/Python/, because I’ve learned HTML and CSS and some javascript from the W3schools site and I like how it works.

In addition to Pycharm Edu and w3schools.com/Python/, I’m also doing the Python3 Bootcamp: “Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3.”

It’s also important to read the Python PEP8 and the documentation that comes with the program when you install the software onto your computer.

So it’s a mish-mash of resources that I’m working from. Where I once felt so lost in learning this programming language, I now see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been so important to NOT SKIP A SINGLE DAY OF CODING. It really messes me up to skip even one day of Python practice. I have to reread the last few lessons. I remember talking to a medical student years ago about whether or not medical school is hard. The young guy was a 3rd-year medical student doing some work at University Hospital. He told me, “It’s not that it’s hard. It’s that there is such a high volume of stuff to learn in a short period of time.”

That’s true for learning Python. It’s not hard at all when you understand all the functions and syntax and the libraries that have so many built-in features that save you work. It’s the sheer volume of information that throws me off. I can’t yet say I’ve mastered any particular piece of information that I’ve been learning and practicing. However, I CAN say that it makes sense, and I have gotten over the strange feeling of being on another planet that I used to have when I first began learning Python. It is another planet, but I’m comfortable on that planet and have no trouble exploring the details and getting the lay of the land. Can I write big programs yet? No, but I can create functions to do small things like taking a string and turning every nth letter into a capital letter, etc. There are so many games to play that teach as you go along.

If you take nothing else away from this post it’s that you have to discover how you learn best and then find the tools and resources that you can use to tailor your learning experience. These are my resources right now:

– Pycharm Edu
– Udemy Python 3 Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3
– w3schools.com/Python

Have a terrific day!

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