Thursday, 14 February 2013

Python programming for novices

Is Python a good language to learn programming?

A question regularly posed to Slashdot followers is "how to become a programmer?" or "what programming language is the best to learn?" There are no easy answers because it is not easy to learn to program nor is there one best language for learning to program or to program 'professionally'. However a broad consensus exists that Python is useful both as language for learning how to program and as a programming language in its own right suitable for developing serious software applications.

A terminal session driving my python program.

Learn Python The Hard Way (2nd Ed) by Zed A. Shaw is a sufficiently challenging yet productive step-wise set of exercises that you can use to gradually learn both how to wrangle your computer and how to program. You will learn that the answer is both out there (thanks search engines and people who post to blogs or groups) so long as you ask the question, and within you if you work hard enough to discover and understand why something doesn't work the way you expect it to work. You will find that is an essential resource for understanding the whats and whys of Python, and Wikipedia an aid for learning fundamental concepts.

What python course does google use? Google's own python class offers a well paced introduction to the language (link)