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Mastering Python

Hi everyone,
Can you please advice me. I have tried writing codes in my programming languages(C, Visual Basic, Java) but eventually i left them because i found programming difficult, i was just told that Python is easy. Can u please advice on how to master python well so that i will not have to get frustrated again. I am moving to work in bioinformatics. Pls tell me what is wrong with me ? why do i find programming difficult ?How can i improve programming in python ?
Thanks
Sep 5 '06 #1
4 1863
Every programming language is like learning a foreign language or musical instrument. The first language is the hardest (especially if it was C) and after that the difficulty steadily goes down after each language you learn. This is because all languages are similar in many ways, some more then others.

I went through the exact same steps youíre going through now. The thing is that you have to find the language that you enjoy. As an example python's structure forces you to indent which forces you to keep you syntax orderly? That was one of the plus sides for me. Also python is an object oriented language so you can just plug and play, and anything you import is package into a file like object that can be used to do what ever you want with it, no matter where you imported it from.

My suggestion in learning python is to either pick up a book. I just like having a reference book sit next to me while i work on stuff, so that i can refer to it quickly. You can also use online books such as:

Dive Into Python (Very good book for beginners and its free)
http://diveintopython.org/

Orielly's books are a step above everyone else i highly recommend them.
Also if you are going to any college they most likely subscribe to O'rielly's Safari books, just go through the schools either library website, computer science website, or research website.
Safari also has a two week free membership to view all their books for free for two weeks, just make sure you drop out of the program before two weeks or they charge you a subscription fee.

Also keep on going back to forums you can learn a lot, by trying to help people with questions and just reading solutions.

The biggest thing though is to have a goal in mind, such as a project or challenge you set for yourself. Say you want to make a program that makes it easier to transfer files to a different computer or organize your mp3s by name, whatever. A set project helps you to stay driven and is satisfying at the end. Plus it doesnít feel like a chore to learn because you are working on something you wan to work on.

Hope this helps, also Google and forums are you best friend.
Sep 5 '06 #2
bartonc
6,596 Expert 4TB
Every programming language is like learning a foreign language or musical instrument. The first language is the hardest (especially if it was C) and after that the difficulty steadily goes down after each language you learn. This is because all languages are similar in many ways, some more then others.

I went through the exact same steps youíre going through now. The thing is that you have to find the language that you enjoy. As an example python's structure forces you to indent which forces you to keep you syntax orderly? That was one of the plus sides for me. Also python is an object oriented language so you can just plug and play, and anything you import is package into a file like object that can be used to do what ever you want with it, no matter where you imported it from.

My suggestion in learning python is to either pick up a book. I just like having a reference book sit next to me while i work on stuff, so that i can refer to it quickly. You can also use online books such as:

Dive Into Python (Very good book for beginners and its free)
http://diveintopython.org/

Orielly's books are a step above everyone else i highly recommend them.
Also if you are going to any college they most likely subscribe to O'rielly's Safari books, just go through the schools either library website, computer science website, or research website.
Safari also has a two week free membership to view all their books for free for two weeks, just make sure you drop out of the program before two weeks or they charge you a subscription fee.

Also keep on going back to forums you can learn a lot, by trying to help people with questions and just reading solutions.

The biggest thing though is to have a goal in mind, such as a project or challenge you set for yourself. Say you want to make a program that makes it easier to transfer files to a different computer or organize your mp3s by name, whatever. A set project helps you to stay driven and is satisfying at the end. Plus it doesnít feel like a chore to learn because you are working on something you wan to work on.

Hope this helps, also Google and forums are you best friend.
I wish this guy had stuck around. He last visited 2 days after I joined. Dang!
Jan 8 '07 #3
bvdet
2,851 Expert Mod 2GB
EvanPMth made some excellent points. My favorite is to set a project for yourself - keep it fairly simple - and see it through to the end. You can get help on this forum if you need it.

Another suggestion is to peruse some of the threads on this forum, seeking out those that do not require external packages at first, and study the logic. Sometimes the code snippets you can find online can be very useful in your projects. One more - Use a Python IDE such as Pythonwin or Idle (there are many others) to write and test your code. HTH.
Jan 8 '07 #4
Hi everyone,
Can you please advice me. I have tried writing codes in my programming languages(C, Visual Basic, Java) but eventually i left them because i found programming difficult, i was just told that Python is easy. Can u please advice on how to master python well so that i will not have to get frustrated again. I am moving to work in bioinformatics. Pls tell me what is wrong with me ? why do i find programming difficult ?How can i improve programming in python ?
Thanks
Well obviously you will have to work with GUI's. But if I can give you some advice, learn Python very well. Another piece of advice, play a lot with it. The more you play with it, the better you will get it right and like programming more.
Another fun thing is using wxPython for GUI's.
Python is actually nice considering that you don't have to declare the types you are going to use. To learn to use GUI's, this website is the best: http://wiki.wxpython.org/index.cgi/AnotherTutorial, It gives some tutorials for the basics
Jan 10 '07 #5

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