Python: Some Beginner Questions

(Daniel Hollands) #21

As mentioned, this has been changed to streamline the site - I’d rather have one populated Coder category, than lots of unpopulated categories for each of the different languages.

I’ll see if I can find a good tagging plugin for the forum, that way you’ll not need to prefix the title.

(Joe Borg) #22

Yep, just noticed that!

(Andy Wootton) #23

I’ve discovered today that the ‘official’ Python tutorial is good. It’s at about the right level for someone whose programmed before in a different language but it doesn’t make any assumption about what that language is.

I’m really impressed with some of the constructs. This is the first time I’ve ever moved forward in language sophistication, unless you consider COBOL to be a programming language.

(Jim Gumbley) #24

Fwiw if I started a python project today I’d start with 3, unless I was sure I needed some edge case lib which was only supported by 2.*

Last time I kicked off a python project in 2013 we chose 2.* for all the reasons above but I think its turned a corner (slowly!) since then.

(Andy Wootton) #25

This has been recommended to beginner Python programmers by Steve Burrows on the BCS LinkedIn:

5 minutes in it warns you that it is for complete beginners to software. 10 minutes later there were some very interesting definitions I don’t remember hearing on my degree course. Interesting to see how MIT lectures look too. Rolling blackboards, no handouts. Now THIS seems familiar! “A lecture is a device for getting notes from the notebook of a lecturer into the notebook of a student, without passing through the brain of either”. Their appreciation of his jokes suggested this was still true.

[Update: I found it a bit slow in the first lecture but still heard a couple of interesting points so I dived forward to where they were casually throwing maths around. An MIT introduction is non-trivial.

I was very interested to find that objects were only introduced in Lecture 14.]

(Andy Wootton) #26

I highly recommend the last lecture that sums up what they covered in the course and explains what it is to be a computer scientist. It is the most convincing argument for comp sci being regarded as a proper science that I’ve heard. It also made me realise that I’ve rarely done computer science.

In the middle there is a bit of chat about his personal research into analysing heart problem data. My first choice of a final year project at Aston in 1981 was to simulate heart irregularities on a microprocessor, to train heart specialists to recognise them. I wasn’t allowed to as I hadn’t taken the numeric option of my course because I wanted to study AI. These guys were, of course, using AI. MIT now teaches AI in Python (well, it did in 1998 when the lectures were recorded.)

(Andy Wootton) #27

A new Google Python course