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.

https://docs.python.org/3/

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 http://www.openculture.com/2016/12/learn-python-a-free-online-course-from-google.html