Monthly Archives: September 2014

MOOCs, python, first step into a larger world

I’ve had a change of direction since I resurrected my blogging efforts. I have found 24 things to be pretty uninspiring I’m afraid. I’m sure many people get a lot out of it, but it’s not for me.

I have been keeping busy with my professional development though, and have been working my way through various resources trying to teach myself the program in Python.

I have previously started learning Ruby, and I’ve completed a couple of courses in Javascript and HTML/CSS through CodeAcademy.

Ruby I could never really get excited about, but Python I am really enjoying. It seems to me like it’s more mature as a language and so there are a lot more resources around to help the learner, be they structured courses or just examples and explanations on StackExchange.

So, here’s what I’ve been using to help me learn:

  • Programming foundations with Python – free course through Udacity, not very long, but a good introduction to certain aspects of programming, particularly the concept of Objects
  • Web development – another free Udacity course, much longer (I haven’t completed it yet), and steps through the process of creating a web application using Python and Google App Engine. The lecturer used to work at Reddit I think. The course assumes Python experience so it’s a step up from the first course. Very good so far.
  • A Byte of Python – a book written by an Indian programmer and blogger named Swaroop CH. ¬†Excellent starter book for learning Python
  • Learn Python the Hard Way – another book on learning Python. Focuses on doing lots of ¬†fairly repetitive ‘drills’ involving lots of typing. A bit annoying for a crap typist like me, but it does help the remembering process. Quite a Victorian approach to learning I reckon.

For the first time recently, I feel like I’m starting to really understanding programming, at least at a basic level. Not sure where I’ll go from here, but for now I’m just going to keep doing tutorials and MOOCs. It’s fun, so why not.