Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Python - How brilliant is that!

I recommend going to and just doing it. If not, just read the last chapter of the book, it's all available online for free. The last chapter gives advice from an old programmer, quote follows:

Programming as an intellectual activity is the only art form that allows you to create interactive art. You can create projects that other people can play with, and you can talk to them indirectly. No other art form is quite this interactive. Movies flow to the audience in one direction. Paintings do not move. Code goes both ways.
Programming as a profession is only moderately interesting. It can be a good job, but you could make about the same money and be happier running a fast food joint. You're much better off using code as your secret weapon in another profession.
People who can code in the world of technology companies are a dime a dozen and get no respect. People who can code in biology, medicine, government, sociology, physics, history, and mathematics are respected and can do amazing things to advance those disciplines.

 So, coding can be a secret weapon at work. Ever watched someone struggle to twist and warp Excel into doing something nobody would ever really want to do in Excel in the first place? Ever get a sinking feeling when another complex Excel boots up and fails to work, something not found some cell not right?

Python is designed to manipluate data at a very high level. Want to sort a list? Easy. Want to make a list? Easier. Having programmed only in C++ before it's a revelation to have it all "done for you" instead of having to create it all (standard library, what's that?) by hand.

Google, again, provide some great resources. Honestly, just watch this video and you'll know Python. Really! Or at least enough to have a taste for what it can do.

You can code. They cannot. That is pretty damn cool.

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