Started Learning the Python Programming Language (215/366)

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”
~ Charlemagne


A while back, Nick created a school for me to go back to and study all the things I’d have wanted to if I were to back to college – but instead of taking all the “required courses” I was able to choose the things I was truly interested in.  One of the things I want to do is learn some programming.  I started out with JavaScript, but I learned it wasn’t super useful in what I was interested in.  We decided I should probably learn Python, as it’s used for writing a lot of tools for programs used in the film industry.  Nick learned Python in school and has several books on the subject, but I hadn’t gotten around to starting Python lessons until today, because Codeacademy has begun offering a Python class on its website!  Awesome!!!

When I clicked on the “Start Learning Python” button, I was brought to a screen that listed the different units of Python that were available on Codeacademy.  Right now, there are four: Python Syntax, Strings and Console Output, Conditionals and Control Flow, and Functions.

I started the Unit 1: Python Syntax course.  It begins on a page that outlines the different lessons in this unit, and the student’s progress.  Cool.  I like seeing how far I have to go (and how far I’ve come when I’ve finished certain parts of the bigger project).

The first section, “Variables and Data Types” begins with an intro to Python and a simple review of its structure.  It’s pretty funny, but all you have to do after this segment is hit the “Run” button to move on to the next section.

The next section deals with Variables and how to set them.  I appreciate how slow this first unit is, because although I have a tiny bit of JavaScript knowledge, this course is supposed to be for someone with “no programming experience” at all – it literally is learning a new language, so this is great for me.

The next section is Data Types.  They explain the difference between an “Integer”, a “Float”, and a “Boolean”.  Again, I really appreciate the speed at which this unit is being taught – when I started learning JavaScript, I actually never got an explanation as to what the different Data Types are (they also note that these are the ones we’re going to be concerned with right NOW, so it’s cool to know there’s more, but I just don’t really have to worry about it just yet).

The last section was on reassigning values to variables.  This seemed a lot easier than I thought it would be for some reason.  I am *not* complaining.

Yay!  I finished the first section of Unit 1.  Since the Python course is so new, there are actually a lot of glitches they’re working out and as of this writing, I wasn’t able to continue on to the “Whitespace and Statements” section.  Codeacademy does keep its website updated as to what they’re doing to fix the course, though – I’m excited to continue on with this class!


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