Learning Python.. (I just dont get it)

+1 Michael Marshall · January 1, 2015
Hi all,

Very new to Programming. thought i would give Python a go. really wanted to learn how to program my own apps/small games but i think im living in dream land.

i started to go through the tutorials on this site, which has been the best so far, but i just dont understand it.
to me it just feels like im using another text editor like word.

an example of my confusion is:

Varibles.  Tuna = anything                   a=b             Bread = Butter

Why not just type "Anything" or "B" or "Butter"???

and how does all this make a program once learned?  i no im jumping the gun abit as ive only just started the tutorials but im starting to forget all this stuff is teaching me already but i dont see how its important.


PLEASE dont get me wrong, i no its very important and i admire you guys that have taken it in. but should i just give up now?

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0 Snoopy_ Dog · January 11, 2015
Marshall,

   Relax, learning to program is difficult for most people.  I am trying to learn Python too, and I am having a hard time of it too, and I have used other languages, so I am not new to programming.

   When I want to learn something technical I use multiple resources.  Videos whet my appetite, but books are usually where I gain the most insight.  Asking questions fill in the gaps.  You have to write code, use code, in order to learn programming.  It's like math, you have to use it to learn it.  At least it is that way for me.   Also, I have to work on specific problems and solutions.  At the end of each chapter in good books, usually there are a set of exercises with solutions, that help you gain a better understanding of the chapter you just read.

   There are a lot of resources on the internet that can help you, here are some of what I am using:

   1.  I personally am sticking with Python 2, I can later learn 3 if I need it or determine it's better.

   2.  Here is a free book online that I find very useful:  http://www.diveintopython.net/

   3.  Here is a a few reference/cheat-sheets that may help you:



    4.  I would also look around for some exercises and solutions.  These will help you have a desire, and sense of accomplishment to actually write a program.

   5.  These forums and python.org can help answer you questions.

   6.  Lastly, if your goal is to become a programmer, find an opensource project that uses python.  You can read through bug reports, see how they are patched, see questions and answers, etc...  join in and write patches and contribute.  Use https://openhatch.org/ to locate python specific projects.

   I have a feeling, after a few weeks, this will look easier to you.  And you will be glad you persisted.

   I hope to see you at PyCon 2015 Montreal in April!  


Good luck,


Tone
0 Paul D · January 1, 2015
don't give up it is hard work to learn.  I don't know much but I am learning several languages and have been for years.  Work hard and you can learn.

variable Tuna = 10;

1 + tuna
6+ tuna
3+tuna
2+tuna
500+tuna

What if you reference tuna a thousand times in your code?  And now tuna = 20 and not 10.  Think about it, what is easier and smarter.    changing 10 to 20 a thousand times or changing the value of tuna once.  There is other reasons but that is just one example.  :)
0 Jordan Taylor · January 1, 2015
Hi Michael,

Don't give up. It's a process.

I think Bucky is a naturally gifted teacher and I'd say after taking other tutorials for many years his is the best I've come across so far. Some of the modules I get right away, and some I don't and I revisit them over and over until I get it. Sometimes I just write down the concepts that Bucky presents and I Google around until I come to an explanation that I can understand.

If I get stuck sometimes I just take another computer science tutorial (or any tutorial) just to give my brain a break. I don't think delving into other CS classes is so bad either. Even if you don't get the material the vocabulary will I'm sure come in handy eventually.

Variables are just that - they vary. Like in gaming it's like having a beginning life of 50. You get hit by an axe and now it's 40. X =50. Then X -= 10 and now it's 40. The X variable may be used all over the place, so it's not convenient to change the number all over the program. X might be used to figure out if your dead, to add to it if you get some life bonus, etc.

Good luck.
0 Michael Marshall · January 8, 2015
Sooo, ive got up to about the "Web Crawler" videos.
As usual i understand most of it but cant remember half of it haha.

Im thinking maybe i should download Python2?
Seems to me im going to be missing out on basic things thats in the Python2 section like 'Input' and stuff like that.

Also is it ok to ask a few question about the Python videos insted of making a new thread?

A few things i dont understand, like when you call a MODULE is it (Example: buckys favourite 'beautifulsoup4' Excuse my terminology, im not very good at remembering yet lol)

How do you no what codes come with it?

And when bucky does things like:

"Tuna.Something" How does he no 'Something' exists? Im guessing Tuna is a Varible and something is an operation of some sort but im not sure where the operation is comeing from.

I think he started useing these in the videos where you get text from internet or images/links and stuff.
0 Chris Nelson · January 8, 2015
Hey you are right on track!

However I might start a new thread for any more questions after this!

I would continue with Python 3. Although 2.7 is widely used. They are already talking about Python 4. Mean if you learn 2.7 you would be nearly 2 releases behind. Use some other video sources if you want to. But most of the Python 2 videos, should work with Python 3 as well.

As for the modules. I would suggest getting PyCharm. In PyCharm when you import a module, it will try to help you with things you get do with that module for example..


from tkinter import *
root = Tk()
root.title("My Window")
root.##PyCharm will try to give me a list of options I can use on root ##


What you are referring to is the dot notation. My example above is the same thing. However, it all depends on what module you are importing and using. For example if you import the time module


import time
time.sleep(2)
##Time, is the module, sleep is a command to stop the program on that line for 2 seconds.


You can only learn these by using them. And even then I am sure some people still need to look up exactly what you can call with them.

Hope that helps!
0 Michael Marshall · January 2, 2015
I have a habit of starting something and never finishing it. I REALLY want python to be something i can stick to and enjoy.

I totally agree, Buckys tutorials are by far the best ive followed. Ive started ready a few books and they went straight over the top of my head but with these tutorials ive managed to take the information in (even if i do quickly forget it)
Just need to stick with the videos and hope i start to understand how programs are formed with them.


Quick question.... What videos should i start watching for python.
Python or python 3? I think i started with python3 then when back to the original python section. (Another reason i may not be getting it haha)
0 Patricia Ghann · January 9, 2015
Please don't give up. I also just got started with python. 
You can create a variable by naming the variable  and assigning it values or  elements if you want
For  example
>>> tuna = [1,2,3,4]
When you press enter tuna is created and contains the numbers 1 to 4
>>>tuna [1] will give you the value 2
>>> tuna.append(5)
Will  add the element 5 to your tuna elements so you tuna now contains the element 1 to 5
tuna[:] and press enter will give you all the elements in tuna.

Please, please don't give.
0 Ryan Xu · January 2, 2015
Don't give up. Programming languages are hard to learn. Bucky is a very good teacher. Later, variables will simplify the amount of code you need to write. I had some trouble when learning Python, but Bucky helped me get through it. If you believe in yourself, you can do it.
0 Ryan Xu · January 2, 2015
If you installed python 3. something, use python 3, otherwise, use python
0 Michael Marshall · January 2, 2015
Yeah, i installed Python 3 something. Didnt no if i had to learn the first python section first or not, then the second section.

il go back to the Python3 section right now then haha. cheers for your replies everyone. im going to give another bash at these videos right now!
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