January 23, 2011

Too Busy Writing About Python to Write About Python

Though the subject line of this post might seem self-contradictory it does in fact reflect why I have blogged relatively little of late, and particularly to the Python channel. I became something of a hermit towards the end of last year to put the third of a series of four Python classes into production with O'Reilly School of Technology.

Given that each class is required to represent the approximate equivalent of forty learning hours, I think we can agree I have been writing about Python. Just not in my blog.

Anyway, this leaves the fourth class, which will complete the basic certificate series. So now I have a somewhat different problem: in this last class I want to focus on making sure that successful students have all the fundamentals in their grasp as they set off to earn their livings or indulge their hobbies hacking in Python. I need to wrap the language up--encapsulate it, if you will--in a way that gives students confidence that they understand the whole thing.

In the past, various denizens of comp.lang.python (python-list at python dot org) have offered to help by reviewing existing materials, but I haven't yet cleared that with O'Reilly. Since I suffered some data loss around Christmas time those addresses aren't currently available to me, but I am hoping if I post a link to this article those who are still interested will make themselves known by commenting here.

If you have anything to add, dear reader, kindly do not hesitate to comment yourself. What bits or bits of Python could you absolutely not bear to be without? Techniques, patterns, representations, algorithms and documentation are all grist to the mill. Favorite pieces of code, and even descriptions of warts (but remember, this is a Python 3 class). Tell your friends, invite the gang around, wire in, have a party.

It would serve students well to have as many external links in the last class's lessons as possible, I think, as well as to offer rules of thumb and handy hints. All contributions making it into classes will be appropriately acknowledged.

Once the series is complete I then have to think about what other topics I might tackle. Or should I take a rest and blog a bit more?

Disclosure: the author of this blog will benefit financially from sales of the courses mentioned above.


Robert said...

The whole cert series in on Python 3?

Steve said...

That's correct - it is Python 3 from start to finish.

Unknown said...

- PyPI
- Python Cookbook (dead tree and online)
- PEP 0 and the PEP process (self-help for "why" and "why not" questions)
- python-list vs python-ideas vs python-dev

The last two could be bundled into a section on "How Python Evolves" (perhaps including a bit of info about the fact that a lot of Python out in the world is 2.x rather than 3.x)

Shivam said...


When is it starting ?

Steve said...

@Nick: thanks, some good suggestions!

@Shiva: The first three classes are already available, and I am working on the fourth right now. The goal is to get it into production for April.

Tommy said...

I'm working through the classes now! Great job and can't wait to see the 4th!

Steve said...

@Tommy: Thanks for letting me know. Glad you are enjoying the classes so far!