I'd love to be able to tell people that I'm a brilliant computer programmer. I'm fascinated by computing, and I work in IT. I worship Linus Torvalds (creator of the Linux kernel) like a god!
Unfortunately, I can't honestly call myself a computer programmer. But, if I work hard enough at learning, I can become one!
A lot of computer programmers say that Python is an excellent first programming language to learn. Python has lots of libraries and functions that can make programming easier, especially for newbies. Python uses a lot of common sense English, and it's easy to read. Here's some typical Python code, for example:
for each_item in blogcritics_article_example:
if isinstance(each_item, list):
for nested_item in each_item:
Other programming languages, such as C++, look much more complicated to newbies. The Python philosophy is all about making programming easier, and fun. Guido van Rossum named the language after Monty Python! Python is also an excellent programming language because it can be used to develop applications for all kinds of different platforms — Windows, Mac, Linux distributions, and even mobile phones running Android.
But, even with my background in IT and web design, and Python's focus on usability, the prospect of learning Python greatly overwhelmed me. The first Python book I bought was a pocket reference book, and nothing in there made any sense to me. In fact, it kind of made my head hurt!
When Head First Python from O'Reilly entered the Blogcritics review item list, I jumped at the opportunity. I wondered, could this title actually make learning Python easy?
What sets Head First Python apart from other Python books and manuals is that it was designed with cognitive research in mind. The book is filled with handy charts and illustrations, a great help to me, as I'm a visual learner. Author Paul Barry filled the book with easily understandable language and an excellent sense of humor. The book also has a number of pencil and paper exercises. Research shows that when students write stuff down, it aids them with learning retention. It certainly helps me!