Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My 19 Days of Python: Interlude 1

OK, it happened. The engine stalled and I haven't been able to get it started again. One of the things I know about programmers is that they program all the time, whether they're at work or not. Some of them keep brutal, late-night hours banging away at the keyboard, trying to solve arcane puzzles and get their code to work.

But it's been over two weeks since my "stall" and I've been avoiding Python and this blog like cancer.

To be honest, I have also been distracted by other priorities, so it's not like I've been sitting idle, staring at a blank blogger composition page, and wishing the muse would whisper something into my little, shell-like ear.

In the meantime, I've noticed two competing philosophies that relate to my current project and dilemma: should non-programmers code or not code? Actually, opinions vary, but I guess it depends on why you're invested (or not) in non-programmers learning to program.

Don't worry. In my case, the chances of me inflicting any program I may write into a professional setting is non-existent. The only place I will (and have) publish the fruits (such as they are) of my labors is here among the millions of chimpanzees vainly attempting to recreate the complete works of Shakespeare (or maybe just a sonnet or two).

Today, I realized that I ran out of excuses reasons for not returning to this project. The only question now is if I should try to pick up where I left off, or go all the way back (not that the distance is exactly vast at this point) to Day 1 of Downey's book, and start fresh (No, I wont write "Day 1A" and "Day 2A" if I choose the latter option)?

The first step is for me to go over everything, including the comments that have been languishing, and see where I stand. Hopefully this will mean that Day 4 will be forthcoming.
"The single most important skill for a computer scientist is problem solving." -Allen B. Downey

1 comment:

  1. OK, I lied...well, sort of, about not writing Day2A. I'm not writing a blog post repeating Day 2, but I do need to make note of something. I decided to review the previous chapters and go through all of the exercises again to get everything fresh in my brain. I realized that I had "skimmed over" some of the exercises, and so addressed them a little more honestly this time.

    Exercise 2-4/3 seems like it would be easy, but in terms of doing the calculation in interactive mode, it seemed to require not only knowledge that the reader hadn't been exposed to yet, but the ability to remember something I had passed over.

    First of all, the solution I looked up online required knowledge of string formatting, which I don't recall at all, and you had to remember that Python performs floor division. Without that information, the answer won't come out right.


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