Pythons Duly Wrestled


We had our last “Wrestling with Python” session today. Simon, Robert, Warren, Mike and myself have been helping some teachers from local schools get to grips with the Python programming language. You can find the notes and exercises from the course here.

The six sessions have flown by (particularly the one that took place while I was in Seattle…) We gave out completion certificates and talked about continuing into the future. Everyone seemed keen to come back, which is nice.

The Python programming language is definitely growing on me. Of course my heart belongs to C#, but I do quite like writing Python programs. The C# language is a bit like your mum, always concerned with your welfare, fussing a bit but making sure that everything is just right. Python on the other hand is a bit like your crazy auntie who doesn’t make a scene if you forget to comb your hair and suggests going of and things like parachute jumps. She’s great fun to be around, but if you are actually looking to do something properly you’ll want to work with mum.

Actually I don’t have particularly strong opinions about programming languages. My concept of the “best” language is very simple. The best language is the one that they will pay you the most cash to write programs in. I will quite happily write JavaScript if the money is right. And I might even reprogram my keyboard to produce cash till sounds when I type so that I can remind myself why I’m doing it…..

With programming languages it is often a matter of “horses for courses” and I reckon that a proper programmer should have a good working knowledge of at least two or three, and be prepared to learn a new one if the occasion demands it.

Python is a great tool for learning, it is possible to “play” with Python code in a way that is rather fetching, and it was fun introducing the teachers to the business of programming. With a bit of luck we’ll do some more in the future. If you are a local teacher who wants to get involved in the next tranche of sessions, let me know and I’ll put you on the list.