Free Resources for Learning Python

A short, but hopefully growing list of free online resources that may help you learn Python. The default for these links is Python 3, unless noted.

Tutorials and Books


Python or bust!

And so after months of harping about how great it would be to switch from DarkBASIC to Python in my game design classes, the time has come to put up or shut up and start designing the class itself. It will be split in two, starting with Python and ending with JavaScript.

Now to figure out how all this is going to work…

A programmer, again?

It was in the summer of 1983 that I landed my first job. I was 14, and just out of junior high. The last vacation before high school, which seemed very uncertain because for the most part I didn’t do a lot of school work for most of the 8th grade. But my freshman year was still a full three months away, and my first paycheck was awaiting at the end of my two-month contract with the school district, which would be delivered when the task two classmates and I were hired to do.

We had to develop a database.

Now I know what to call what we put together that summer. Back then, the school district barely had a few computer terminals and a printer bigger than my mother’s car. My second job, a couple of years later, also involved writing and maintaining a database. In college I took a different turn and changed careers and never coded anything for pay. Not in BASIC nor Pascal nor any other language beyond those two.

Not until the need to do basic programming creeped up while developing web sites. Which is why I enrolled at the local community college to get some formal training on tasks I’ve long been doing and learn new skills I had skipped on for the past 20 years.

So now I’ve gone mostly full circle.

I start a new job this coming Friday. Not a full-time job, mind you. Maybe it’s not even a job. I will sign a contract for two months with El Centro College in sunny downtown Dallas, Texas, to work on an iPhone app for the college.

I’ll skip the part where I tell you what it is and what it does because I’m not sure how much I can reveal at this time (like anyone is reading).

The app is actually already built — most of it, anyway. It was built by the five students in the fall class and presented to the college as part of an assignment. They liked it and would like to see it finished. So here we are, two of the original five, to finish the product and push it to the Apple app store.

Very exciting.

Now there’s no excuse to not learn objective C, among other things.

Very exciting.

No list, but resolute nonetheless

The good news is that I resolved some time ago to work on two or three things at a time and I find I get more projects completed that way. Not a new idea by any means, but it’s something that’s working well and it’s really opening up some creative channels that were a bit corroded.

So now that the pressure’s off the resolutions, it wouldn’t hurt to jot down some ideas — a cloud of keywords — that will serve as a guide for the following weeks.

The iOS programming class I took in the fall was a fun enterprise and I was fortunate enough to have a solid team of classmates that really dove into our class project. We all learned new things, among them the fact that programming for the iPhone is not a mystery.

Early on in the class I found this inspiring nugget from TED Talks:

EDIT Another inspiring story, I’m sure there’s more to be found: