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Posts about python (old posts, page 1)

Study, Day 1

Day 1 is an disaster of fantastical proportions.
I did lots of stuff.
But I got nothing of consequence done.
Save one big thing.
I managed to buckle down and study for six hours.
That counts as a win, a big one in my book.
Will hopefully get more done tomorrow.
If you are following this blog, the days might soon seem out of sync.
That’s because I’ve decided that Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are my days of study. Monday & Tuesday are for work, while Satuday and Sunday are for home and family.
I need to practice what I preach and have margins and boundaries in my life.

French

  • Created cards and a review sesion

Python Problem

  • I decide to tackle this first thing in the morn and sank like a stone.
  • I yak shaved for 2 hours (git issues, setting up a dedicated desktop space for study, rsync issues, syncthing issues, crontab issues, more git issues)and then took nearly another hour trying to remember things and then by the time I had some idea of how to tackle the issue, it was lunch time. Hopefully better luck tomorrow

The MITx, 6.00.1x, Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python course

  • I am hopelessly behind and playing catch up.
  • Already missed the deadline for the week one exercises.
  • Hopefully will be all caught up by this time next week.

I learnt

  • that iterables are things that can be counted. like beads in a string, or on a rosary.
  • strings are a form of iterable.
  • Bisection searches to find square roots are much more efficient than having to go slowly guessing our way up.
  • I should not compare floating point numbers (e.g. test for equality). Their internal representations might just be subtly different. Instead use the absolute value of the difference of the two floats. abs(x-y) instead of x==y
  • Start with a basic set of code, check to see what it runs on, and then see if small changes to the code can solve other similar problems or improve the efficacy of existing ones. (Newton-Rhapson better to find roots than Bisection guess better than incremental exhaustive guessing)

A Week of Python

Ok. Time to be a bit honest.
As you folks know, I have been trying to learn programming using Python since June 2017, when I joined the 10th cohort of DGPLUG’s Summer Training.
And time and again, I have failed.
Not just with programming, but with most other projects I tried to do.

At the end of my rope, I decided to just quit everything and considered (very seriously) a return to my old stressful career, thinking maybe that is all there is for me.

Two people saved me.

The first one was Kushal Das.
The man was absolutely bull headed about me being in the right place and that if anybody could do this, it was me.

The other was my better half.
Everyday I count my blessings and am thankful that I that she chose to share her life with mine.
She patiently listens to my frustrated rants and then tells me to just dust myself up and do it again.
That failure is not the end of the world.
And then she told me to do my physio.
And that I really could do this.

Just because you failed doesn’t mean you can’t succeed.
We all fail. Mentally resilient people realize that its not failure that defines your identity but how you respond.

Shane Parrish

So towards the end of last year I decided to focus only on one or two things at once.
And at that time it meant my 12th exams.
I studied really hard for three months.
And I did not finish studying.
And I am pretty sure I am going to bomb my exam results.

Then why do I sound so chirpy?

Because I realised Kushal and Abby were right.
That I can in fact learn.
The past four months have been an exercise in frustration.
But I learnt something new everyday.
I could test myself on what I learnt and realise that I did in fact know stuff.

Which led me to my lightbulb moment.
That I cannot do all my learning like those montages they show in movies.
All my learning came from stretching just a tiny bit, every day.
I learnt the basics of Accounts, and lots of Maths.

The difficulty of a task is irrelevant, if it’s vital to your success.

— Ed Latimore

And now that exams are done, I decided to turn my attention back to programming.
And so I made a big ask of Kushal.1
I decided to go to Pune, and try to pick up the basics of programming in Python all over again.
And he graciously volunteered to mentor me for a week.

And here I am a week later, writing all sorts of tiny little programs that do whimsical things and bringing me joy.
I obviously have miles to go before I can even grasp at fluency.
But this time, I am filled with hope and a good measure of confidence. It’s been a little nerve wracking and there’s been tonnes of head scratching and back stretching.
Kushal has been extremely patient with me, guiding me these past few days, making sure I stretch just the right amount.
And for that I owe him a mountain of gratitude.
Thank you so much Kushal! I hope to pay it forward someday!

I go back home now, and I’ll keep up the momentum with small incremental, regular periods of work.
I will log progress on the dtw blog where I can rant and rave to my hearts content.
My main focus will not be on results though.
Just to stretch myself everyday.
Improve myself just that little bit every day.
And then look back one day and be amazed at how far I’ve travelled.

The way you train reflects the way you fight.
People say I’m not going to train too hard, I’m going to do this in training, but when it’s time to fight I’m going to step up.

There is no step up. You’re just going to do what you did every day.”

— Georges St. Pierre

William Vincent’s list of programming books for 2019

Will Vincent, author of Django for Beginners and Rest APIs with Django has his list of book recommendations for the year.
Read the latest posts on his website to get at them.

If you are a learner like me and wanted a professionally filtered list, (as in too lazy to go hunt them down), this is a godsend.
He covers books on Django, React, Flask, & JavaScript and tutorials for Python, Django & React.

Also check out his year in review.

Thank you muchly, Will.


On Starting Summer Training at #dgplug

I started out with a very vague idea, of learning programming last year.

I went to Pycon India, fell in love with the community, decided to learn software, and came home all charged up. (Btw, I was so intimidated, I did not speak to a single soul.)

The plan was to sort personal issues, tackle a couple of major work projects so that I could then focus on learning, clear the decks and go full steam ahead come April.

While I made headway, I was also missing the hum and bustle of Pycon that had so charged me, but I did remember one session I attended, that had left me smiling was a sponsored talk of all things, by a certain Mr. Das. Off the cuff, naturally, warmly delivered.

So as I was looking for … someone to talk to, somewhere to belong, who comes along but Santa Das.

While that trip didn't quite happen due to personal reasons, we still kept in touch. (Why he would do that with a newbie-know-nothing like me, I don’t know. The man has a large heart.)

And when the new session of #dgplug was announced, I jumped at the chance!

To those not part of the dgplug summer training, read all about it here. The brave1 souls at the Linux Users’ Group of Durgapur take in a bunch of kids (and adults) who want to learn all about the magical world of software programming and give them tools with which they can paint on that vast canvas.

Our goal is to bring in more upstream contributors to various FOSS projects.
Through this training we show the path of becoming an upstream contributor.

— from the DGPLUG summer training page

Communication skills, free software projects, documentation, system administration, source code management, time management, conference proposals and obviously basic programming – the whole gamut is covered here.

So while any odd duck can learn on their own, the DGPLUG summer sessions will help you become a well rounded individual who can code and contribute to the world. A software finishing school, if you will :)

Kushal and the training and it’s successes have been featured in opensource.com time and time again.

A look at the guest speakers (including the all father of Python and the cream of the Indian Developer community) should be enough to convince you to come join.

It’s only been a week, and I’ve been having a ball! We covered communication skills, touch typing and the vi editor this week! If you hurry, you can catch up and work with us.

And for my new #dgplug family, here’s a little something, something2 about me to close this post with …

  1. Yes, I am obviously hiding my big, fat tummy in the pic. :) 3
  2. I’m like a poor man’s, still failing James Altucher.
  3. Yes, I’m a lot older than most of you. :) 4
  4. I’ve been at this IT thing a long time. (since 1997, in fact.) 5
  5. And yes, only now do I get the bright idea to learn software.
  6. I love the fact, that I get you to be my plus-minus-equal.
  7. You folks make me feel all warm and enthusiastic and welcoming and make me feel like I found my tribe!
  8. I’m still head over heels in love with my better half, and live with her in a cozy li’l Thane (Mumbai) home, not far from my parents :)

I look to learn so much from you and know so much more of you over the coming months. I wish you all make good art!


  1. (& foolhardy, dare I say :P ) 

  2. My grandma says that :) 

  3. dropped 7 kgs to 89. Only another 20 to go! 

  4. not necessarily wiser :P 

  5. land line telephone fixer boy, hardware tech support at small firm, hardware tech support at huge firm, freelance engineer, consulting engineer, consulting manager. 

Why Choosing an Appropriate License for Your Project Is Important, Anwesha Das’ Talk at PyCon India, 2016

Anwesha Das, over at Law Explained India, was one of the speakers at PyCon India 2016.


(Update: Anwesha rocked Pycon 2017 in Portland. The awesome folks there, seem to have put up the talks in near real time! Anwesha’s talk is here. Check out the rest, here. End update)


And she to me, is a shining beacon of hope, when it comes to actually making it as programmer in this community. All she does, and the way the community responds is heartwarming

A lawyer by trade and a nerd at heart, she along with her team of bravehearts rocked PyLadies at Pycon India. From what (admittedly little) I’ve seen, this fearless group seems to be the only active PyLadies group in the country.

More power to them! And I really, really pray, may their tribe grow! India could do with lots more women, who in my opinion are better at programming than us lads. (And were in fact the first members and drivers of the profession)


Anwesha Das.


Her talk involved around generating awareness about the various software licenses in existence and their application to out software projects.

Being well aware of the ignorance, apathy and/or the strong dislike programmers have towards anything that is not coding, she walked through the various licenses that we could use, illustrating each one with examples.

Notable, was the amount of work she put into a project, where she grabbed and sorted the various licenses for the top few thousand packages on PyPI and used that map to make her points regarding licensing. You can go have a look-see here. Not just that, she’s been filing bugs to push developers to adopt a license, in case they did not have one :)

The last third of the talk, (in fact, the meat and potatoes) was on Best Practices for Developers when it came to choosing licenses for the project.

You can actually go read all about it here

Her point, in summary, (besides the how to) was to be intentional about what license you’d choose, to be aware of it’s ramifications, not just on you, but on the users as well.

I hope, PyCon India puts her video (and also the others) online soon.

Thank you, Anwesha. You were awesome!