Learning Python at home
Honestly, I had read so many blogs about learning to code in python, that I wasn’t sure if I will ever start learning. But then one day I went to meet a friend, and she had this crisp, yellow covered thick book on python lying across the table in her room. I asked her if I can borrow the book for a while to see if it can help me start this journey.
I came back home with the book and wanted to stall the failure of not being able to finish the course and decided to blame that on the unavailability of desktop since laptop screen is “limited space for coding”. But then a friend volunteered their spare desktop lying in the storeroom. And I felt good that the problem was solved, but I wasn’t sure if I’ll be able to study without any exam deadline at all!
So, I decided that I won’t expect to learn very much, but I will try to spend 2 hours on weekdays with the book in the afternoon. Surprisingly I did get through. I didn’t study every day, there were days when I took days off even in those 5 days, but eventually, in July, I completed 2 projects and read through the book’s core with python basics.
I have escaped learning to code since class 10th when I had the option to choose CS Vs. Biology, I chose the latter. What changed now? My location. All my life I have lived in Delhi and now I have relocated to silicon valley. So I decided to make the most of this location by exploring career options in Data Analytics/Science by starting with python. Last I tried to learn to write code was in 2018, when I took an R in marketing analytics workshop in college. It was a decent experience, even though I was pretty daunted by the numbers that were thrown around in the software. So the decision about learning to code wasn’t very sudden but gradual, like all real things in life.
Can I code like a ninja yet?
No. I am just not scared to take this more seriously and set tighter deadlines to learn more efficiently now that I have realized that maybe coding isn’t that difficult.
Things I did differently :
- I had a support system, in case I wasn’t able to understand or I was unable to find answers/get customized support on the internet with debugging.
- I created a trigger to start studying every day. Setting up a workstation, where only my python book was on the table to study left no scope to procrastinate. The routine to sit on the chair after breakfast to read newsletters and then ultimately the book was a game-changer.
- I didn’t put stringent deadlines, unrealistic expectations on myself. Even though I did have a comfortable and flexible goal of doing about 20 pages per sitting, rarely was I able to achieve the target due to unaccounted debugging time(that’s unpredictable as a beginner!)
- I felt comfortable with having a hardcopy in front of me to underline the shit out of the pages and refer to every time I needed to recall something. As opposed to online classes where everything is virtual.
- The reason why I started this book was to build a website to pull data from various sites and build my personal tracker. I am still excited about learning more as I inch closer to that with every piece of code I learned.
- I hate doing the exercises at the end of the chapters, but this time, I tried to do most of them to consolidate whatever I had learned.