The Python Challenge

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The Python Challenge

Postby DWH » Wed Mar 3, 12:44 2010

Ever wanted to learn Python? It's a cute little programming language, but I never learned it in college. Only now, in a job where Python is one of the most useful languages to know, am I finally getting around to doing it.

The question was, though, where to start? I mean, sure, I could look through the tutorial, and that would run me through all the basics. But it wasn't going to teach me the language, or challenge my problem-solving skills. Now, if you're not familiar with programming, that would still be an excellent place to start. Run through the basics before diving in, and all that. But once you're ready to really start learning how these things work together, the Python Challenge is an excellent way to do this.

I had a friend tell me about it, and I started working through it this week. The hints are vague, but so far I've found they're all solvable. Okay, so I'm on challenge 5 out of 33, but I can feel my brain stretching. Stretching in a very good way. Each challenge covers a Python concept, and as you go on the concepts start building on each other. So it's a combination of hunting for clues in the pictures and the page source (yeah, you have to look at the page source more often than not), and knowing what programming techniques to apply. I've been doing okay with my own programming savvy and Google.

Anyway, it is fun, and it is really awesome to feel victorious every time I solve a problem. I even did a little dance after the last one. I think I can totally solve the next problem by the end of today, too. And by making it so you have to solve each problem before you can move on, I've found I have become a lot more observant of details. And the folks who designed this are sneaky enough that the easy solution is never the right one- they want you to think about what it is you're programming.

So, yes! If you ever want to learn Python, if you're feeling up to it, you should definitely try this site. It is most excellent.
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Re: The Python Challenge

Postby Dragonrider » Wed Mar 3, 18:19 2010

Does it involve regular expressions?

Because I can do those.

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Re: The Python Challenge

Postby Mathmo » Thu Mar 4, 2:20 2010

:D @ DR

I've done a little bit of stuff in Python (coursework). I'm really not an experienced programmer AT ALL but it seems a very nice, user-friendly language.

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Re: The Python Challenge

Postby lizpoona » Thu Mar 4, 10:05 2010

I have never heard of Python in my entire life, but I totally figured out the first clue!

But then I got stumped and went to do other things, because I probably won't get very far having no idea what I'm doing. :-P
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Re: The Python Challenge

Postby meddling kid » Thu Mar 4, 10:22 2010

I did this challenge in high school, its tons of fun!

And trust me, it gets SO FREAKING HARD by the last couple of challenges. They are real brain benders, but its so very rewarding once you solve it. I highly recommend the whole challenge to anyone who wants to learn basic coding and feels their brain is getting slack :)
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Re: The Python Challenge

Postby darkliquid » Fri Mar 5, 11:18 2010

I need to pickup Python again, I used to use it almost exclusively about 4 or 5 years ago but when I got my job, I switched to Ruby and never had any time for playing with Python again. Wanting to pick it up since there seems to be far better library support for doing the things I want to do with it than with Ruby (like writing GTK apps, etc).

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