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Official Programming Thread

Old 12-05-2018, 11:18 AM
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So I'm just getting started with programming (Python) as I am taking a Python for Cisco Engineers class. A lot of this stuff is just simply over my head as I have little to no programming experience.

I'm doing what I can to pick up the language, and have started reading through this book:

https://ehmatthes.github.io/pcc/

Aside from reading and practicing, what are some recommendations on how to get better at this? What has worked for you? Any resources online that you have found valuable?
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:22 AM
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I really liked the tutorials at Codecademy unfortunately they jacked up their prices last month quite a bit.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:26 AM
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I used to have a Java book that I loved. Trying to find the author now to see if they made a Python one..

Other than that, practice was key. You always run into crazy real-word errors that are either difficult to teach in a book, or hard to really understand from simply reading about them. You need to experience them. And of course it always helps to have a project that you're actually interested in to keep motivation high.

edit:

Deitel was the author, and they do make Python ones also. I'm sure you could find an out-of-date one that current students aren't after for pretty cheap.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:26 AM
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Yea CodeAcademy is a great resource or just spin up a VM and load windows and VS on it and have at it with some YouTube videos as guidance.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:26 AM
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So the class you are taking, do you know networking?
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:27 AM
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I used a book called "Learn Python the Hard Way" or something like that.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattb16teg View Post
So the class you are taking, do you know networking?
Oh yes. I'm a network engineer and my entire life resides within the IOS / NXOS architecture. Going from that to programming and trying to apply it to the environments I currently support is just data overload for me. LOL. I really need to start with the basics and build a strong foundation.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:29 AM
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Use powershell/powercli daily.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:29 AM
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I started learning Python by writing automation scripts, it's a good way to get your feet wet too and very practical real world application

Start with a really small/simple script and start adding functionality to it
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by b20sedan View Post
I started learning Python by writing automation scripts, it's a good way to get your feet wet too and very practical real world application

Start with a really small/simple script and start adding functionality to it
I think this is a good approach. I guess I just need to be patient and just work through it slowly to make sure I'm understanding everything correctly.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeResp0nsible View Post
Oh yes. I'm a network engineer and my entire life resides within the IOS / NXOS architecture. Going from that to programming and trying to apply it to the environments I currently support is just data overload for me. LOL. I really need to start with the basics and build a strong foundation.
Ah ok, whew! Was gonna be like you are fighting an uphill battle for sure if you didn't know.
You'll be fine.

Originally Posted by The GreenD16 View Post
Use powershell/powercli daily.
Live in PS, especially the SharePoint SnapIn
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:35 AM
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Practicing is the big one. Reading seems good for an introduction but ultimately you're probably not going to remember the majority of what you read when it comes to syntax, libraries, etc. The best thing in my experience is just to pick some kind of project and then google things when you get stuck.

When I was getting started this book was a big help with getting my mind wrapped around OOP. Really only the first 4 chapters or so are probably all that are needed, but this book specifically helped me get from a point where I kind of understood the idea to feeling comfortable with it -
Amazon Amazon


Most of my experience is with C# but I've done a few side projects in Python too. Definitely would like to become more familiar with Python.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:50 AM
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Get an Arduino, just to play around with. It uses an abbreviated version of C (++? or just C?), but you get to see some of how the program text changes the actions. Plus, you get a cool toy.

I took a couple C++ classes in college, but changed majors - didn't think I wanted to make a living with it. But I still like it.

I've heard Python is much easier than C, so it may not be quite applicable. Otherwise, this is just a plug for Arduino, because fun.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:01 PM
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Yeah Arduino is similar to C. A Raspberry Pi might be more useful for someone learning Python though.

Originally Posted by The GreenD16 View Post
Use powershell/powercli daily.
Thank Nadella for WSL because now i can just open a bash shell instead of ever interacting with powershell.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by malix View Post
A Raspberry Pi might be more useful for someone learning Python though.
I thought about picking one up for this sole purpose. I tend to learn better when I have some practical way to apply what I am learning so this might be a good way to go.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by malix View Post
Yeah Arduino is similar to C. A Raspberry Pi might be more useful for someone learning Python though.



Thank Nadella for WSL because now i can just open a bash shell instead of ever interacting with powershell.
I thought so.

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Old 12-05-2018, 12:16 PM
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ya, raspberry pi would be good because you can add on accessories like the bluetooth dongle or camera to keep it interesting. that's what I learned python on
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:16 PM
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I liked Python. I did the Udacity coursework and it was great. Sadly, I did not retain it since I don't practice it day to day.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:20 PM
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yea I couldn't write a single line right now, but this thread is kind of giving me motivation to dust off the pi's. need to think of something fun to write though.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:31 PM
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I used Udemy for some courses (not Python) and I like them. You can always get all of their classes for only $10 regardless of if you have an account or not. Just go to the page in incognito mode or clear all your cookies, and it will always allow you to get all classes for the "introductory rate" of $10.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:32 PM
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Udemy is cool. I`ve used them when I was studying for PMP and they sell courses cheap asf too
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 5SpdH22 View Post
. need to think of something fun to write though.
If you're ever in need of ideas you can always re-write classic video games in something like Pygame. I've written my own version of old games like Tetris or Missile Command just for the practice.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:45 PM
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I agree with the suggestions in this thread. I would also recommend spinning up some headless Linux boxes on whatever laptop/desktop platform you normally use (if you haven't already done this). No need for the added hardware (raspberry Pi), unless you want them. Running local VMs would ensure that whatever you're doing won't be potentially destructive to the host OS. Also, any python (or Linux related questions), post them in this thread and I'll do my best to answer them I write automation code professionally, for what it's worth.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:00 PM
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Yeah, but the neat thing about Python on a Rasp. Pi is that you can do all kinds of stuff with cheap external hardware that hooks to the Pi. Spent $30 on this:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/sense-hat/

And I do all kinds of stupid/fun stuff with it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Todd00 View Post
Yeah, but the neat thing about Python on a Rasp. Pi is that you can do all kinds of stuff with cheap external hardware that hooks to the Pi. Spent $30 on this:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/sense-hat/

And I do all kinds of stupid/fun stuff with it.
His existing hardware is free :p
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