What is Python?

I became a computer programmer in the real world two years ago. To mark this anniversary, I thought I’d talk about some of the things I learned during my time so far. But before we get to that, I think some background is in order.

My academic life included going to Iowa State University where I earned a B.S. degree in Management Information Systems. While there, they taught C++ and C# for the programming side of things, and Oracle/SQL for databases. After college, I got a job as a webmaster at an auction company. This wasn’t what I wanted, but it paid the bills. However, I quickly forgot much of what I had learned.

Thus, when I was in negotiations for my employment, they mentioned that I would have to learn Python, something I had never heard of. I bought a Python book entitled “Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner” by Michael Dawson. While I liked learning about game programming, the book is not well structured for someone trying to learn the basics of the language. However, it looked easy to pick up. And so it was.

Upon my employment, I was tasked with learning Python thoroughly on my own in about 2-3 weeks. Then I was supposed to take all the login scripts and translate them from Kixstart (another language I’d never heard of) to Python. We also use Zope and Plone for the company website and my boss wants me to learn that too. I still don’t get Zope or Plone, but I am beginning to understand them better and I can hack together very basic pages with it.

Next time I’ll give examples of some of the scripts that needed translating and their Python equivalents (or what I thought was equivalent anyway).