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Staying motivated? Share your story.
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Staying motivated? Share your story.
#1
Hello everyone.

I've been learning to program in Python on my own. Reading the docs, watching videos and doing a few projects. So far I've made a simple text combat-adventure game, and a program that checks a number to see if it is prime. While it was really exciting to see my programs work, and work without errors even when attempting to crash it with bad input, I'm having problems staying motivated. I've no idea where I should go from here, or what kind of programs would be of any real use to me. Perhaps you, dear reader, could share with me your story?

What types of cool projects have you worked on? Have any neat "Ah-ha!" moments while you were learning?

Also, was this forum coded in Python? lol & thanks in advance for your reply.
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#2
Quote:I'm having problems staying motivated.
perhaps programming is not for you.
I have always wanted to do more than I was capable of, and still feel that way fifty years later!
Every day brings some new challenge!
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#3
I like programming, and so far have had quite a bit of fun. It's just that I currently feel like a dog that finally caught something, like a squirrel or car, and have no idea what to do with it. That is why I wanted someone to share their story, or something.

If every day brings new challenges, perhaps you could share some of that as it relates to programming? Thanks.
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#4
I definitely go through stages of burnout.
As the fitness folks say, you need discipline, not motivation.
You will always have times where you lack motivation but if you have a routine you can work through that.

Personally, I would suggest things like doing coding challenges on leetcode or projecteuler. Perhaps solve them in a language you have never used before.

I also like picking out a language I don't know on https://learnxinyminutes.com/ and reading up on it.

Try a completely different paradigm of language. A little burnt out on Python? Go Learn you a Haskell for Great Good, and see how the functional programming masochists do it.

If you've made a text game (and I mean really made one) then maybe it is time to try some graphics.

Basically if you are doing something (other than spinning your wheels on stuff you already know) you are winning.
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#5
(Sep-15-2018, 06:37 AM)Mekire Wrote: I definitely go through stages of burnout.
As the fitness folks say, you need discipline, not motivation.
You will always have times where you lack motivation but if you have a routine you can work through that.

Some times I don't think other people realize how powerful their words can be. I agree with the sentiment that, as fitness goes, a fair amount of discipline is required. But being a dungeon master requires a bit of imagination, innovation. You're like a dungeon master in this regard, that when someone asks a question like this, it is a plea for help! You could use words of encouragement to get me through the Bog of Eternal Sorrow, or you could make it so I never see the sunrise again.

Like, I just learned programming, and don't think learning another language right now is a good idea. Would rather see what else can be done with Python first, before attempting to relearn keywords and syntax of another language, in addition to new concepts and methods. That seems rather daunting, like getting to the part where the swamp meets the forest, and being chased back into the swamp by a primitive and bloodthirsty elf tribe who speak an unknown language.

You're killin' me, smalls. <3

Quote:If you've made a text game (and I mean really made one) ...

I have! Did not just copy and paste other people's code. As part of my "fitness routine" in attempting to learn Python, I have vowed to not be lazy when it comes to generating the code itself. Took some time to really sit and think about how I would construct the code, to get it to do things and stuff, such as reject bad input. So far I've even got it, upon first start, to read from a text file an introduction! I was super excited about that one. A milestone for me when making the combat system, was using the time module in conjunction with modulo operator to keep track of turns. Some of this stuff might seem trivial or hacky, but I did it! (I'm not even using classes yet lol).

Being a bit of a gamer, already had an idea of how to go about doing some of it.

Quote:... then maybe it is time to try some graphics.

Would like to, but don't even know how to get graphics to come up on the screen. It's all just input and output on the interpreter interface lol. Not even sure where to start, and it looks like a hell of a task, but seems like the next reasonable step.

I looked at PyGame, and I mean only looked at the documentation and stuff. Haven't installed it yet. Thinking though, that just by looking at it, I'd have to rewrite a new game entirely. I'm cool with having to ditch what I now have in text only, and trade it for a fully functional death star. A man can only stay in the comfort of the swamp just so long. Also thought about using something more clunky like TkInter or WxGlade to build a GUI for my game, but, yeah... No idea where to start at.

Suggestions?
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#6
I began 2 weeks ago. Never looked into Python before then. I re-wrote my jobs invoice system using Python which was fairly easy due to the language being far more versatile than VBA. I began learning Python by working with excel and csv files. After learning to create databases and dictionaries (along with the basics. i.e. if/end, functions, classes), I was far more familiar with Python that I could honestly go in any direction I like. Whether it be developing a website or a new system integrated with ODBC and Databases. Working with Databases would be a great start considering a lot of companies have Databases now-a-days. Anyhow, Good Luck!
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#7
(Sep-19-2018, 06:50 PM)WuchaDoin Wrote: I began 2 weeks ago. Never looked into Python before then. I re-wrote my jobs invoice system using Python which was fairly easy due to the language being far more versatile than VBA. I began learning Python by working with excel and csv files. After learning to create databases and dictionaries (along with the basics. i.e. if/end, functions, classes), I was far more familiar with Python that I could honestly go in any direction I like. Whether it be developing a website or a new system integrated with ODBC and Databases. Working with Databases would be a great start considering a lot of companies have Databases now-a-days. Anyhow, Good Luck!

Thanks! Appreciate it very much.

I am actually attempting to write a program that keeps track of people who come in/out through a gate where I work as a security guard. Seems that logging the information to a database is the next logical step, with times and dates, and perhaps even a webserver that can display the information in a webpage for the business owner. I am actually super excited in getting this thing to work correctly, and progress is slow, but getting there is half the fun. I'll be using a Raspberry Pi 3B as the workstation, so that other guards can use the program to log people in/out.

Does anyone have any suggestions on technical books for programming, specifically in Python? Ones you felt were especially useful for x, y or z? Something with more advanced topic coverage than just "this is a variable" and the like. Think I've reached the limit of what I can get from "free tutorial" stuff, and it is a chore attempting to sift through all the web pages to get useful information.
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#8
I think mekire is right. If your doing the same type of programming and never jumping into the unknown, your not learning....and it can get boring.

(Sep-14-2018, 11:45 PM)Ceegen Wrote: , I'm having problems staying motivated. I've no idea where I should go from here, or what kind of programs would be of any real use to me.
I use to learn 3rd party libraries when i got bored. I would do pygame, tkinter or other GUI, then swap to web scraping, then networking, etc. They come useful later when you really need to program something and already know the process. Learn some BeautifulSoup, then the next time around, learn selenium, then learn CSS selectors, etc. When i got bored of doing web scraping i would go back to pygame. When i got bored of pygame, i went back and learned more of web scraping. When i got bored of that i would learn some GUI libraries. The list goes on and on and on.

Quote:(I'm not even using classes yet lol).
Learn classes. Use them. This should be first on your list.

Quote:Would like to, but don't even know how to get graphics to come up on the screen. It's all just input and output on the interpreter interface lol. Not even sure where to start, and it looks like a hell of a task, but seems like the next reasonable step.
That is the next step. If nothing else, make the text adventure just pop text to the screen.

Quote:Thinking though, that just by looking at it, I'd have to rewrite a new game entirely.
Converting a program to GUI that was not before is basically rewriting the entire thing. However this will teach you A LOT.

You also have 2+ heavy users of pygame here. Mekire and myself.

Quote:Also thought about using something more clunky like TkInter or WxGlade to build a GUI for my game, but, yeah... No idea where to start at.

Suggestions?
If you think your going to be making games, then i would start learning pygame from the start. However if you think you would be swaying more to applications, i would learn tkinter or WxPython (or any one of the GUI libraries). There are pros and cons to each library. So it really depends on what direction you think you are going.

Quote:Does anyone have any suggestions on technical books for programming, specifically in Python?
In todays world you can get all that content online for free. Just start Googling on the subject you are interesting in.

list of python resources:
https://python-forum.io/Thread-A-List-of...-Resources

list of game resources
https://python-forum.io/Thread-A-List-of...-Resources

collection of programming ideas
https://python-forum.io/Thread-Collectio...challenges

our tutorials section:
https://python-forum.io/Forum-Tutorials
Recommended Tutorials:
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#9
I started learning Python two years ago. My programming journey began with VBA in Excel *shudder*. When I started with Python, it was a breath of fresh air; I loved it and dove in. For months, I devoured documentation, small programming challenges, and tutorials. I Googled various difficulties I encountered and all too often sighed when I realized how simple my errors were.

After several months, I tried out Java. After studying it for several weeks, I shelved it and returned to Python with a newfound appreciation. A few months later, I branched out to Go (and loved it). Branching out to other languages gave me a greater understanding of certain concepts (such as privacy) which Python doesn't properly have. It also helped me comprehend some design patterns. Coming from a compiled language back to an interpreted one gives you a different perspective and it can improve your skills. Honestly, I'm a better Pythonista now that I've intensely studied and used a compiled language.

Now, I'm back to Python with a deeper understanding of programming in general and really focusing on my design skills. It's one thing to write a basic script; it's another to design a proper application with support files. I've been listening to the Coding Blocks podcast and reading Clean Code to broaden my understanding and skills.

One thing that helped me along my journey is looking back at my old scripts. A few months in, I had written a link checker in Python for work. It was effective and saved me a few hours a week when I got tasked with checking all of our links (don't ask). After studying and practicing for about eight months, I came across it and gave it a peek; at that time, I thought it was trash. I immediately critiqued it and chided my former self for poor design, not using functions and classes, etc. In that moment, I smiled and recognized how far I had come and improved. That kept me going because I knew then that I wasn't just spinning my wheels. It's about continual improvement and challenging yourself as some others have said.

I really need to get around to working with threads in Python. I did it a couple times in Go, but concurrency is one of Go's big selling points. Maybe I'll give it a try this weekend with something basic and goofy.
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#10
"I think mekire is right. If your doing the same type of programming and never jumping into the unknown, your not learning....and it can get boring."

I just started programming -- It isn't that I'm bored, it's just that I was having problems staying motivated. Needing motivation isn't the same as being bored! :D

From the perspective of someone who is just learning to code, it is a daunting task to trudge through the vastness of material on the subject of programming that is out there. On top of that, I've no idea what is good advice or bad, and so I thought that my best bet would be to come to the forums and ask directly. In my searches I have already come across bad advice from people who thought they knew, or from people who were only trying to get a pat on the head, who were called out by others more knowledgeable than they. (A theme of sorts on StackOverflow I noticed during Google searches).

But, It seems my efforts were not wasted, and I am genuinely glad to get all this advice from everyone. 100% what I needed, thanks everyone! Have given me hope!

"In todays world you can get all that content online for free."

To be more specific, I wanted a book to read for offline study. Forgot to mention that, sorry. Something along the lines of textbook material one would use in a classroom. Again, being as new as I am, I've no idea what is good, outdated or whatever the case may be.

"Just start Googling on the subject you are interesting in."

I'm so new, I don't even know what to search for lol. You don't know what you don't know, right? I have a general idea of some things, but the more I research something, the more terms and concepts I come across that I just haven't seen before. Soon enough, I'm researching stuff that was linked to stuff I was researching, based on the original research project. There is a ton to learn! In fact, there is so much to learn, when I first started I had to stop and ask myself "do I have ADHD?" (I don't). But jumping from topic to topic, just to understand what I'm trying to understand, sure made it feel as if I had it.

For example, I'd would read how to do a FOR or WHILE loop, and then see something related to nested loops and recursion, which would take me to something about regex, which in turn would bring me to memory management and garbage collection. Like when you start out on YouTube watching cat videos, but by the end of the night end up watching flat earth conspiracy theories? Yeah. Like that.
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