Sunday, December 18, 2011

Alternate Paths: Python

In my sidebar I take you through the LAMP stack.  That is a bottoms-up approach, with a lot of learning along the way.  If it isn't a world tour of programming, it is at least a solid road trip.

But if you just want to program, quickly, it's hard to beat Python, and in particular the Dive into Python resource.

The strength of it is that you'll do some programming soon, and get a feel for what the activity is all about.  You'll get to see how much you like sitting with your butt in a chair, trying to make things work.  You'll learn whether the intermittent triumphs make it all worth-while.

The downside is that knowing just Python doesn't buy you a huge solution domain.  Yes, you can write small programs, and they may be useful to you, but it's hard to deliver pure-Python to other users.  You either have to embed them in a web page (as in LAMP, above) or make a full blown program, with installer, for a target machine.

On the other hand, LAMP is used on millions of web servers world-wide, and any LAMP skills you have will play across all of them.

Perhaps you should Dive into Python, and then if you like it, go for the full LAMP tour.

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