Author Topic: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)  (Read 1391 times)

TheShinyHorse

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« on: May 29, 2018, 09:58:12 AM »
Hi there,

It's been one year since I FIRED, I stopped working as an IT Project Manager at age 32. Since then I've traveled/read a lot, had a lot of fun. But there is still have a bit of a nagging (internal) feeling that I should do/build something. It would be nice to make some money as well, psychologically it's a bit hard to see my cash reserve shrinking. Most of my friends are really hardworking/ambitious and I'm becoming a bit alienated from them in some ways now that "I'm not really doing anything". It would also be cool to work on something again, feel motivated and productive. On the other hand, I want to keep my stress level low and be able to relax/travel for weeks on end, so I'm not inclined to go back to a "normal" job.

At the start of my career I have done some programming in Java/C++ (I'm an engineer) and I enjoyed it, even though I'm not really a software engineer. I wouldn't say it's really a passion (I don't write code in my spare time) but I had fun doing it...

So my idea would be to learn one or more languages, doing some freelance work (to pay the bills, accelerate the learning curve). Long term I could maybe cooperate with more experienced developers and build a cool product... I'm thinking about starting with Python, it seems that language is easy to learn, flexible, and it's used more and more...

I'm still not so sure what I want, but maybe I should just give it a try for a couple of months... Feedback, comments, ideas would be appreciated.
I know there are a lot of (ex) software developers on here, if they're interested in mentoring me, or just giving some tips here, or if they know of opportunities, that would be much appreciated as well!

Padonak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 288
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2018, 11:35:05 AM »
Ptf

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11852
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2018, 12:15:46 PM »
The only real way to learn to code is to do it.

Come up with a project that seems fun, and make it happen.  Try to start with a simple project first (write a gym timer for doing intervals or something - ten to fifteen hours depending on the complexity of your UI), and work your way up to more involved things (write a video game, contribute to an open source project) that will take thousands of hours.

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1053
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 03:42:01 PM »
PM'd you today.  I've trained Python developers in my professional life.

toganet

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Buffalo, NY
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 08:47:22 AM »
I'm in a similar boat, but pre-FIRE.  I was a developer near the beginning of my career but moved into more managerial / operational roles so my skills atrophied.  I started picking up Python about a year ago, with the intent of picking up some side work now to accelerate FIRE, and as an option for post-FIRE income & creative outlet.

There are a ton of free Python online classes out there, some better than others. I like this one: https://www.udacity.com/course/introduction-to-python--ud1110  I did a few others that were more Django-centric, which helped me gain some confidence as well. 

Also helpful:
https://www.hackerrank.com/ (for practice)
My local Python Meetup group

Python is a good "gateway drug" into programming, but I'll say as someone who hires software engineers that having a rounded skillset is important to getting work AND getting things done.  So once you have your feet under you, you will want to learn some amount of other technologies like SQL, javascript, etc.  A lot of it you will be exposed to along the way and can absorb, so don't fret about it up front.

Good luck!  PM me with questions if you want :)

OkieM

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 08:21:00 PM »
I quit my job having done zero programming and have taught myself. At first I did try Python but itís very much a data type language. If you are into data analysis and machine learning thatís great.

I ended doing full stack web development, which has been PHP (Laravel Framework), SQL, JavaScript, HTML, CSS (Bootstrap framework). I feel like itís also very friendly to learn. So it could be another good option. Iím also an engineer (chemical) so I try to spend my time building more complex applications on the PHP/SQL side that not every web developer might have the logic/math for and do just enough on the HTML/CSS/JS to make it look legit. Bootstrap REALLY helps there.

Anyway, another option.

Padonak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 288
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 06:24:53 AM »
Is there a good online course or book for someone who knows data anslysis, SQL, databases etc but wants to learn the basics of python to prepare for an interview over the weekend?

toganet

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Buffalo, NY
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 06:57:08 AM »
Is there a good online course or book for someone who knows data anslysis, SQL, databases etc but wants to learn the basics of python to prepare for an interview over the weekend?

If you are comfortable in another language, you could try this: Sam's Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours

I personally used Udemy for a couple introduction courses (quality varies and I am cheap, so there were some false starts).  I can't login to see my history, but this search should give you some options: Free Python courses @ Udemy

AccidentialMustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 127
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 07:24:57 AM »
I can recommend Learning Python by Mark Lutz. Get as new an edition as you can, minimum covering python 2.7 and 3.3. Something covering 3.5 would be even better. It targets a beginner programmer, but even as a fairly experienced one I thought it was good. I read the whole thing cover to cover although I did not do the earlier "learn to code" problems at the end of chapters. I read them and if I didn't think it was interesting I didn't write it out. That's dangerous, but I had a project I was writing in python anyway, so I was getting practice.

As GuitarStv says the way to get better at writing code is to write code. Lots of it. Lots of types of it -- helper scripts (ever wanted to batch rename files or similar? Write it as a script!), website, stats/data processing, etc.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 07:28:20 AM by AccidentialMustache »

TheShinyHorse

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Becoming a Python developer - Mentor needed (Post-Fire)
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 12:03:41 PM »
Thanks a lot for the tips.

I have talked with my ex boss and he's actually giving me a some project work for a couple of months (in Java). Will be nice to reconnect with my colleagues, make a couple of bucks and get my neurons firing again.

I'll postpone my Python plans a bit, though I'm more and more convinced that Python would be the right choice.