My Python Programming Adventure

My Pre Pythonic Story

I currently work full time in the field of technology but I spent many years with the misunderstanding that it wasn't for me. I bought into the romantiscised idea that I was a 'humanities person' and not a 'tech person', and that is how I showed up in the world for many years. Ironically it was through my study of translation studies that the first cracks on this self-limiting belief appeared. After a summer spent working on my extended translations I had two key insights:

  1. I was able to adapt to using the CAT software tools.
  2. That technology was becoming inescapable.

The years ensuing my studies saw my first real venture into the working world. I didn't know what to expect and I heavily doubted what value I could bring to any company. However, as the months passed by I realised that something was different. I had this real sense of freedom that I didn't have when I was at university. For almost the first time in my adult life I wanted to study. I could now see clearly how it could improve my life. It could help me get better in my existing role and I felt it could open up opportunities that may have been outside of my existing awareness. The first big goal I set myself was to create a language learning website.

For about the next six months I spent an hour or two in the evening's learning HTML and CSS with a dash of JavaScript for good measure. The task tried my patience, perseverance and even my insecurities but my love of the process of learning saw me through. I also had a little bit of luck because one day, when I had almost resigned myself to the fact it would take me a year or two to create the website, a friend mentioned the magical word Bootstrap and my project was complete. The reality wasn't as magical and as easy as that but you get the picture. The end result was a website called Efficient Languages that has since been 'pivoted' to become a simplified verb conjugator called Linguahacks.

My online learning experience

In truth my first online learning venture was when I first got out of university. I spent a year in France where I became fluent in French. Around that time I wanted to learn Spanish and Italian. This goal came from the fact that I had always wanted to learn Spanish and I had spent some of the previous summer with an Italian family. I was also teaching English and I wanted to demonstrate to the students that language learning was predominantly a mindset game, so it could help them approach English with a more productive attitude. I now speak 3 languages largely because I had it in my head that I would find a way to do it even if it seemed impossible to me.

I learned a lot from these two projects and it has made me completely reevaluate what success means to me. I also learned where to find my balance. On my online language learning adventure I was much younger and a lot more naive than I am now. I would like to think I was more innocent but if I am being honest I was naive. Among a few other key mistakes, I was more focused on the end goal rather than enjoying the process. I didn't realise how draining, both intellectually and emotionally, learning something new can be and this eventually took a toll on my health.

Over the next couple of months I will document my process of learning Python programming for you so that you can learn from my insights as well as my mistakes. As I have said, I have some knowledge of HTML and CSS but Python is a different animal entirely, no pun intended. My main goal is to demonstrate what online learning actually is, what it entails and why it may be a good idea for you to consider it more seriously. I also want to help you find your balance. Online learning is for everyone who is willing to learn, it's not easy but the immense variety to online learning means that it really is that simple, especially if you can approach it with an optimistic and balanced mindset.

Did you find this blog post useful? I am continuously looking for ways to improve on the content so that my readers have the best experience possible. If you have any insights, questions or recommendations feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail.