Day 11 – First Day of Python

Last week, instructor Fiaz told us to do “at least 80%” of the Fundamentals of Python section before getting in for our first day today. So just to be safe I did it all this weekend. It was pretty basic stuff, essentially just a review of the same concepts we’ve already been learning in JavaScript translated into Python. It was even more of a simple review for me because I’m already familiar with Python thanks to Coursera. Turns out, Fiaz was just talking about 80% of the reading, but I did 100% of both the reading and all the assignments.

Algorithms this morning were pretty good. We’re finally starting to get into some more interesting problems out of the algorithms book. Today we had to implement functions to remove an element from the beginning of an array, remove an element from a specified index in an array, and then remove all duplicates from an array. I like the way that these three functions build off of each other. They feel so logical.

Seeing as I had already finished all the material that was supposed to be the goal for the next two days, I spent the rest of the morning learning about regular expressions on Regular expressions are super awesome and I’ve been interested in figuring them out for a while now, so finding out about this site and working through the first several problems was great. But since regular expressions are not really part of the curriculum at Coding Dojo and I didn’t want to spend too much time away from what I’m actually paying for here, I switched back over to the platform around lunch and blazed on.

I managed to get through the whole Object Oriented Programming in Python section that was supposed to be what we were going to be doing on Wednesday, and moved on directly to Flask. I’ve got the concepts of OOP down not just from my past Coursera courses, but also from my iOS learning experience. Composition and Polymorphism were some new programming vocabulary for me, but after learning their definitions I realized I’ve been using both already without knowing it in my Swift code for a while now. Assigning a separate class as an attribute to be able to extract just a couple bits of functionality or overriding methods of parent classes are pretty useful things to be able to do.

Flask is something I’ve never used before until now. I’m still in the process of understanding it as I’ve only just begun the first couple pages of the section of the platform. This section is the one due by the end of Thursday, so I’m in no rush. So far, I’ve learned how to use virtualenv to start up a virtual environment. I’ve also used pip to install Flask in that environment and then serve up a Hello World page. That’s about it so far. Tomorrow I’ll get deeper into Flask and probably MAMP as well. I’m still not sure what the point of MAMP is other than to simulate serving a webpage instead of opening the file directly. Earlier instructor Mike was saying something about how we should always serve the pages we’re developing because that’s how the real internet works, but I wonder if that’s really all MAMP is for. I’ll have to ask some more questions about it later. Flask seems like it’s doing a similar thing to MAMP so far, but I expect the differences will become clearer tomorrow.

That’s all for tonight! Looking forward to learning some new stuff tomorrow.

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