I fervently wish there were something for Django along the lines of Learn Python the Hard Way. I HAVE been learning by doing projects and every few days I get stuck for hours on something confusing about Django I don't understand. I would love guided exercises - especially on some of the more confusing aspects of Django like the cumbersome HTML template syntax, HTML template inheritance, passing the context around, directory/file structure (and the kinds of issues to expect if your files are not in the right place), customizing forms, etc.
Of course, I understand there are different learning styles. Code Academy is even more pure learning exercises but I found that very frustrating as it keeps saying your correct output is done the wrong way but won't tell you why. Learn Python the Hard Way is in between because you have latitude to implement your own way and gives you creative license on some exercises to do extra if you're interested.
TLDR: Took less than 2 weeks to go from exercises 1 through 36. Taking me months to get up to speed on Django, which has no such exercises.
From the exercise itself: "Finally, use each of these in a small Python program, or as many as you can get done. The key here is to find out what the symbol does, make sure you got it right, correct it if you do not, then use it to lock it in."
The conclusion in the article: "For me, the easiest and most pragmatic way to learn Python is not by reading through pages of reference documentation and syntax, but to just start coding."
Isn't that the entire point of "The Hard way" approach - don't just read, but start writing code to figure things out.
"What's also important is to find out what you do not know so you can fix it later."
Recently I took initial steps in world of Python by accepting a freelance project in which I had to port a Coldfusion based Middle Tier into Python. I worked on CFM 12 years back so that was the only help for me otherwise for last few years I have been working on Java and PHP.
Needless to say, my client loved my work
For professionals who value their time I would posit that "just coding" using SO is not the most effective way to learn a language. It might help you in a pinch, so you can copy and paste a few lines of code, but may not explain why the code should behave that way. (Albeit there is quite a continuum of response types on SO).
2. Be careful, as the old adage goes; you can write FORTRAN in any language.
Keep it up :-)