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From the article: "For example, exercise 37: symbol review. There’s nearly 100 different symbols to look at and the exercise suggests “Spend about a week on this, but if you finish faster that’s great.” – too much, too long."

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."


Nice "gotcha!" but it still doesn't take away from the author's point which is that diving in and looking up what you need to know to get a task done is sometimes preferable to going through complete exercises like those in LPTHW. For total beginners the exercises may work but if you're an experienced programmer what you're really looking for is just how Python does things. You already know how to program but you just don't know how a new language implements the concepts you already know. So I don't see anything wrong with that part of the article. The guy's not lobbying for something or talking about anything controversial at all. He's just talking about how he learned to program in Python coming from PHP. No need to try to "catch" him.

If you're an experienced programmer, LPTHW is not for you. That much should be evident from the very first sentence: "This simple book is meant to get you started in programming."


Thank you.

Isn't that the entire point of "The Hard way" approach - don't just read, but start writing code to figure things out.

I think the author means that he prefers to learn by writing something meaningful, rather than doing coding exercises like "use each of these in a small Python program". I agree with him - I'm too impatient for something like LPTHW.

If you are already a programmer, you should know most of of the operators and keywords except for a few Python-isms.

Quote: "What's also important is to find out what you do not know so you can fix it later."

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