is Python a snake or a programming language? 🐍 💻

How do I start an assignment about something I don’t know what I want to do if I don’t know what it is, and by what I mean is coding.

I am envious for those of you who do like coding (and can actually understand it) because at the current moment I do not have that same appreciation. I do not really fancy eye-balling over lines of text looking for syntax errors, I think I’m mostly intimidated by the concept of ‘coding’ and mostly, me coding!

However, I’ve realised that I probably should not dive head first into an assignment with the attitude of ‘I hate coding and I am NOT going to learn how to use python because it looks boring and hard’, so I’ve decided to have an open mind and step right in. Before I reach the practical side of things I want to learn some theory so I’ll start off reading about the basics, what is code; specifically week 2 and week 3’s set readings by Paul Ford (2015). In order to improve my understanding of code literacy and gather information on what Ford (2015) believes code is.

In week 1 set reading chapter 2.0-2.3, Paul Ford (2015) explains that there are many steps a computer takes to execute a task something that seems extremely simple such as pressing the letter ‘a’ on the keyboard and a coder comprehends the sequencing of these steps. He then goes on to talk about how software has better limitations than hardware because it is pretty much free and is developed collaboratively. Nevertheless even though software may be easy to access, it is extremely hard to compose. Ford (2015) states that code is a sequence of symbols initiated by an instrument. Thus the instructions upon which the device runs is a ‘tree’ structure. Listed below is an example from his website. 

 

 

 

(Paul Ford 2015) 

I decided to put to the test what I had just learnt from Paul Ford into Python 2.7.13, also known as IDLE.

 

no, SYNTAX ERROR REALLY…….. I thought I followed all the right steps?!?!?

Remembering what my tutor for my coding subject taught me is that I need to put an apostrophe in front of the words because we want to join them together by using a string, formerly known in IDLE as str is a concatenation operator.

So then I tried it again! 

Ok, there we go! But the hello nerd is together?  I thought I did all the steps correctly? 

Something came back into my mind that James our lecturer said to us last week, computers are pedantic and dumb and this is why we have code languages, we can’t assume they know where to put space bars etc. 

Third time lucky right? I added in a space bar before the last apostrophe.

There we have it! I DID IT. It feels good to get something right!! (even though it might have been on the third try..)

Someone once said to me that ‘knowing how something works isn’t the same as knowing how to use it’ and I intend to self-learn learn about code, learn how code impacts my life, learn to code, get the hang of using IDLE and figure out if I like it or not. So far it doesn’t seem too daunting, oh well we’ll see.

Tomorrow I will be reading week 2’s set reading by Paul Ford and having another crack at Python.

Wish me luck!

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