Dive into ?
June 17, 2007 8:42 PM   Subscribe

I'm an administrator who is a relative n00b to programming, and need to find a good place to start.

I'm currently a Windows admin, and have found it necessary to pull up on my colleagues for many programming and scripting tasks, and I'd like to do it myself. I have no idea where to start, and have had not much luck finding instructor-led stuff that doesn't involve university (and I work full-time). I work at a very Python-friendly company, so it seems natural, but I want to get a good foundation and go from there. Can anyone advice where or how to start?
posted by adampsyche to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
If you have little prior programming experience, you could do worse than Learning Python from O'Reilly. It's a little old, as it doesn't cover some recent additions to the language, but it will give you a good start. I also liked the Programming Python book in the series too.

If you want something online, the official python tutorial is a good place to start.
posted by demiurge at 8:56 PM on June 17, 2007

Have you tried carefully going over the scripts that you are given to see if you can understand them? If it's something that someone else has written for you in under 10 minutes, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out most of what is going on. Also, most sysadmins do similar tasks over and over again, and the scripts that have already been written for you will tend to have more in common with what you will need to do soon than, say, examples in a book.

So, just dive in to what you already have. Try to get a good look at the overall structure-- look at the linear segments, and the looping segments. See if you can figure out one tiny change or improvement to make the program you have do something other than what it does now- like copying files instead of renaming them, or add a command line argument to specify something that is now hard-coded.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 9:44 PM on June 17, 2007


Dive in!
posted by zackola at 5:00 AM on June 18, 2007

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