Well tonight was another first for me. I decided to bite the bullet and get really stuck into a project that I've been trying to do for ages - Learning to Program.
The only programming experience I have thus far was 35 hours sat at a computer in my final year of Uni to create an online Cognitive Psychology Experiment. I've not touched it since then - and the code is now up on launchpad (search andylockran) or you can bzr it directly from http://dev.zrmt.com/psych.
The thingy I've created tonight is a simple Decorator's Calculator in Python. I have a 'dictionary' of paints (with their cost per metre squared, consistency and number of coats required). I then simply ask for the number of rooms, and their dimensions.. and then calculate how much it will cost. It's not exactly rocket science.
However, I've probably gone about it in a very roundabout way, so the only way for me to improve is to get down what I think, and then see that it's wrong. I've never done this before so don't expect it to be right first time.. but this is starting to work for me at least. Hopefully some nice people will take a look at the code and tell me I need to start again. I hope so. Looking at Zeth's zetact.py - there are lots of things I obviously don't know as his code looks so much cleaner than mine - but I'm sure that'll come with time.
It's amazing how much my limited experience with php and C has actually helped.. I sat down to learn python and actually knew some things already. There was also fantastic help from gord and Daviey on #ubuntu-uk and the guys at #python. I hope it won't be too long before I too can help guide lost n00bs.
I'm also really impressed with bzr.. though I don't know why. I haven't used it really at all for what it's meant to.. I just versioned by programming as I progressed this evening. It could be quite fun to look back if the current code develops into something a bit nicer. I wouldn't mind some suggestions for a web-interface.. or maybe a suggestion that I should just stick with launchpad and my commandline & nano (I like the simplicity & do have syntax highlighting implemented).
Anyway.. it's not a fantastically exciting post.. but check me out on launchpad.net to see what other projects I am hosting (some stuff is abandoned).
Hopefully I can get to a standard whereby I too can joining the quest for the grail.. if not then I'll just have to start revising the airspeed velocity of the world's different species of swallow.