# Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve

1. ### G037H3

326
Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

Sooooo...

I have to get some sort of menial minimum wage job in the near future, and I would be okay with this if it gave me the time to study books or think about philosophy (a night clerk/cashier or something, etc.)

Regardless of what happens with that, time is a finite resource, and I'd rather be spending my time studying math/German/etc. than working at a job that someone with IQ 80 could do.

So my question is: how many hours would it take me to be good enough at Python to be hired at $12+ an hour for it (be conservative in your estimates please, I'm not a Point A -> Point B thinker, much more of a divergent/creative/relationship thinker (i.e. "right brained") ). feel free to ask me any questions or make any statements relevant to my post :-) the reason i'm asking about programming is that i can't think of any other subjects that could earn me a decent income without some sort of social certification in the form of a somewhat worthless college degree, but if you can think of anything else (sans entrepreneurial things) then go ahead and give me ideas :/ i know i'm good at many other things, but from what i can tell, programming would offer the greatest reward in the least amount of time, for$, and considering that my situation is time sensitive, this is important

also, have a picture lol:

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2. ### fss

Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

DaveE

10. ### fss

Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

Well from what I've seen, ~98/100 of the programmers in organizations that win contracts from the government have degrees. But hey, maybe your high school experience is more representative of "the real world," I don't know.

Yes. You are asking people to put numbers on things that are highly variable from person to person.

11. ### G037H3

326
Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

Concepts>syntax.

Iunno.

Seems like Python is becoming more and more popular (from what I've seen, go ahead and degrade my opinion if you want to -_-).

Mark44 sez:

possibly; keep in mind my admitted intelligence

I *can* think in a linear fashion if I force it, but I'm much more likely to immediately notice lots of different possibilities and then weigh them against each other.

davee123 sez:

K.

I'm brilliant, just with no knowledge of programming. I do lean strongly towards 'right-brained' activities though, literature, art, music, even Euclid's Elements. :3

I'm mainly interested in programming for two reasons: 1. possible easy way to make $until my mathematics/consulting/something else is sufficient to support me easily, 2. programming is an important branch of 'engineering' knowledge that I feel that I should know deeply. I have a good memory, just not an active one. My subconscious weeds out a lot of things. :) Showing that I'm 'good enough' would be accomplished by putting awesomesauce programs on the web. I don't really see any other way. As for employment, I'm thinking more along the lines of freelance work. fss growls: I don't want to work for a corrupt organization. I'm asking about a specific thing, because I realize that my visualization of the situation may not be perfect. I probably know more about even this subject than you would imagine, but I would prefer staying on topic. :) 12. ### Mark44 ### Staff: Mentor Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D The word chutzpah comes to mind. 13. ### G037H3 326 Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D I'm not a Juden. :) Also, if you guys all consider it an impossible thing for me to do in a short amount of time, then feel free to provide other ideas. I'm open to suggestions. 14. ### fss Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D Based on your level of misunderstanding about what you're wanting to achieve I actually think you know less than I'm currently giving you credit for. Freelance programming is an extremely difficult way to make money, especially if you don't even know how to program. Perhaps you'll remember that when your higher education and/or research is subsidized by the same "corrupt organization." Last edited: Oct 21, 2010 15. ### davee123 657 Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D If you're going for freelance, and for$12/hour, that could be the best way. IE, most large firms won't touch you-- the places that want freelance programmers, especially Python programmers, are probably small businesses that know absolutely nothing about what makes a good programmer, a good website, or anything else. They won't care what language you can write in (unless they've read a whopping 1 article somewhere that says "PHP is the best!"), all they'll care about is whether or not you understand them, whether or not you say you can do the job quickly, and how much you'll charge.

If you want to impress prospective employers at large companies though, you'll probably have to pass some technical-level questions, which is a good way to make yourself seem good enough. If you can answer the questions on a basic level, then ok. But if you can go into detail, showing you're aware of all the considerations, you can appear VERY impressive. And obviously, if you start floundering, that's when the truth often comes out about interviewees-- we've had that happen on multiple occasions, where people show us some kick-*** website that "they wrote", but then when it comes to asking them about some of the particulars, they're either clueless, or refer to things like the utilities that did the hard part for them. Anyway, for the programmer, a technical interview is often very telling.

But if you're going for freelance with small businesses, chances are they won't have anyone technical that can interview you. They'll just wantonly look at whatever credentials you can provide, and you've got to be a good enough salesman to sell yourself.

DaveE

16. ### G037H3

326
Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

Meh, perhaps. I've already stated that I'm open to alternative ways to make $. The government is the reason I have to wait a year to start uni, along with many other things I've suffered. Oh, I also live on less than$10K a year.

17. ### G037H3

326
Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

I'm not talking about learning enough to bluff my way through an interview or something. I learn pretty quickly...But hey, I prefer a universal -> specific learning pattern, so maybe programming isn't a good idea for now, until I learn logic, discrete mathematics, and some CS.

I know that web stuff is easier, btw. >_>

18. ### davee123

657
Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

Hard to say. You come off sounding arrogant and haughty, but hey, who are we to say that it's not deserved? I don't see any actual evidence one way or another. You want to try programming? Sure, give it a shot. Here's something to try-- see how far you can get with what you know about whatever type of language you want to use:

http://projecteuler.net/

It's probably a reasonably good test to see if you're cut out for programming. The first bunch are easy, then it starts to get more challenging. The first problems are pretty straightforward, and require some very basic programming knowledge. Then, it requires you to start needing to come up with inventive techniques and using math and logic in order to achieve the result. Eventually, it turns into extremely difficult challenges that only the top-notch programmers can solve.

I dunno-- The web stuff isn't really any easier, per se, it's just so much more accessible. A well-written website is actually reasonably challenging if you're writing it from the ground up. If you're using some pre-packaged product, you can make a website with NO technical skills or programming ability. But writing an executable program for a desktop machine, an iPhone app, or what-have-you? There aren't a lot of pre-packaged things to help you build your own custom software. So if you're technically incompetent, you can't make a Windows executable, but you COULD make a website-- you just couldn't program it.

DaveE

19. ### G037H3

326
Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

I'm an undeveloped genius, of course I'm going to come across as arrogant. I've lived my life so far in a manner which has hidden my abilities, and nothing has come out of it. I may as well be honest and improve my odds of attracting the attention of someone who can actually be helpful. =/ You can call me an attention whore, I don't really care. What I do know is that I deserve much more out of life that I'm getting, because I'm now willing to assert my superiority.

I already know about projecteuler. As I've said, I have a very strong tendency to focus on universal and go to specifics over time, so idk how well I would fare at many of the problems, because even though I am sure I could comprehend the problems, I wouldn't have a good working knowledge of how those problems developed. I think in terms of context and environment, not objects themselves. o_o

From pretty much everything I've seen, website development/maintenance is easier than writing stand-alone programs.

### Staff: Mentor

Re: Stupid Question about Python Learning Curve :D

Although the word is Yiddish, it is universally applicable.