So my actual study progress has been delayed by a slight hurdle. I was having trouble with the preferred editor for the course, IDLE, and I sought out alternatives. This proved harder than I initially intended.
I first took a stab at Eclipse with PyDev, a very powerful and well know editor initially developed for Java (I think). The problem I had with Eclipse was that its a beast. It is very vast and well developed and it leaves me a bit befuddled. Learning that IDE is a separate endeavor on top of programming. It also had the same issue I’ve experienced with just about anything open source: when you have thousands of people contributing and no real filter you wind up with a thousand different solutions. Poor continuity. It’s the Facebook and Google model vs. the Apple model (I tend to side with the apple model).
Then I moved onto an editor called PyCharm. It’s an editor specifically designed for Python and its quite intuitive. The downside: it costs money. They have a student price that you apply for and I might be able to swing that.
I also started using a website called OpenStudy that is linked to the course. So I can directly ask other students taking the same course questions.
As to the coursework I eventually returned to: things are coming together. I find that I grasp many of the concepts easily (most of the time) but I’m lacking in the actual application of the python syntax. I find I take enormous notes in the recitation classes where the syntax is explored more thoroughly.
Lastly, I came across an organization called Code.org. Check it out. I think it’s an amazing idea.