I finished a first reading of Wesley Chun's "Core Python Programming" at last. I have slowed down on completing the exercises, but I do plan to continue burning the language into my brain so I can feel completely comfortable.
Thank you, John D. Cook. His blog, "The Endeavor", is one of my favorites. I track his writings faithfully using Google Reader. John recommended this book back on 4-Feb-2009. If it was good enough for John, it was good enough for me. I think he was spot on. I found the book to be well written and fine introduction to the language.
My efforts were accelerated by the availability of PyCharm, the wonderful new Python IDE from the geniuses at JetBrains. I've used IntelliJ, their Java IDE, for many years and loved it. I'm ecstatic to have an equally good tool at my disposal for learning this new language. The Python console is built right in. So is Django support.
I took my first, tottering steps with Django this weekend. I'm having some trouble with it, because it's so unfamiliar. My goal is to find out just how capable it is at creating robust web sites.
A good friend of mine would rib me about the Java work we did: "If we were writing this application in Python we'd be done by now!" he'd say with a smile. I've always been intrigued to find out for myself if this was hyperbole from a fan-boy or the truth.
If I can manage the trick, I'd like to see if Grails compares as well.
Another friend of mine has a web site that he'd like to upgrade from VB6. When he proposed doing it in Python, I immediately offered myself as slave labor. It'll be a great opportunity for me to apply these tools on a real, live problem.
Getting through that book, and achieving some measure of comfort with Python, was one of my technical goals for 2010. I'm happy with my progress, and there are still two months left to go in the year.