My last post I mentioned that one of the biggest challenges in teaching programming was coming up with problems and projects that weren’t lame. In fact, this is also a problem for people teaching themselves the language. You need examples to practice on, and it really helps if they are at least minimally interesting.
My assistant, for example, decided that taking advantage of the customization possibilities in Civilization 4 would be a great way to learn python. (And that the need to learn Python for work would be a great excuse to buy Civilization 4, a double win 😉 )
There is another source of programming examples and projects for the beginning Python programmer – uselesspython.com, “a collection of source code, ideas, and other pointless tidbits submitted for your edification and diversion.”
It’s a great collection (actually two collections, since the prior version of the site is available as well) of odds and ends of Python code, some of which actually do something, occasionally even something you might want to do. Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python even has a contribution here, along with lots of other Python coders ranging from beginner to expert.
If you have any interest in Python at all, it’s worth a leisurely browse.