in Python

Python for Entrepeneurs Progress

I sat down excited at dinner last night excited to share with my wife the two things I learned in my Talk Python course yesterday. The first was learning the basics of CSS, something I’ve avoided for years. I’m not going to even pretend I understand CSS, but it’s a base knowledge to work with and there is still a whole chapter of applied front-end frameworks, so I’m sure there will be more on CSS.

The second was a cache-busting technique, making it easy to both develop a website and see the changes right away without having to clear the browser cache and great for users that they’ll see the updates in production when it happens.

As I follow along in the Python for Entrepreneurs class, I’m trying something different this time. Rather than code along with the examples and do the examples as Mr. Kennedy does them, I’m trying to build nflpool.xyz using similar code as to what is is in the training. There has been a couple gotchas doing it this way, as you’ll start a chapter doing something one way and then learn a different and better way to do it. Overall, I kind of like doing it the way I’m doing it as the hands-on applications is one of the ways I learn best.

Unfortunately, the cache-busting code broke Pyramid and I got a myriad of errors in my Chameleon templates. I didn’t realize this until after I had started the routing section of the training and then lost an hour or two trying to trouble shoot the cache-busting. I finally gave up and ripped out cache-busting code from the templates and everything is working again. Well, working without the cache-busting code.

As I worked on the routing section, I’m not going to say I truly understand it yet, but it started to click for me why using a framework like Pyramid using Python makes sense. When I’ve mentioned to a couple of people that I’m going to use Python and Pyramid to build a site, I’m usually asked why I just wouldn’t use Javascript like everyone else these days. For me, focusing on one language at a time and not trying to learn too much is key. I’m pretty sure that I could do everything I want to do with nflpool in Javascript (including both the game calculations and website), but Python’s readability and reputation for being a good language to start with really appeals to me. So why wouldn’t I build it in Python? It gives me more hands-on experience with the language, which I need, and I can include the code needed for the scoring right into the application and don’t have to build two things – the game scoring and a website.

I still have a lot to get through this week. I need to finish the applied web development including forms (yay! Maybe I will have the ability to take user picks up by next month. Now, don’t get ahead of myself…); then front-end frameworks with CSS and Bootstrap; the biggest of them all – databases (more on that in a second); as well as account management; and finally, deployment. I skimmed the deployment chapter Sunday night – lots of good stuff (even if they use an Ubuntu VPS in the training) and I’m excited to give Ansible a chance.

One of the nice things about the trainings from Talk Python is that Michael Kennedy offers office hours for a Q&A section if there is something you’re stuck on. The next one is tomorrow, which is perfect. I’m going to see if I can solve my cache-busting problem, and if not, maybe ask for help. I also want to ask him his thoughts on using MongoDB instead of SQLite after taking his MongoDB training last week, while Python for Entrepreneurs uses SQLite.

I’m really enjoying the class and glad I’m making time for it. I don’t know if I’m going to have a skeleton up by the end of the weekend or not, but it’s coming along.

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