One of the best methods for learning programming is to just build a project and see how things work first-hand. With that in mind, Ken Youens-Clark wrote a whole book of Tiny Python Projects that you can use to get started on your journey. In this episode he shares his inspiration for the book, his thoughts on the benefits of teaching testing principles and the use of linting and formatting tools, as well as the benefits of trying variations on a working program to see how it behaves. This was a great conversation about useful strategies for supporting new programmers in their efforts to learn a valuable skill.
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- Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Ken Youens-Clark about his book Tiny Python Projects
- How did you get introduced to Python?
- What is your goal with your book of Tiny Python Projects?
- What motivated you to start writing it?
- Who is the target audience that you wrote the book for?
- One of the notable aspects of the book is the fact that you introduce linting and testing in the first chapter. Why is that a useful subject for the first steps of someone getting started in Python?
- What are some of the problems that users experience if they are introduced to these tools after they have already established a set of habits?
- How did you approach the structure of the book to be approachable by newcomers to Python?
- What was your process for deciding on the scope of the information to include in the book?
- What are some of the challenges that you faced in identifying self-contained projects that could fit into a single chapter?
- As a book that is intended to serve as a learning resource, what was your process for soliciting feedback to determine if your tone and structure is effective in teaching the reader?
- What elements of the Python language and ecosystem did you consciously leave out to avoid overwhelming the readers?
- What are some of the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you learned while working on the book?
- What are your thoughts on useful resources and next steps for readers who are interested in progressing in their use of Python?
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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA