Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Books: Programming the Rasberry Pi: Getting Started with Python

I just finished reading Programming Raspberry Pi: Getting Started with Python. I really liked it! Actually, it was really quite amazing at how much ground Simon Monk could cover in a mere 158 pages. The whole way through, he kept things really, really simple. My favorite example of this was when he built a simple web scraper that didn't even use regular expressions, let alone an HTML or XML parser! He managed to do it using nothing more than a bunch of calls to find()! It's not what I would write as a production programmer, but as a way of getting a total newbie started? Wow!

I bought this book for my oldest three children, ages 7-11. They haven't read it yet, but I have high hopes that this will be the book that teaches them Python.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Use "perfect" as a verb, not as an adjective

I'm slowly making my way through the PyCon videos on pyvideo.org, and one of them that I particularly liked was Alex Martelli's "Good enough" is good enough!

He made a statement that really hit home for me. He said that we should use "perfect" as a verb, not as an adjective. That is, we should always be striving to perfect our software, without ever hoping or expecting that it will ever be perfect.

I think that's a really good message, and it applies to many parts of life. I occasionally suffer from perfectionism. That one phrase has made a profound impact on my life because I no longer worry about things that are not perfect. Rather, I am happy when I can make things slightly more perfect.

And let's not forget that Worse is Better anyway ;)