Last week I introduced a new series called Computer Things (I know, I know, the name isn’t the best — it’s a work in progress, as is my coding journey).
Quick recap, last week I wrote about what is the Terminal. I also included a game in there. Here’s a link to it. I recommend playing it. At the end of it, you will have laughed a little, scratched your head a bit and most importantly, become comfortable with Terminal.
This week I’ll give you a quick
Let’s start with the absolute basic:
What is Python?! Why Python? Who thought of it and.. why?
Python is a programming language.4 It’s popular because — as far as I know — it’s the most human-understandble language (in English) there is. If you’re interested in knowing more about its history and development, here’s a fun(ish) read:
What is Python?
And, if you’re looking for a fun, easily digestable course on it: check this out! It walks you through the absolute basics and then pushes you to solve some challenges and shows you how Python is applicable in real life! There are other courses as well, of course, but the reason I like this is because it skips the tedious installation parts so you can circle back after you’re through with the basics. I also really endorse FreeCodeCamp’s courses and here’s a link to their Data Analysis with Python course.
Here’s another thing I need you to know about programming, it 100% feels like an elite cult. They have a weird set of rules and just cracking open the front door is the hardest. Once you’re in, the community is pretty supportive. And, here’s a skill you need to perfect early on:
Googling your way out of errors/new words/unfamiliar territories. Here’s an example why. Programmers, being the cult members they are, have their own set of strange words. A URL or weblink for instance, for them, is an endpoint. Why? Just because. A lot of things you’ll run into are just because that’s the way they are. But, it gets better; I promise it does.
Last week, India held the Padma Shri (highest civial honor in the country) award ceremony for 2020 (which was postponed for obvious reasons). From environmentalists to social workers, the winners’ stories are full of inspiration. Here’s more about some of them; I highly, highly recommend sparing a minute to read about our national heroes!
On Diwali, I learned that I won an honors in my Ethics class — I was one in five out of over fifty students. I’m beyond grateful for this recognition so early on in grad school, and I hope to continue to work just as hard. I also started working part time — I’m waitressing for the campus events’ company and it’s been fun — put me in/around a commercial kitchen and I’m my happiest self! 😻
Here’s a random cooking tip for you: Make some extra rice at night and refrigerate with a drizzle of olive oil or ghee (I 100% support ghee over any other fat). In the morning, toss your rice with any two vegetables, some very basic spices (just salt and pepper would do too!) and you have a delish, easy lunch meal! I’ve done peanuts, onion and tomato, broccoli and egg, carrots and beans — so. many. possibilities!
That’s all for now; have a spectacular weekend! ✨
Extracting data from websites — but, going beyond just copy pasting.
Much against my wishes, this isn’t edible soup. Instead, it is a library (!! more on this later) that extracts info from web pages and makes it readable.
A language that’s used to manage LARGE datasets and analyze them. For instance, if you have data on all countries and you want to compare them across multiple metrics — GDP, languages spoken, number of cities in each country — you’d go beyond Excel and use SQL. Pronounced as sequel, or S.Q.L if you’re not cool.