First lesson in learning python

So I thought it would be a good idea to put my money where my mouth is on learning. With my new position one of the things we need to be able to do is pull data from the tool we use via their API. I was told that an easier way to do this is with the python language and I had already been wanting to learn it so it seemed like an easy fit. The only issue is that I’ve never been a “coder” so I was hoping this would be a good start down that path.

I enrolled at Coursera in their python class and started watching the tutorials. This went great right up until I got to week 1’s mini project. The project was to write a program that would use a pre-set list of choices to play against the computer in RPSLS or Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. It’s a variation on the game so there are less ways to tie.

I’ll save you the frustration that I went through for about 2 hours and say that my lesson learned by this was that I, like many people, need to stop the “instant gratification” requirement in my life. I was wanting to do incremental steps to see progress from my work without looking at the overall picture. This caused me to get data that I wasn’t expecting (all zeros instead of 0-5), and frustrated me a lot. What I wasn’t realizing was that one function had to provide data to the next to get the correct response. Going forward I’ll have a better idea of what to look for when I’m getting data but not the data I’m looking for when troubleshooting.

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