OneMonth Python

Here we go again, as they say. I’m attempting to retake the OneMonth Python course that I started a number of months back, but failed miserably due to it being mainly written on a Mac and not being able to get it to work without significant effort on a PC (it was beyond my python skill level that’s for sure!).

Since then I have managed to acquire a Mac Mini, that is I got back my Mac Mini from my daughter and gave her a laptop instead, and everyone was happy and I have been able to successfully start the course again, and I have to say I’m making good progress.

My Progress - Image

I’ll keep you posted here on how I get on and any pitfalls or challenges I may face.

If you are interested in taking any of the OneMonth education courses you can find them here http://onemonth.com and if you are interested in watching my progress you can have a look at the app that we are developing as part of the course here l1dge’s Progress.

Update and my Review of OneMonth Python

I finally managed to complete the course!! Whoop!! I’d love to say it was a painless and enjoyable experience as far as online training goes but it wasn’t, I’ve had better, so I thought I’d leave you with my thoughts and a little review.

The course, whilst it didn’t totally suck, I learned a tiny bit of python and a lot of django after all, was so rough around the edges there is no way a beginner could have completed it. Now I’m no programming expert but I’ve been around enough developers to know what to look for and how to fix issues by using the forums and community sites for everything but the most complex issues. However, when I purchased the course it was not mentioned that it was mac only, me originally having a PC to work from caused me more issues than I care to discuss and initially forced me to give up on the course without actually starting any of the actual programming. To their credit, the team at One Month has posthumously added a “Sanity Check: Software Requirements” video now, but it was a bit late for me and I guess some others. I did receive some pointers from the community at the time, but when you spend more time trying to set up your machine to partake in a course than you do actually partaking, then you’ve already lost me. Fortunately as I stated above, I managed to reacquire my Mac Mini and thought I’d have another go.

I can honestly say One Month Python had issues on at least 50% of the lesson videos. Don’t get me wrong, I love the One Month site, in fact I have purchased a few courses from them but this one has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I love the concept of learning something by producing a tangible product and saying “I made this!”, there is no greater satisfaction, be it a web page an app or whatever.

Despite finishing the course and creating a fairly responsive site, there are still a few things missing from the final product i.e. a logoff button, deploying the final app to heroku, missing sections from the css files, hit and miss instructions, missing instructions, some rough and unedited videos (I wondered why the instructor kept putting his hand up to the camera) and the list goes on. Yes I’ve learned some of the skills in the course to do this, and yes I have attempted some of it, so far as deploying my “completed app” to heroku, but it still leaves me longing for more, and doesn’t leave me completely satisfied.

The forums are a bit of a sorry state, lots of users asking why x,y or z doesn’t work and how to fix it, but the “experts” just aren’t there, conspicuous by their absence, only a very helpful user or two seem to be taking the reigns – I applaud you, you know who you are. These great guys will try and help answer some of the questions and even provide solutions, but I’m sure they won’t stick around forever; hell, I’ve even tried to help one user when I realized the course had switched from Python 3 at the start to Python 2.7 half way through. Guess what guys and gals, some stuff just doesn’t work in Python 3, but I guess you knew that which is why you switched back to Python 2.7 half way through the course, would have been nice for a heads up though!!!!

I fixed some of my issues with the help of a couple of the forum posts, bar one, redeploying my virtualenv with python 2.7 and re-installing all the modules required; whether a beginner could have done this is questionable, I had to figure this bit out on my own.

Congratulations___One_Month_Python

There is also the congratulatory message at the end. I think it’s questionable to use profanity in any professional literature when you are trying to portray a certain brand. Again, maybe I’m just an old git, but when my kids are in the room and this pops up on the screen “Congratulations You F”:*ing did it!!” it’s not the kind of congratulatory message I expect on course completion.

All in all is it a good course? Hmm, yes and no. I certainly know more about Python and Django than I did when I started, you learn a lot from trouble shooting, but did it fulfill my expectations from the first pre-launch webinar, not really. Maybe I set the bar too high and was expecting too much, but I have seen more polished courses on other sites. Has it put me off buying from One Month, for the time being yes. Unless I see a turnaround in the support from the guys selling and supporting the courses I shall look for my continued education elsewhere.

 

l1dge

SQL*Plus on Windows (Part 1)

Welcome to Part 1 in a series of articles on running SQL*Plus on the Windows platform.

Did you know that SQL*Plus under Windows is often preferred to its Unix equivalent?
There are many ways to configure SQL*Plus to suit your individual needs but today I’ll just cover one option that makes life that little bit easier (at least in my opinion).

Many beginner DBA’s (and some senior ones too!) often overlook the usefulness of a login.sql script.

We all have our favorite editors, I personally still float between Sublime Text and emacs, but the choice is truly down to personal preference. SQL*Plus on Windows defaults to notepad, as do most applications that use a text editor in the Windows environment, and we all know how useful that is; but its old and there are much better editors out there these days.

With a few choice commands and a bit of technical know-how you can change the default editor for SQL*Plus to something more DBA/Developer friendly.

Launch SQL*Plus on Windows from either the gui or a command prompt.

C:\>sqlplus /nolog

This will launch sqlplus.

Type:

ed login

By default This will launch you into notepad.exe and you will be editing a new file named “login.sql”, this file will be located in the directory you launched SQL*Plus from so remember where that was (the easiest way to do this is to create a shortcut to launch SQL*Plus which starts in the same directory every time, but this is something for another article).

Now this is where we define your preferred editor, so in my case, I like Sublime Text, therefore the line for setting my default SQL*Plus editor is as follows:

def _editor = “C:\Program Files\Sublime Text 3\subl.exe”

Editor

Save and close your file, then restart SQL*Plus.

Now when you type “ed” within SQL*Plus you will be thrown into your preferred editor.

This is just one of the changes that can be made in the login.sql; there are lots of others documented in the SQL*Plus reference documentation but this is my favorite change to make when first working on a new Windows environment.

Keep an eye out for further articles in my series on running SQL*Plus on a Windows platform.

Blogging101: Identify my audience

Here we are on Day four of the Blogging 101 course (actually its day 5 but I’m running behind 🙂 ) and today’s task was to write a post that would connect with my ideal reader. Hmm, that’s a tough one. I was never really sure if anyone would be interested in my ramblings, and my blog was originally created for me as an alternative to bookmarks as I’ve already described, however, having been pushed by the Blogging101 course into stretching my writing I thought I’d talk about a website I found by accident and have used extensively over the past 18 months. As I aimed my blog at helping others, they may also find this site useful.

I like to learn new stuff. That’s just the way I am. I absorb new technologies and skills not because I have to but because I like to. I’m a geek, I can’t help it, I guess that’s a by product of having grown up in a time when my first computer, a Sinclair ZX81, was cutting edge (to give some context, its probably less powerful than the calculator on your smartphone) and then being witness to an explosion of new home computers and video games consoles, growing up on a diet of Amiga and Atari computers before getting my first PC back in 1990 ish.

It was during one of my expeditions into the web to find some new learning material that I stumbled across an online learning website, and yes I know I’ve said before about paying for stuff when there is an abundance of free sites out there, but this site appealed to me for its ease of use and cost of the courses (TIP: never pay the full price for a course, create an account and get on the mailing list they are always offering courses for $10 during so called sales, just be patient!).

The site I’m talking about is Udemy. Who? Yes I’d never heard of them either, but then I started to look through the course catalog. There are hundreds of courses, some great, some not so great. Do your research and you will find some terrific courses on a plethora of subjects, not just technical subjects either, but life skills too. And if you are so inclined, you can create your own course content and become an instructor through the Udemy Teach website.

I’m not affiliated to this site in anyway, other than as a content consumer, and that’s the other thing to be careful of. You can become training obsessed on this site, and spend more time learning than actually doing 🙂 to me that’s a consequence of being able to get good training at such a great price. Don’t just take my word for it, go and read the case studies at About Udemy.

Nearly all of the courses offer free previews, oh I didn’t mention it earlier, these are online video training courses. Go check it out for yourself. Read the reviews, check out similar courses and pick one with an instructor you like. Trust me, picking a course with an instructor who has a boring, unintelligible voice will make the course tedious, a waste of money and you will never complete it!

 

 

I like to learn, I hope my readers like to learn, that’s why I created this blog in the first place, and now I can share this other great learning resource with you. I hope you get as much out of it as I do. Enjoy.

 

l1dge