Report Card: Python 3 Essential Training on Lynda

To reinforce some of the basics, I recently completed the Python 3 Essential Training course on Lynda.

This course is taught by Bill Weinman the IT educator, not to be confused with Bill Weinman the Hollywood film and sound editor or Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones.  Bill has done a good job here.  The lectures are flawlessly delivered.  His presentation materials are simple, clear, and direct.

I only experienced two disappointments.  The section on regular expressions was too brief.  This is certainly an area requiring its own long course, but adding a couple of additional short videos and examples would have been more useful.

The second disappointment concerned a lack of closure on conditionals.  Bill explained how Python does not include the case or switch command.  These are popular conditional logic structures found in C, Perl, Java, and the various Unix/Linux shells.  Bill promised to show how to create something similar in Python.  I expected him to demonstrate something simple or interesting with the if / eflif / else structure, but he ended up talking about populating dictionaries.  I couldn’t tell if he went off on a tangent or I missed something subtle but brilliant.  (Afternote:  I was still scratching my head on that one until I read Mark Lutz book Learning Python and came to understand how it was possible to use a dictionary to build a conditional structure for setting a variable at run time.)

The course incorporated 6 and a half hours of video in 85 short lectures, with 18 supporting example program  files.

This course has no exercises, final exams, grades, or certifications.

(Image courtesy of jarmoluk at Pixabay)