I made a game on Python, and why you should too.
As of the 2018 New Coder Survey, 31,000 people were learning how to code. In 2020 I became a code student myself.
I started 2020 by taking Colt Steele’s Udemy’s web development Bootcamp, by August, I got curious about other languages, which is why I started studying Python.
I simply could not resist the hype.
I took it to the Brazilian’s learning platform Alura since they have very clear learning paths according to your own experience in tech, many, many courses to choose from, and that will consume your 2020 spare time. If you are not Brazilian, do not fret, there are plenty of (either free or budget-friendly) online sources that are just as beginner-friendly, like the one I used to make my first project.
As someone who has a degree and worked in Business and Finance for almost three years before shifting to Translation, and eventually becoming the programming enthusiast I currently am (yolo), I know my way around Excel worksheets’ dynamic tables, I do have SQL notions and, as a Libra, I do know how to make data look good on PowerBI, so Python actually felt quite familiar and comforting.
I would go as far as saying Python is Excel’s hipster older cousin.
To my fellow Business and Finance colleagues: do not hesitate to start learning Python. It is a very intuitive, clean language that you can do in Google’s collaboratory, Repl.it, or from your own machine, by installing Anaconda. To my fellow translators: go learn Python, too! The localization and tech markets are growing, and you can expect some future opportunities to come out of it.
To my fellow humans: so many cool things were made using Python! And Python is the main language used by Data Scientists, as well as AI and Machine Learning professionals.
So… it is a tiny, baby step closer to AI. Who does not want to know something about AI in 2020? Whether it is because it sounds genuinely cool, or because machines will eventually enslave humanity (most AI specialists say we’re “far away from this sort of reality”, but let’s be smart because this is what every scientist says in sci-fi movies before things go south).
While you will still have several steps to get to AI-level, I would say it is a good start, at least, the machines taking over the world or not.
Better safe than sorry, right?
Now that we got all my silly jokes and banter out of the way, while learning to code, it is crucial to recognize that doing is a big part of the learning process, it doesn’t matter what topic it is or what is your learning style: visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic, or multimodal.
But there is a catch, of course.
As a beginner, you really do not come up with many ideas for projects yourself, and even if you do, it is always best to start small, to avoid any big blows to your self-confidence or build up frustration, it usually will only overwhelm you or cause you to lose motivation.
As I mentioned, there are many resources out there for beginner friendly-projects, but the Youtube channel Tech With Tim was a pretty good source for me. Why not make your first Python project a make your own adventure game? It can go as far as your imagination, and you will have the freedom to update or improve it as you learn more.
Tim explains it all step by step, in three quick videos, so even if you have zero experience with Python, you will still feel confident enough to follow through with him, and more importantly, you will understand him, replicate what he does, and understand exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing.
If you know the basics, it will be just as good, except you will have a bonus revision.
By the end of the tutorial, Tim mentions that some students managed to build up their games to hundreds of lines of code, and while it may not be your initial goal, there’s always the possibility. You will choose your own adventure, after all. As soon as you feel comfortable, you can practice your creativity, write down the stories within your game, and try it out on Python!
If you are bilingual or speak multiple languages, feel free to put your skills to practice with your own exclusive multi-lingual game project (hello there again, fellow translators).
I made a short, simple choose-your-own-adventure game with some spooky elements because it is Halloween and I am all about anything spooky, and I can say I am pretty satisfied with the outcome.
Of course, it is no Doki Doki Literature Club… yet, but we will eventually get there.