I've been learning, working, and playing with Python for a year and a half now. As a biologist slowly making the turn to bio-informatics, this language has been a the very core of all the major contributions I have made in the lab. (bash and R scripts have helped some too. My C++ capabilities are very not functional yet). I more or less fell in love with the way Python permits me to express beautiful solutions and also with the semantics of the language that allows such a natural flow from thoughts to workable code.
What I would like to know from you is your answer to a kind of question I have seldom seen in this or other forums. Let me sum up what I do NOT want to ask first ;)
I don't want to know how to QUICKLY learn Python
Nor do I want to find out the best way to get acquainted with the language
Finally, I don't want to know a 'one trick that does it all' approach.
What I do want to know your opinion about, is:
What are the steps YOU would recommend to a Python journeyman, from apprenticeship to guru status (feel free to stop wherever your expertise dictates it), in order that one IMPROVES CONSTANTLY, becoming a better and better Python coder, one step at a time.
The kind of answers I would enjoy (but feel free to surprise the readership :P ), is formatted more or less like this:
Read this (eg: python tutorial), pay attention to that kind of details
Code for so manytime/problems/lines of code
Then, read this (eg: this or that book), but this time, pay attention to this
Tackle a few real-life problems
Then, proceed to reading Y.
Be sure to grasp these concepts
Code for X time
Come back to such and such basics or move further to...
(you get the point :)
This process depicts an iterative Learn/Code cycle, and I really care about knowing your opinion on what exactly one should pay attention to, at various stages, in order to progress CONSTANTLY (with due efforts, of course). If you come from a specific field of expertise, discuss the path you see as appropriate in this field.
Thanks a lot for sharing your opinions and good Python coding!