102 Key Principles for Success

Principle 71 - Learning Python

Python is a programming language used by many large companies. My company was starting to transition to an all Python system, but not on my project. I saw a risk of not knowing it. Getting laid off would be a possibility if I didn't know Python.

I decided that learning Python would improve one of my goals which is $ecurity.

So I put an alarm in Microsoft Outlook to work on Python skills one hour a day in the morning.

Fortunately, my company had a self-paced training which enabled me to learn Python and the other tools and concepts which were needed.

The keys were the following four actions:
  1. Seeing the possible future
  2. Making a decision
  3. Setting an alarm
  4. Taking the daily action
Without either, I would not have learned Python. I don't recall the exact time it took but it seems like it was from 1 - 3 months. If you are learning a new skill, get started as soon as possible by setting a recurring daily alarm. Do this right now.  

Another tool that helped was Google. Google made it easy to find answers to almost any Python question I had.

This wasn't without obstacles. The version of Python we used had a lot of supporting tools that weren't documented well, and not found in Google. In addition, I had what Charlie Munger calls Deprival Super Reaction Syndrome. This is where a loss causes an over reaction.

Learning Python meant I went from being an expert at Excel VBA, to a beginner in Python. Simple things I could do with VBA were difficult in Python. Code I wrote in an hour could take a week.

There was no one in my group that I could ask basic questions. It would get frustrating trying to figure out poor error messages or complex and poorly documented processes.

The time came where I had a real project to work on. The daily training I did was extremely helpful.  

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