Showing posts with label Python. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Python. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why I am learning Python and why you might need to learn it as well

If you follow my non SQL Server blog, you might have noticed that I have been posting about Python lately. There are a couple of reasons for this

  • Python will be included alongside R in SQL Server 2017, I might need to support this in the future
  • Python is used more and more by the data science community
  • My youngest son is learning Python, in order to help him, I need to know it too

I already posted  several blog posts, here are some of these posts

Summer of code 2017: Python

I am not going to list all the posts here, you can find them by clicking on the Python label,  or by going to this link

I must admit that after messing around with Python for a month or so that I actually like the language. I don't know why but it reminds me of classic VB in the same sense that ColdFusion reminded me of classic VB back in 2000/2001.  Maybe it is the luck of curly braces {}  :-)

Visual Studio is now also a top notch Python development tool, so if you are familiar with Visual Studio you can keep using the same tools.

Here is also a presentation about Python in SQL Server if you want to know a little more about the way it is integrated.

Are you going to learn Python or are you going to stay away as far as possible from it?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Becoming A Better Programmer In 6 Months: The First 20 days

Here is an update of what I accomplished in the first 20 days

Read the book lifehacker
Read the book Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Integration Services
Read the book Extending SSIS 2005 with Script
Read 1 chapter of Learning Python, Second Edition
Played around with the July CTP of SQL Server 2008

So in the first 20 days I have read 3 books however two books are very thin. I will need that time later when I start on much thicker books like Code Complete and Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying

I will also make a small change to the list instead of Expert SQL Server 2005 Integration Services I will read Core Python Programming

I also started tinkering with Python, those guys are a bunch of jokers. if you type "import this" in a Python command line window you get this output

Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import this
The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

So that is one of the easter eggs hidden in Python.

In the past week I also played around with the new date data types in SQl server 2008, I have filed a bug/typo which I found in Books On Line.This week I will concentrate on the book Learning Python, Second Edition during weekends and lunch hours, in the evening I will read Practices of an Agile Developer

This is it for the update. The original post can be found here:

A more detailed post about the first 10 days can be found here:

I am also glad to say that most of the people I tagged in the original post have responded

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Becoming A Better Programmer In 6 Months: The First 10 days

Here is an update of what I accomplished in the first 10 days

Read the book lifehacker
Read the book Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Integration Services
Read 126 pages of Extending SSIS 2005 with Script
Installed PostgreSQL, Python, Eclipse and Django.

Now you may ask yourself how I could have read all these things in 10 days. This is because I have to convert a whole bunch of packages from DTS to SSIS. So I did read a lot at work about SSIS. As you can see I sneaked the Extending SSIS 2005 with Script book in there which was not on my original list. I actually did all the example in that book. SSIS is pretty cool, the only thing which was frustrating (at first) was that you cannot modify a connection string with script like in DTS. However you can use Package Configurations to do that. This is important if you have to import a daily Excel file with a different filename every day. So as your first step in your package you just update the configuration table. Here is a small example

DECLARE @i char(8)

UPDATE dbo.[SSIS_Configurations]
SET ConfiguredValue = 'E:\SSISExcel\ida' + @i + '.csv'
WHERE ConfigurationFilter ='CSV'
AND PackagePath ='\Package.Connections[FlatFileCSV].Properties[ConnectionString]'

I will write a blogpost with more details and screenshots within the next couple of days.

I though the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Integration Services book was pretty good. I saw some mixed reviews on Amazon but I do not agree with that at all. The book is well organized, easy to read and the examples are easy to follow. I recommend this book to anyone who has to learn SSIS.

Another book I read is lifehacker, this books shows hacks that you can use to improve your technical life. One of the hacks that I have implemented is the JunkDraw hack. You create a folder called JunkDraw, this is where you save all your downloaded content. Then there is the VB Script which is scheduled to run once a day and deletes all the files which are older than 2 weeks from this folder. So if you downloaded something and you did not move it from the folder it will be gone. How many files/apps/trial/beta apps have you downloaded, moved to a folder and never looked at again? Exactly this will prevent that kind of clutter.

I mentioned that I would like to learn a new language, so I went a little overboard because in addition to a new language I have also chosen a new database and a framework. The language is Python which was created by Guido van Rossum. Python is a scripting language and pretty popular among the FLOSS guys/girls. This of course will prepare me to play around with IronPython and the DLR once that is finalized. The DB I picked is PostgreSQL, I have chosen PostgreSQL instead of MySQL because I just can’t install a DB where you can enter invalid days. Another reason is that PostgreSQL is recommended with the framework that I picked. I picked Django over TurboGears and Ruby on Rails because I have heard some good things about it, one of them being performance. So last Sunday 5AM I installed PostgreSQL, Django, Python, Eclipse and the Eclipse Python plugin Pydev on a windows box and got the initial setup to work.

I will keep you posted on my progress once every 10 days but so far it is going good ;-)

Here is the link to the original Become a Better Developer... in 6 months article