Our world is full of distractions and we often find ourselves on a path that seems so distant from our original plan. We wonder where the time went and ask ourselves …
“How Did We Get There From Here?”
Are tangents disruptive impulses that take our eyes off of the goal, causing us to lose focus, and drain away our valuable time? Or, do we embrace them as an extension of “how we think” and seize the opportunity to expand the scope of our original thought processes. Our desire to learn fuels our passion to …
Explore New Options
Some time ago we expressed our interest in learning the C++ programming language. C++ is an amazing language and we have gained a real appreciation for object oriented programming. While learning C++, we discovered that another very powerful language, Python, was written in C++.
Naturally, we decided to check out Python to see the power of C++ in action. To our surprise, we learned that Python is readily available at no charge from https://python.org, is very powerful, and is an extremely versatile Object Oriented Programming language. Python is also relatively easy to learn and is now our language of choice for rapid prototyping and development of complex solutions.
Today we discovered yet another language: “Go”. Coincidentally, we stumbled upon a post at TechCrunch.com titled, “Google’s Go: A New Programming Language That’s Python Meets C++”. We downloaded “Go” from GoLang.org to explore what this language brings to the table.
We’re committed to continue learning C++, however, we would be remiss if we decided to simply stick to the straight and narrow path of one language alone. Where speed of execution is a factor, C++ prevails. Where speed of execution, small size, and a “close to the metal” solution is required, Assembler takes precedent. However, where speed is less of a concern, a solution in Python is heavily favoured. As we’ve stated many times before:
“There’s always a better way and more than one solution.” ~ Redge
When Opportunity Knocks … Answer
It would be easy to ignore the distractions that seem to stall our progress and keep us from reaching our destination, however, sometimes the journey is best enjoyed when we stop and take in the sights along the way. In this case, the ride has been an eye opening experience.
Although we started our learning process with Python 2.7.6, we’re currently using Python 3.4.1. Python is available and runs across the three platforms that concern us most: Windows, OSX, and LINUX. Soon after, we also downloaded Anaconda Python from Continuum Analytics. The reasons for downloading Anaconda Python will become clear once you’ve had a chance to delve into the world of Python and all it has to offer.
Though we may have strayed from our C++ learning process for a short while, the Python experience has been and continues to be a tremendous journey. Python has presented a realm of significant possibilities in Object Oriented Programming that would otherwise have remained a mystery.
A simple Google search for “Python Programming” will yield a host of web sites that offer tutorials, books, and so much more. We started with a few simple books and added a few more that we purchased from our local book store to gain a sense of what Python had to offer:
- Sams Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours – Katie Cunningham
- Python for Kids, A Playful Introduction to Programming – Jason R. Briggs
- Learn Python the Hard Way, 3rd Edition – Zed A. Shaw
- Core Python Applications Programming, 3rd Edition – Wesley J. Chun
- Learning Python with Raspberry Pi – Alex Bradbury and Ben Everard
- Python Pocket Reference (5th Edition) – Mark Lutz
The number of books available on the store shelves pales in comparison to the offerings available on Amazon. We have since purchased a number of e-books that are easily and readily accessible using Kindle across multiple devices including my iPad and Surface Pro. If you haven’t had a chance to work with Kindle, we highly recommend it. It is an excellent app that makes reading e-books a breeze.
Certainly this recent tangent has opened more doors than we could ever have imagined and we’re grateful for the experience. While this may seem to have little to do with Lean or OEE, we would suggest otherwise. Each program or script is comprised of multiple processes or series of processes and the environments in which they run are as diverse as the machines we find in manufacturing operations. From our perspective, programming serves as an excellent surrogate to demonstrate lean practices and the effectiveness of our operations.
Just when you think you have all the answers, consider that one of them may hold more questions than you ever imagined.
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Until Next Time – STAY lean
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