Independent Learning Requirement

I’ve heard Python mentioned in several groups on and off campus, and decided I wanted to expose myself to it during this class. For my independent learning requirement, I completed a multiple hour program “Learning Python by Joe Marini” on the Lynda site.

I learned the basic syntax of the language, as well as how to install coding languages on my system and use the Visual Studio coding platform. I learned how to work with functions, objects, and classes. The tutorial also covered how to work with time including time deltas, and the creation and modification of files and shell utilities. Most importantly the tutorial explained how to retrieve information from a web server, particularly JSON and XML data. In the tutorial, we parsed data from the USGS Earthquake data feed. As a resource, you can learn more about accessing JSON data here:

While I am by no means an expert, my basic understanding of Python helped me access data sets within the US Energy Information Administration opendata pages. The majority of my data came from these JSON datasets, and my new understanding of python allowed me to better collaborate with a professor, who helped compile custom datasets. I will continue to develop my Python skills, as it has already proven to be very useful.