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Episode 9: Leveling Up Your Python Literacy and Finding Python Projects to Study

The Real Python Podcast

May 15, 2020 1h 16m

In your quest to become a better developer, how do you find Python code that is at your reading level? What are good code bases or projects to study? What are the things holding you back from leveling up your Python literacy? This week we have Cecil Phillip on the show to discuss all of these common questions. Cecil is a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft.

Cecil has been learning Python in the open on Twitch with Brian Clark. They run a weekly event on Twitch, where they are live-streaming an interactive Python course. Cecil has a background in multiple languages and technologies, and now he’s learning Python, bringing an audience along the way!

We start things off with a listener question and jump into a conversation about building up your Python skills. Then we’ll discuss common Python language stumbling blocks. Next we consider the importance of making personal projects, and documenting that code.

We also touch on some unique skills employers are looking for. And we discuss working through impostor syndrome. Cecil talks about his podcast “Away from the Keyboard” and his plans to start it back up.

In the show notes this week you’ll find links to resources we discuss, and several more that we didn’t have time to cover individually.


  • 00:00:00 – Intro
  • 00:01:52 – Cecil’s role at Microsoft
  • 00:03:35 – Twitch Stream with Brian Clark
  • 00:05:07 – Learning in front of an audience
  • 00:13:05 – Listener’s question
  • 00:14:46 – Finding code that’s at your level
  • 00:20:31 – Understanding more complex syntax in Python
  • 00:23:40 – Breaking down complexity
  • 00:29:17 – Translation of code
  • 00:31:55 – Importance of making projects and comments
  • 00:36:28 – Finding community
  • 00:41:23 – Open source contributing
  • 00:42:25 – Dealing with impostor syndrome
  • 00:49:09 – Looking for that first position
  • 01:00:58 – More project resources in show notes
  • 01:02:55 – Cecil’s podcast - Away from the keyboard
  • 01:08:29 – What are you excited about in the world of Python?
  • 01:10:14 – What is something you thought you knew about Python but were wrong about it?
  • 01:12:01 – What’s the next thing you want to learn in Python?
  • 01:13:37 – Read the actual Python docs
  • 01:15:24 – Thanks and goodbye

Show links:

Suggested project reading list: