The coolest things are programmed in Python [1], Python is in high demand on the job websites, Python’s capabilities are pretty universal and the consensus is that it’s the easiest language to cram. I gotta learn Python.

But I just bought a sweet joystick and am short on time.

So sat down with my boss and told him exactly that, asking if, provided most of a given week’s priorities and problems have been extinguished, if I could take some time, like a few hours or an afternoon, at work on Fridays to learn Python.

The answer was yes. Enthusiastic and with no hesitation.

My boss went on to tell me I may want to check out Pandas in supplementation to Python, some machine learning thing, a rudimentary knowledge of which, in tandem with some Python, could enable me to rake in the cheddar. He also advised me told me to buy a cheap Chromebook (done) so that in addition to time spent on Python at work and at home I could also use my commutes to learn and code.

Next he told me that if I commit to this with some seriousness, I could soon contribute to my team’s project using Python; and were I to have done that, he could then be in a position to vouch for me as a Python veteran if I needed him to. Cool boss, right? Well, we’ll see, today is Friday.

Finally he encouraged me to cut down on my sugar intake. One of the more peculiar segues my boss has made, but I’ve been clean three weeks without a single Gummi Bear.

If you want to learn something on the job that could make you better at your job, just ask your boss like I did and see what happens. At the least you will have made it harder to be faulted for a lack of ambition, and, who knows, he might even pay for your Chromebook.

Doug Simmons

[1] EG, thisthisthis and this.