Python 101

Python is a broadly useful, readable, general purpose programming language that’s fast and stable. It has widespread support, a huge array of libraries, and is used in many different fields: from science to games, from the web to embedded development.

If you'd like to get a head start on learning Python, this tutorial will take you through the major features of Python, best practices in running it day-to-day and the broad ecosystem of libraries.

The topics that we'll cover haven't yet been finalised, but should include:

  • The basic syntax of Python and control flow

  • Data structures

  • Exceptions

  • Python's class system

  • Some simple functional programming

  • Useful parts of Python's builtin libraries

  • Using pip, a requirements file and virtual environments to install and manage 3rd party libraries

  • A quick overview of some common 3rd party libraries: requests, csv, email, flask and py.test

  • Pointers to more information and learning resources to help you later on

Along the way, you'll find some answers to common Python questions (why white space? How do I do a case statement?), some fun syntax tricks to make your code more readable and common pitfalls to be avoided.

If you're attending the tutorial, it would help if you could fill out this short survey to help target the content and pacing.

Intended audience:

People who've recently started programming python, or who are coming to Python fresh. Previous experience with another programming language or similar technical field (web design, system administration) will be useful but not essential.

Attendees will need:

You’ll need a laptop that you can develop on (preferably with permission to install applications/packages), Python 3.6 installed, and a text editor.

About the speaker

Anthony Briggs has been working in IT for 20 years, and programming in Python since early 2000 - professionally since 2003. He is currently the Technical Director of The Information Access Group, which uses Django for its Web development and CMS. He wrote a book on Python programming, Hello! Python, for Manning Press, released in 2012 and was also one of the original founders of the Melbourne Python User Group.

Anthony Briggs