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Course Objectives

Attendees completing this class should have a good working knowledge of the core Python language, be able to design and create Python objects, classes and modules, as well as have the ability to build a variety of tools and applications. Students will also be prepared to delve deeper into language fundamentals as well as tackle specific areas of application development taught in the following course, Advanced: Python Applications Programming.

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Introduction to Programming using Python

Been a computer user for awhile and want to know how to write your own programs? Can't find any programs to do what you want or does existing software fall short? Want to learn programming but don't have the time to first learn BASIC/VB then C before moving to Java, or C++/Java proved too difficult the first time? Then this class is for you!

This course completely designed for someone with absolutely no programming experience whatsoever, and takes advantage of Python, one of the easiest-to-learn teaching languages of today. It is free and available on virtually any computing platform. It has a simple syntax that is also powerful and robust, allowing you to write programs on the same scale as those written in Perl, JavaScript, C/C++, PHP, or Java.

Python is rapidly gaining worldwide popularity in today's fast-paced environment, is often compared to those other languages, and in many situations, presents a great alternative because of its ease-of-use, fast development time, and innate nature of encouraging group collaboration. As Eric Raymond wrote in his Linux Journal article, “[You're] writing working code nearly as fast as you can type and your misstep rate is near zero....”

Come join in on the fun and learn the motivation behind programming, how computers think, and discover a new way of solving problems. We will introduce flow diagrams, how to map out what a program is supposed to do, then show how easy it is to turn it into working code! You will learn about variables, objects, functions, loops, conditionals, and operators.

This course is for you if you are in sales, marketing, IS or IT system and network administration, secondary and higher education, software testing or QA, automation frameworks development, database or XML administration, mathematical or numeric research, technical writing or editing, SCM or release engineering, webmaster or website administration, scientific or medical research, graphical arts or music, hardware or embedded design, multimedia and animation, robotics, management, or other technical field but want to take a hands-on approach and learn the ropes of programming.

Students completing this course should have a solid understanding of what programming is all about as well as being able to create simple applications in the Python language and can advance to Python Programming I: Intro to Python. Attendees will also be able to take the skills developed in this class and apply them to other computer languages. Topics include:

  • What is Programming?
  • What is Python?
  • Computers and Programming
  • Flow Diagramming
  • Errors in Python
  • Conditionals and Testing
  • Loops and Counting
  • User Input in Python
  • User Input in Python
  • Programming Paradigms
  • Syntax and Data Types
  • Writing Python Scripts
  • Python Strings
  • Python Containers
  • Python Functions
  • How to Read and Write Files in Python
  • Growing with Python

Prerequisite: Significant experience as a computer user, with a strong desire to write your own programs and fix the problems found in today's software. Good aptitude in math and logic is helpful but not required. . Additional reading such as the Python Tutorial and Python Library Reference are available from the Python website.

Required Software: A Python interpreter is required for this course. Any Python interpreter will do, from the standard C version to one of the various implementations described above.

Required Hardware: A laptop/notebook or otherwise portable computer is required for the course exercises. Attendees may use any platform where Python is available. Bring your power cord! A network or wireless card is optional but useful in case you wish to connect to the Internet from your hotel/room.

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