Two-Day Python Workshop for People New to Programming

When: Thursday, October 8, 2015, 9:00am to 4:45am & Thursday, October 9, 2015, 9:00am to 4:45am

Where: The King’s Centre, King Street

Price: £65


This hands-on workshop is to enable people who are not programmers to get into the world of programming. These two days are just an initial foray, to give people the basic ideas and a taste of what it is like.

The course will introduce programming using Python to people who have little or no idea what programming is. This will be a version for adults of the sort of new computing material that will be being taught to primary and secondary school students starting next year. The goal is to make sure people begin to understand the theory and practice of programming and computer science, but coming to it from a very practical viewpoint: theory emerges from practice.

There will be four sessions, each of three hours, each structured as a short introduction to a few topics, followed by a series of practical exercises to investigate the topics, and finishing with a short review/compare/contrast to consolidate the material of the session. The introductions will be part lecture part interactive demonstration – PDF files rather than paper will be provided for any overhead slides used in lecture mode. The series of practical exercises will be attenders, working in pairs, writing programs as directed by worksheets. The review session will a group discussion, and possibly live coding by the workshop leader, based around sample answers to the exercises.

In the spirit of being agile, although there is a programme set out for the four sessions, it will be amended as needed to suit how things progress as it happens. The planned default sequence is:

The Basics – Tools of the trade
“It’s turtles all the way down”

  • Sequence
  • Selection
  • Iteration


  • What programming is all about
  • Values
  • Objects
  • Functions
  • Classes


  • The whys and wherefores
  • Unit testing
  • System testing

Applications – A quick delve into some of the standard applications of Python:

  • Graphical User Interfaces
  • Data Analytics
  • Build and Control
  • Web applications

This course is not intended to be trivial or easy, people should expect to be tried and tested, but people should not find themselves taken “out of their depth”. The days should be hard work, but also they should be fun and enjoyable.

Learning programming and a programming language is a four to nine month activity for most people, so these two days will not make people professional programmers. If however you feel the urge to learn more about it, I am sure there are other courses you could go on…

Russel Winder

Ex-theoretical physicist, ex-UNIX system programmer, ex-academic. Now an independent consultant, analyst,author, expert witness and trainer. Also doing startups. Fascinated by programming and programminglanguages, in particular: Groovy, Java, Scala, Clojure, Ceylon, Kotlin, Python, Go, D, Rust, C++, Nim, Fortran, and others. Interested in all things parallel and concurrent. And build.

Actively involved with Groovy, GPars, GroovyFX, SCons, and Gant. Also Gradle, Ceylon, Kotlin, D and bit ofRust. And lots of Python especially Python-CSP.

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