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Introduction to Python

  • Jun 25, 2013 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Curious about programming? Want to learn one language that you can use to build websites, program robots, visualize data, run servers, and make art? Then you're ready to get started with Python.

Python powers some of the most popular websites and apps we all know and love, like PinterestInstagram and Rdio, to name a few. It's used by tech companies all over the world, including many companies right here in Triangle.

Join us for GDIRDU's first Introduction to Python class! During this 4-session class (see dates/times below) we'll explore the basic components of programming with Python: using the Python interactive shell, functions/loops/conditionals, data structures and object oriented and functional programming. We'll mix lecture and practice, and help guide you through the coursework.

We'll spend part of the workshop helping you set up a development environment, so there's no need to install software ahead of time. Just bring your laptop and come prepared to write your first lines of Python code.


Please note that this is a four part class. Session dates and lessons are:

Class 1, First steps for programming using the Python shell
Tuesday, June 25, 7:00-9:00 PM

Class 2, Structured programming - Functions, loops, and conditionals
Tuesday, July 2, 7:00-9:00 PM

Class 3, Python data structures and other essential built-ins
Tuesday, July 9, 7:00-9:00 PM

Class 4, Higher level abstractions using object oriented and functional programming
Tuesday, July 16, 7:00-9:00 PM


Please bring a laptop with a text editor and either Chrome or Firefox. If you do not have access to a laptop, or have any questions about selecting a text editor, please let me know.

Refund policy: Your payment of $80 guarantees your seat in the entire course. If something changes after registration and you cannot attend the course, you must notify us at least 3 days before the first class to receive a refund. If you have to miss a class, we will provide code from class and any slides, but we do not offer partial refunds based on individual class absences.

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  • Caleb S.

    I just realized some of you may not have a good way to contact me. supplies a mechanism to do so, but it will strip indentation of code samples. Instead, you can feel free to email me directly with questions here: caleb dot smith NC at gmail dot com

    Also, you might find it useful to paste your code and/or error messages at and send the links to the paste in the email. This way, your code will be nicely formatted and easy to read.

    Thanks again everyone for a wonderful class.

    July 21, 2013

  • LaVern

    Thanks for providing the python class. I enjoyed the presentations and examples. Will touch base later as I work on the sample project.

    July 17, 2013

  • Caleb S.

    We had a great class yesterday folks! Thanks for your enthusiasm and hard work. Please feel free to contact me with any questions as you continue honing your skills

    July 17, 2013

  • Catherine

    Hi! Appreciated our second class, the individual assistance, provided during the mini projects, was particularly beneficial. We worked with two screens (Terminal and Text Editor); when building a website are these the only screens that are necessary? How does Django fit in with this?
    Thanks much!

    July 9, 2013

    • Caleb S.

      Hi Catherine. Great question. When working with Django, the basic workflow is much the same, with the addition of using the web browser to look at the Django site you're working on. Django comes with a "devserver" that is used for development only. This program runs in a terminal and serves pages to your web browser and restarts itself whenever you make changes to the Python code of your Django application. The official Django tutorial is pretty good: https://docs.djangopro...­ . It is probably a good idea to spend a few months working with Python in a more general sense first, but the tutorial is a good place to start once that is underway.

      July 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you for the wonderful class tonight. I am already up and running on my Windows desktop at home! Caleb, great class! Julia thanks for the Mac loaner! Rachael thanks for the info on setting up on Windows! Can't wait till next week!

    1 · June 25, 2013

    • Julia E.

      Sorry I could not make it tonight! Was the loaner all setup again for you?

      July 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Julia, missed you tonight. I was able to set it up.

      July 2, 2013

  • Caleb S.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm excited about our second class this coming Tuesday. I've done a bit of work on the curriculum this weekend and I wanted to let everyone know about what some of the changes are and how they relate to our class.

    If you are studying the slides to review a bit, you'll notice there is some new material in class 1 and some slides from class 1 were moved to class 2.

    We will go over the new material on Tuesday so don't worry about studying them before hand unless you get an itch to do so.

    As always, feel free to email or post here with any questions.

    June 30, 2013

  • Caleb S.

    Hi folks,

    I enjoyed meeting everyone and I'm looking forward to our next class. I think this tutorial is helpful for Windows users to get python running in powershell:

    Specifically, the line that has you enter the following into powershell:

    [Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("Path", "$env:Path;C:\Python27", "User")

    Let me know if this helps Windows users, and I'm happy to help you troubleshoot it further.

    June 25, 2013

    • Caleb S.

      I posted this without noticing Rachel's comment below. I think the two commands do the same thing but look a bit different. Feel free to try either.

      June 25, 2013

  • Julia E.

    iPython is the shell that Caleb was using, which is different than the shell that comes with your computer:

    June 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    To get Python working in Powershell (for folks using Windows), type the following into Powershell:


    June 25, 2013

  • Anuja

    Bowing out for this class - will attend one in the future if it's offered again. :) Thanks!

    June 25, 2013

    • Julia E.

      Sorry to hear that you can't make it! We'll be hosting the class again and are looking forward to seeing you at future events!!

      June 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you take this class and find you'd like to put it to good use professionally, drop me a note. I'm hiring. :)

    2 · June 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry, I know Meetup is not conducive to direct message. My email is [masked].

      June 25, 2013

  • Caleb S.

    Hi everyone!

    I'm really excited about starting our class tomorrow.

    Important notes about parking:

    Parking is available in the upper level of the deck behind WebAssign
    (turn through the median just before the intersection of Varsity and
    Main Campus Drives). There is also a parking lot for the Science Center near this same location. There are scary signs about needing parking permits, but this applies only during the daytime.

    There will be several of use available to help with setup, so don't worry if you need some help getting a text-editor or Python installed. (Python comes with GNU/Linux and MacOSX so installation is only a requirement for Windows computers). SublimeText2 is a good text editor for all OS's if you don't have one yet.

    I recently made the slides for our class available here:

    Feel free to post here or email with any questions or concerns.

    Have a good one, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!

    June 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to learning Python

    1 · June 24, 2013

  • Julia E.

    RSVP'ing as "No" to make more space for other interested students!

    June 20, 2013

15 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Introduction to Python

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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