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Week 3 meetup review: Other People's Code, Next week's plan, The Future Of PyLadies

Selena D.
user 9835809
Group Organizer
Portland, OR

We're on our third week of PyLadies meetups and had an epic turnout last night - 14 people showed up to go over the Coursera programming assignment from week 2.

We reviewed code graciously shared by Mele and Aleta. A few things that people brought up during code review were:

  • Commenting style: # or """? Which is better?
    We talked about how using """ is helpful if you're using a tool like Sphinx to generate documentation. And I demonstrated my OCD comment reformatting compulsions to the group (I like A LOT of space around my comments). Basically, comment style is something you talk about with your development team, and decide together what the best way is to make comments look nice to everyone.

  • What order should you write your code in?
    This question came up because it's not always clear where to start coding when you're doing Event Driven programming. Since your users can do things "out of order", as a developer, you're left coming up with the order you should write the code yourself. Fortunately, our Coursera professors gave us a suggested order of programming operations:

    1. Globals (state)
    2. Helper functions
    3. Classes
    4. Define event handlers
    5. Create a frame
    6. Register event handlers
    7. Start frame and timers

    And from the videos, we're going to ignore "Classes" for now!

  • What's the difference between functional, event-driven, object-oriented and procedural programming?
    Selena did her best to answer this question with the help of a rough drawing of a recursive function calculating even or oddness by dividing by 2, and a wikipedia definition of functional programming!
    Here are some links that might help further your understanding of the different kinds of programming:
    Object oriented vs Procedural programming: http://www.virtuosime...­
    OO vs. Functional: http://www.cs.oberlin...­
    Object oriented and event-driven programming: http://linuxfinances....­
    Comparison of different programming paradigms: http://en.wikipedia.o...­

  • How do I find out more about a library or function while I'm programming?
    If you fire up the 'python' interpreter (type 'python' in a 'cmd' window on Windows, or a Terminal window on Mac OS X), you'll get a '>>>' prompt. At that prompt, you can import libraries (like: "import math"). Once you do that, you can ask for help!  Type this after importing math: help(math)

Next week's meetup: working in groups, taking turns going over quiz questions

Next week, we'll get into groups to go over Week 3's programming assignment (Stopwatch!). Each group will go over two code samples, so if you can't get your homework done before the meetup -- just come anyway! We only need about half of the whole group to complete the assignment for this exercise to be useful.

Also, Flora sent out an email asking for everyone to prepare 2-3 of the quiz questions to share with the group. I think the class will learn best from each other -- plus it's way less boring that just listening to me read all through the meeting!

Again - if you don't get to it, DO NOT FRET. We're happy to have you just come along for the ride.

Finally, Puppet Labs is hosting us and ordering us a few pizzas each week. Huge thanks to New Relic for hosting our second meetup, and Mozilla for sponsoring us at Collective Agency.

See the meetup page for more details on the location. We'll be at Puppet Labs for the rest of the course.

Life after Coursera: The future of PyLadiesPDX

We took a few minutes to talk about people's plans for after Coursera. Here are a few of the things we chatted about:

  • Lyzi and Selena are working on an AWESOME GAME PROJECT. We hereby invite all PyLadies to hack on this with us. Next week, we'll be pushing a Github repo live and sharing code. If you're interested in working on this open source project that's brand new with us, please just email us! We'll also mention it in the meetings, so you can chat with us in person anytime.
  • Selena's husband is working for a publicly funded virtual charter school (wow, a mouthful). He's got a small project that would really help out the public schools by making it easier to figure out which courses are available to high school students, and how to register. This is something they need next spring, and would be a great starter project if you want to do some resume building and help out our public schools. Let Selena know if you're interested!
  • Wendy's girl scout troop - in Beaverton, not Salem! - would be interested in having us show off our Coursera games in January 2013. We'll start planning this and let you all know when this is happening. Idea is we'd do a show-and-tell, having the girl scouts play games and then having the authors of programs tell the girls about themselves, and how they wrote the software.

In general, everyone wants the group to continue meeting after Coursera ends! At this point, it seems like focusing on projects we can code together and share publicly is a key goal. That sounds awesome to me!

If you have other ideas for meetups, want to get involved in organizing or just have some thoughts about what we do next, please just let us know!

Saturday HackMeets

Aleta has organized a Saturday meetup to work on Coursera and trade programming tips. This week they'll be meeting at the Hawthorne Lucky Lab at 11am. See the meetup page for more details!

We now have Belinda, Flora and Aleta helping out with organizing meetups.  Have a great week, and see you next week!


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