Learn Python by Crafting Catchy Computer Art


This workshop shows beginners how to write interesting python programs by creating computer artwork. Python ships with turtle, which is a module that was inspired by the LOGO programming language.

Gaining a rock-solid foundation of any programming language can be a brutal task. You have to learn strange concepts like data types, conditional statements, iteration, and functions without any reference points in which you can relate to.

Most beginners have ambitious dreams of building sophisticated software that solves interesting problems. However, without a strong foundation, it’s difficult to build complex software let alone pass a simple programming quiz.

We’ll start off with a quick crash course on the basics of Python, and then translate that knowledge to building graphics with turtle. We’ll learn how to craft simple shapes and use them to build complex computer graphics using algorithms. Programs we’ll analyze include: the sky, spirographs, glow sticks, and even a silly racing game made 100% with turtle. There will be time for attendees to hack on their own computer artwork at the end, and optionally showcase what they’ve built.


- Having an understanding of the basics of Python is helpful, though there will be a quick tutorial of the basics at the beginning if you are new to it.
- The workshop will be a mix of lecture and hands-on programming, so it’s recommended to have Python 3.x installed and to bring your laptop.
- Though not a requirement, it is recommend to have an IDE (integrated development environment) installed (any IDE is fine, ex. PyCharm, Sublime Text, etc).

Speaker bio:

Doug Purcell (he/him) is a software engineer, entrepreneur, and 5X author. Outside of tech he has an eclectic range of interests such as traveling, art, music, green spaces, national parks, and photography. His favorite programming language is currently python and he’s published two books on it. His latest book, Code Cool Stuff with Python, was a #1 new release in Dec 2019. He’s also active on LinkedIn; send him a connection request with a quick blurb.

Teaching Assistant Bios:

Vanessa Archambault (she/her): Vanessa is a self-taught software engineer who got her start working on GIS and mapping technologies. She originally studied Environmental Science and worked with plants and trees for a long time. After a while she got a crazy idea in her head that she could become an engineer and she went for it. Five years later she has gone from knowing zero programming to being a professional engineer. She's excited to be spearheading TBC's tech and curriculum development, and is always available to chat about tech, pinball, or rock climbing.

Sharan Thangavel (he/him): I'm a Computer Science major from the National University of Singapore who's spending a year in the Bay Area to grow under the very best. I'm just as passionate about making the technology world accessible to all, and have really enjoyed being a TA for software engineering & programming methodology modules in the past.


This Tech & Tea is hosted at VSCO, a photo company for creators, by creators. VSCO is a mobile photography app for making beautiful photos and videos that tell a story.

Some notes about the space:

- VSCO IS ADA accessible; there is elevator present to bring you to the right floor.
- Though childcare will not be provided, children are welcome to be brought to this event, as long as an adult is available to attend to them.
- Please text[masked] or DM Renée on Slack to access the space after 7pm.

All attendees are expected to abide by the Tech By Choice Code of Conduct: https://www.techbychoice.org/

These events are catered for protected groups, though all are welcome.