Thinking Like a Programmer in Python


Make the leap from knowing Python basics to solving real problems!

This workshop is a second course in Python that looks more intently at the practice of programming than the program itself. During the class, we will develop a short but very typical application that obtains data, refines the information to a more useable form, and outputs its results in a standard format.

Of greater interest than the code is the reasoning that leads to design and tool choices. Particular focus will be paid to errors in the input and the code and the ways those can be addressed. We also approach the data processing task, identify its limitations, and strike off in a more generalized path.

The longest script we will develop will be 31 lines long, so this course is not code heavy. The student is expected to leave with a better understanding of how to think about programming.


We will not be teaching the basics in this class. We expect students to be familiar with Python, its general syntax, lists, functions, and dictionaries. Not sure what we mean? You should be able to complete most of the "Basics" section at . Feel free to ignore the classes and modules sections.

You should also come to class with Python (version 2 or 3, your choice!) installed on your computer. Python comes pre-installed on Mac and Linux systems. Windows users, check out . If you have trouble installing Python on your machine, please arrive 30 minutes early to class and we will assist you with installation.

Workshop fee: $10

The workshop fee is in place to guarantee your spot. We've all been to events where many more people RSVP than actually attend -- it's a bummer. The workshop fee is a guard against a class full of empty seats. However, we are not making any money off of the workshop. Instructors are all volunteers. Your fee will cover some basic costs but if you can not afford the fee, we will gladly offer a reduced rate or waive the fee altogether. No need to apply for a scholarship - just ask. No one is turned away due to cost.

About the Philadelphia Python User Group:

The Philadelphia Python User Group welcomes programmers of all backgrounds and experience levels. PhillyPUG event participants are expected to follow the Python Software Foundation's Code of Conduct, found here: .

About the Instructor:

Matt Wartell has been developing in the Unix environment for 30 years. In addition to having coded in more languages than he can count, Matt has been a contributor to various IETF standards, a director of engineering, technical lead, and mentor to development teams of hundreds. Matt's love affair with Python began about 6 years ago and it has largely displaced his use of other languages for most every purpose. Matt has long been involved with the professional development of his staff and colleagues, has presented at local Python user's groups, and has attended regional PyCons.