What we're about

Maybe you’re new to coding. Maybe you’ve mastered a lot of its bits and pieces: loops, branches, functions, objects, and so on. But whether you’ve been programming for a week or a decade, there come times when you get stuck and don’t know how use your coding knowledge to get the result you want.

That’s what Think Like a Coder! is all about. It’s a meetup where we’ll take on a coding task — sometimes easy, sometimes a little trickier — and look at ways to take it on. If you’re having trouble making the leap from learning a programming language to applying that knowledge to write working programs, this meetup is for you!

Think Like a Coder! started as “Tampa iOS Meetup”, but we’re expanding our scope. We still cover iOS development, but has expanded to cover programming anything that’s programmable. In the current technological era, you may find yourself writing applications for the web, then phones and tablets, then desktops/laptops, then wearables, and then embedded or IoT devices. No matter what platform you’re targeting, the principles of programming remain the same, and this group is all about being ready for whatever changes are coming. Our motto is “If it has a chip, we’re hip!”

Think Like a Coder! takes the same approach as the previous meetups: We start with an idea for an app, and then attempt to write that app. Along the way, we cover the techniques and tools necessary for writing the app.

The difference between Think Like a Coder! and the meetups that came before it — Tampa iOS Meetup and Programmers of Portables — is that we‘re not limited to any specific platform. From the web to the desktop to mobile to IoT, we’ll trying writing programs for all sorts of platforms!

Our mission is to help you make the leap from knowing *how to program* to knowing *how to WRITE programs*. This is a skill you can master, and you do so by learning to think like a coder! In this meetup, we’ll work together toward that goal, and sharpen our collective skills along the way.

We’ll start with online meetups until the COVID-19 numbers drop further, and then we’ll see about going in-person.

We’re going to keep the beginner-friendly focus with this revamped meetup, but don’t let “beginner-friendly” fool you into thinking that it means “simple”! In our “beginner-friendly” classes, we rewrote the classic arcade game “Frogger”, the iPhone version of Google’s Tilt Brush, our own scaled-down version of IKEA Place, and several augmented reality and machine learning apps. We’ll now be doing things like that on all sorts of platforms.

Join us, and let’s build the future!

Upcoming events (1)

How I use Python and Jupyter Notebook to make the Tampa Bay Tech Events List

In the last “Think Like a Coder!” meetup, we did some basic web scraping in order to build a simple application that let us know if Publix Chicken Nugget Subs were on sale. In this meetup, I’ll take it to the next level by showing you how I use Python scripts embedded inside a Jupyter Notebook to automate a lot of the work that goes into building the weekly list of tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events for Tampa Bay.

Along the way, I’ll cover topics such as:

- The REAL reason started posting the list in the first place, which was back in April 2017, and how it’s paid off
- The original, painful way the list was built
- The power of enlightened laziness
- Using Python to automate opening browser windows
- Using Beautiful Soup — a great web scraping library with a silly name — to pluck specific information from web pages
- Fear, loathing, and regular expressions
- Using Jupyter Widgets as a quick and dirty way to create GUI web applications
- Automating the tedious, repetitive, mechanical part of the job, while leaving the “thinky”, make-a-judgement-call part of the job to the human
- Building tech communities

Join me, as I demonstrate and walk you through my code, and what I was thinking when I put it together!

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The “Think Like a Coder!” meetup’s mission is to help you make the leap from knowing *how to program* to knowing *how to WRITE programs*. This is a skill you can master, and you do so by learning to think like a coder! In this meetup, we’ll work together toward that goal, and sharpen our collective skills along the way.

We’ll start with online meetups until the COVID-19 numbers drop further, and then we’ll see about going in-person.

Photos (47)