General Assembly Boston - Introduction to Python

When: Sat December 08, 2012 1:00 pm

Organization: General Assembly Boston

Location: GA Boston, Cambridge Innovation Center, One Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA


Introduction to Python

Jessica McKellar, Director of the Python Software Foundation

Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 1 pm to 5 pm

Python is a popular and versatile programming language used for everything from creating websites to scientific computing to building games. Programming isn't hard, but it's different and can seem intimidating. There are a lot of great tools available online, but sometimes it's nice to have someone explain what's going on to get over the initially steep learning curve.

This workshop is intended to teach non-technical people the basics of Python through four hours of interactive lecture and demos, taking breaks to practice concepts on bite-sized exercises.

By the end, you'll have hands-on exposure to many core programming concepts, be able to write useful Python programs, and have a roadmap for continuing to learn and practice programming in Python.

Concepts we'll cover:
  • Python as a calculator
  • Basic data types
  • Interactive programs: input and output
  • Making choices: booleans and flow control
  • Lists and iteration


  • 1-2:45 Lecture on basic data types and flow control, practice
  • 2:30-3 Interactive portion: Demos
  • 3-4:30 Lecture on lists and iteration, practice
  • 4:30-5 Demos , Q&A, next steps
None. This class assumes no prior programming experience.

Required Materials/Software:
 Please bring a laptop computer with you, and be sure to install Python and a text editor before the class begins.
Windows users, please install:
- Python version 2.7.3, from
- The Notepad++ text editor, from

OS X users, please install:
- The gedit text editor, from

If you have trouble installing and setting up these programs,  the instructor/class aides will be available before class begins - please show up at least 30 minutes before class if you want help.

About the Instructor:

Jessica McKellar is a Director for the Python Software Foundation and an organizer for the Boston Python User Group, the largest Python user group in the world. She uses Python every day as the VP of Engineering at a local startup. 

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