PyClass

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PyClass is an introductory Python course run by the Noisebridge community. It helps students solve common programming problems while learning about the language.

  • WHEN: Classes and/or office hours are held Mondays 7:00 - 9:00 PM in the second floor Electronics Room. Check Meetup. If you have not been to Noisebridge before, please try to arrive 15 minutes early so that you can be introduced to the space.
  • MEETUP: Mostly organized through Meetup.
  • ORGANIZERS: Travis B (tmoney on Discord).

Welcome to the Noisebridge PyClass![edit]

The class is completely free and open to complete beginners and those with some python experience alike! We will have lectures as well as some class/group exercises we will work on together, so please bring a laptop if you can.

Jupyter Hub[edit]

We have our own Jupyter Hub for the class at https://sfpythonlab.com. This is free and available for all students of the class as well as the larger Noisebridge community if necessary. Drop by a class to get an account.

Jupyter Hub allows us to post links to all of the lessons that open in your own private version of the document. You can edit the code and experiment with your changes, and follow along with the embedded text. Bring a laptop to the class if you'd like to follow along!

Course schedule and links[edit]

The overall class structure is 12 weeks of in person lectures. The first half of lectures, on programming and Python basics, will feature half lecture time and half discussion and practice time. The later lectures will be done with some discussion time but little in person practice. The rough estimate of what week is what is listed below, but note that these aren't assigned to calendar dates yet, because we may take weeks off for holidays or when the instructor is not available.

Series 1[edit]

Series 1 took place between May 8, 2023 and August 14, 2023. Series 2 took place between September 11, 2023 and Novembert 27, 2023.

  • May 8, 2023 - Basics featuring Mastodon - Week 1
  • May 15, 2023 - Control structures and booleans - Week 2
  • May 22, 2023 - No class!
  • May 29, 2023 - Review session
  • June 5, 2023 - Algorithms - Week 3
  • Assignment #1
  • June 12, 2023 - No class!
  • June 19, 2023 - Review session
  • June 26, 2023 - Functions and arguments - Week 4
  • July 3, 2023 - Basic SQL in Python - Week 5
  • July 10, 2023 - Review session
  • July 17, 2023 - Data Analysis using Pandas - Week 6
  • July 24, 2023 - Web Scraping - Week 7
  • July 31, 2023 - Review session
  • August 7, 2023 - Web Apps using Flask part 1 - Week 8
  • August 14, 2023 - Web Apps using Flask part 2 - Week 9

Series 2[edit]

  • September 11, 2023 - Basics Featuring Mastodon - Week 1
  • September 18, 2023 - Control structures, booleans, exceptions - Week 2
  • September 25, 2023 - Function definitions and Algorithms - Week 3
  • Assignment 1
  • October 2, 2023 - Basic SQL in Python - Week 4
  • October 9, 2023 - Review Session
  • October 16, 2023 - No class!
  • October 23, 2023 - OOP in Python (classes and objects) and decorators - Week 5
  • October 30, 2023 - Data Analysis with Pandas - Week 6
  • November 6, 2023 - Web Scraping - Week 7
  • November 13, 2023 - Quiz Session (come with your laptop, we will work on coding solutions together)
  • November 20, 2023 - No Class!
  • November 27, 2023 - Web Apps with Flask, part 1 - Week 8
  • December 4, 2023 - Web Apps with Flask, part 2 - Link TBD

Series 3[edit]

  • Week 1 (Mar 11, 2024) - Introduction and basics, featuring Mastodon
  • Week 2 (Mar 18, 2024) - Control structures and booleans
  • Week 3 (Mar 25, 2024) - Exceptions
  • Week 4 (TBD) - Defining and calling functions
  • Week 5 (TBD) - Algorithms, part 1
  • Week 6 (TBD) - Algorithms, part 2
  • Week 7 (TBD) - Object oriented programming in Python (classes and objects)
  • Week 8 (TBD) - OOP part 2 (if necessary), decorators
  • Week 9 (TBD) - Basic SQL/Data analysis with sqlite and Pandas
  • Week 10 (TBD) - Web scraping
  • Week 11 (TBD) - Web apps with Flask, part 1
  • Week 12 (TBD) - Web apps with Flask, part 2

Course Material (Subject to overhaul)[edit]

Updated course material is being authored and tracked on Github.

The course previously contained six lessons and assorted guest lectures. The old list of classes (retained for reference) are:

  • Storing and transmitting information with JSON
  • Working with text data
  • Relational databases and SQL
  • Performance and Big O notation
  • Objects and Classes
  • Web applications with Flask

The material for these is available on the old Github page.

Intended audience and pace[edit]

The course is appropriate for both beginners to Python and beginning programmers in general. If you've never done any programming at all before, it might be more challenging because we won't spend much time discussing fundamentals of things such as imperative programming (how programs execute), variable scoping, function execution and program flow, or boolean logic. Some of these you will "pick up" just by seeing the lectures, however.

This isn't an exhaustive tour of every Python language feature, and sometimes we will introduce features or syntax in a lecture that weren't fully discussed previously. There is probably a fair amount of "I don't understand exactly why this works, but I understand it works" if you're completely new.

Online classes[edit]

The class is only offered in person at Noisebridge. There is no online Zoom/Jitsi/etc, and no live online component is planned, sorry.

Python Setup[edit]

You do not need to install Python to attend this class. All lectures, coursework and assignments are provided via a Jupyter Hub instance, that allows students to create files and run Python code.

The exception of this are the final two lectures on Flask apps, which require Python code on your own machine in order to run the examples. But you can follow along in the in-person lecture as well as the lesson notebooks without an install.

If you would like help getting a Python environment set up on your computer anyway, please speak with one of the instructors, or ask in #python on Discord.

Helping out and getting additional help[edit]

Discussions of the class and announcements will take place in the #python channel on Noisebridge Discord (under classes).

PyClass runs on volunteer effort, and we would love to have your help keeping it it excellent! The simplest and most appreciated contributions are simple examples of the projects you want to work on, the bugs you encounter, and the concepts you find difficult. Especially if they are succinct or easy to turn into problems that others can learn from.

We are always looking for more people to teach classes. This is a great way to solidify your understanding, find new and exciting edge cases, and help others. We welcome people teaching existing classes, or their own classes on the subjects they are most excited about. Remember, the only thing that qualifies people to run PyClass is having enough enthusiasm to show up.

If you need help getting started, getting unstuck, or getting someone to look at your code we are happy to help! There are review sessions held generally every two weeks during the course, where students can feel free to review past course material or bring up any issues they are having. Finally, feel free to reach out through Meetup or Discord at any time!

Code of Conduct[edit]

PyClass holds to the Noisebridge Community Standards, and the Noisebridge Anti-Harassment Policy which we take seriously.

We also follow the Recurse Center social rules, because they are excellent at creating an environment where people are comfortable learning.

Python Resources[edit]

For learning programming, we recommend that you consult multiple resources with a variety of formats and priorities. Some of our favorite resources are:

  • Learn Python the Hard Way - A clear introduction to python intended for people new to programming. Written well enough to be useful for more advanced programmers as well. Available in the Noisebridge library.
  • Python Documentation - The Python documentation is a well written and comprehensive reference. It isn't a page turner, but should be one of your first stops when confused.
  • Python Module of the Week - Python comes with batteries included, but it can still be hard find the best tool among the hundreds of modules it provides. Python Module of the Week walks you through each of the standard library modules provided by the language.
  • pyvideo - A searchable index of Python conference talks. Drop by class for some specific recommendations!
  • python tutor - pythontutor.com allows you to walk through small pieces of code and understand how Python thinks of them. An excellent resource for debugging mysterious Python behavior.

There are more good resources for learning Python than we can list here. Do you have a favorite that you think is missing? Let us know!

Free to all - please donate to Noisebridge![edit]

This course only happens because the Noisebridge community provides a space for it to exist. Maintaining the space and broader community is difficult and thankless work. The course is free, but if you want to help the community pay rent go to: https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Donate_or_Pay_Dues.

Recommended Donations: $15, $50, $200+ Recommended monthly donations: $10, $20, $40, $80+ / month