Wednesday, April 18, 2007
So when the UGIC asked me to recommend a book to get for the participants in the Introduction to Python, I looked at all the ones I could find, but they all either assumed too much existing knowledge or covered material that would just confuse a beginner. Often both. But then Michael Bernstein pointed me to Python for Dummies.
If you're looking to teach beginners, or you're a beginner yourself, Python for Dummies is by far the best option. There's a few sections that are strikingly inappropriate for a book at its level (new-style classes!?) but it's still much, much better than any of the other books on the market in this respect. As a bonus, it's also one of the few that covers Python 2.5.
This presentation was meant for people with little to no programming experience. So I deliberately kept it pretty basic, and in fact in 90 minutes we only covered up to about slide 20 in the pdf. I also added an exercise before moving on to slide 10. ("Read 3 integers into a list, and print the sum.")
There were 17? people there (which was the room's capacity), so it was very nice to have Kevin Bell also answering questions individually during the exercises.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Thursday I presented on distributed source control and Mercurial to the utah python ug. Here are my slides.
It's exciting to see what is still a small and elegant tool gain traction like this, even though in some ways hg (and dscm in general really) is still in the early adopter stage.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
My employer, the creator of Mozy, is running a programming contest this Saturday. 9 languages are allowed. The first 2 rounds are online; the finals are in American Fork (Utah), but if you make it that far you're guaranteed to win some money.
(We did this last year too; this year the prize money is doubled to $20k. Not to mention how we are super-experienced contest organizers now!)
Monday, April 02, 2007
Since I neglected to archive the old list when moving utahpython.org to a new server, the utah python user group has a new mailing list courtesy of Google Groups. (At least this way we're not dependent anymore on my incompetent sysadminning.)