Saturday, May 30, 2015

A diversion: Python

For almost ten years I've been an ardent devotee of the Python language, initially developed by Guido van Rossum - Python at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I learned it from the ground up during my participation the GRAMPS project, motivated by the unfolding history of my remarkable family.
A few years back, I was approached by Raul Chong of IBM's Big Data University to help author an introductory book on the language. That book is nearing completion!
Along with the book, I was invited to give a two-hour introductory class on Python at Ryerson University. That class went very well, with more than 100 students hanging on to the end. Naturally two hours is hardly enough to do more than scratch the surface, especially for non-Computer Science students, many of whom had little programming experience. Still, I was very much energized by the opportunity and the response.
I was able to use Visual Studio 2013 Express with Python support added via NuGet as my demonstration IDE. Though there are some evident growing pains (especially wrt debugging) VSCE has the potential to become one of the best (free) Python IDEs available.

Update: Link to book: Getting Started with Python

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