[Baypiggies] newbie nuggets

Shannon -jj Behrens jjinux at gmail.com
Sat Jun 28 01:21:57 CEST 2008

I was talking with a friend today, and he brought up the fact that we
hadn't had a newbies night in a long time.  I think that the problem
with having a newbies night every year or so is that there are
programmers who have to learn Python all year long.  Clearly, there
are training classes, but I think we could do more.

I'd like to propose a slight addition to our normal meetings called
"newbie nuggest".  I propose that *at the beginning of each meeting*,
we have a *10 minute* section devoted to newbies in which we cover one
intermediate topic.  It doesn't make sense to cover how to write a
"for" loop every month, but it would make sense to cover something
like generators.

The format is that one person covers one topic.  Slides are optional.
Showing some code, perhaps in the Python shell, is required.  I think
this would be a great way to give some of the less advanced Python
programmers something to contribute to BayPiggies.  Even if you don't
know what how to write a function decorator now, you could probably
learn it well enough to talk about it for 10 minutes before the next

Here are some suggested topics:

* Function decorators.
* List comprehensions.
* Generators and generator expressions.
* Function pointers and map.
* Using "else" with "for",  "while", and "except".
* Using StringIO.
* Using IPython (and installing it with an egg).
* Using "try/finally" with file handles vs. using the "with" statement.
* Using lambda.

I think these could be short, sweet, and helpful for a decent
percentage of our audience.  We could probably "loop around" and cover
the same topics every couple years.  After all, there are always new
beginners ;)

Best Regards,

It's a walled garden, but the flowers sure are lovely!

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