[EuroPython] For the CONFERENCE: content proposal (NOT Website, Bea you can read too)

Harald Armin Massa ghum at gmx.net
Fri Oct 8 12:04:24 CEST 2004

Hello Europythoneers!

after showerstorming (=brainstorming by myself while showering) 
yesterdays IRC-meeting-discussions I came up with a change request to my 
request "Python for beginners track"

Call it "take a chance on Python"
(expl.: Sweden - Abba - the Album (1977) contains "take a chance on me")

The idea: I learned from some participants, that they have just gotten 
curios about that "Python thingy" ... maybe some new worker in their 
company finished a software project in time and claimed it on Python, or 
through skimming some of the BigNames in Web (like Sir Tim Berners-Lee 
"By the way.. Python is cool" http://www.w3.org/2000/10/swap/#L88 ) or 
through Uche Ogbuji articles on XML threatment ...

And then googled through the web, found "hey, Sir Tim Berners-Lee might 
be correct; let's go to Sweden where the girls are blond and kaviar is 
cheep and visit Europython and learn sth. about Python"

I am confident that this squad is precious to the further success of 
Python, so giving them some knowledge they can really understand is 
quite a positive objective - because some of these will be judging to 
"allow" Python as a language of choice.

The concept is:
- have a 3 x 1/2 day seminar with "python for really new bies"
- on the other time they can attend the "normal conference", get the 
Pythoneers feeling, enjoy keynotes, sniff something about metaphysical 
decorators and metaclasses with protocols using webframeworks

the "seminar" will be a really basic "how to do hello world with python" 
going up to real world uses, for example:
- Python basics: syntax and semantics (types of data, control 
structures, functions, parameters, comments...)
- special look on the dicts and lists and sets - which are really 
KILLERfeatures productivitywise
- modules - namespaces: how to keep things organized ((expl. to EP: 
people who are responsible for managing sth. often really care for 

- accessing COM-objects from python: samples how to fill values into 
Excel and format Cells there (expl. to EP: If you have to convince 
pointy-haired ones or controllers, pushing data to Excel is of 
unbelievable value. I KNOW that using the Excel-Object-Model is not 
really Python Stuff, but "hey, you can do THAT with Python is a good 
sales tactic)

- list comprehensions (expl. to EP: they are extraordinarily powerfull. 
And everybody who programmed has had that "go through data and do .... 
type of job. Seeing that Python allows to collapse that to 1 line is a 
great show of power)

- accessing databases from Python, skimming the basics of the DB-API of 
Python. (expl. to EP: every company that was touched in any way by data 
processing consulting the last 20 years now HAS a database with some 
cricital information stored. Showing that Python can EASILY interact and 
report with this data is of great value)


But: WHY should somebody do these kind of talks? My suggestion is:

make this a pedagogical experiment in training and seminar techniques

We can use:
- collaborative learning
- mixed trainers --- every speaker explains sth. for a limited time 
frame; so the trainees get different ways of explanation of everything

and even better:
we surely have access to universities, and I am SURE that in the social 
science, especially pedagogical faculties there are some really new 
teaching concepts which really have to be tried. AND to do that on a 
Python conference may strengthen the foothold of Python within social 

the output for the speakers in this "track"
- the get in touch with "state of the art" teaching methods
- they can polish there communication skills with "non tech people"
- they can sharpen up their reputation as a trainer

the output for the attendees:
- they can say "I learned to programm Python" and tell the truth
- they have the guarantee that there will be sth. on the conference 
which they really can understand

the output for the EP conference:
- we can market the conference also as a "Python seminar" so that there 
is a additional source of budget to send people there which may give us 
more participants
- we can attract really newbies who are curious about Python
- with working with social sciences esp. pedagogical faculties we may 
take steps to balance the gender ratio on the conference

the output for the Python communitie:
- with luck some decision-makers are at that seminars and can accept 
that Python is the light side of the source
- we strengthen the foothold within social science / pedagogical branches


So, what do you think?


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