Learning

Threading The Needle Of Interesting And Informative While You Learn To Code - Episode 283

Learning to code is a neverending journey, which is why it’s important to find a way to stay motivated. A common refrain is to just find a project that you’re interested in building and use that goal to keep you on track. The problem with that advice is that as a new programmer, you don’t have the knowledge required to know which projects are reasonable, which are difficult, and which are effectively impossible. Steven Lott has been sharing his programming expertise as a consultant, author, and trainer for years. In this episode he shares his insights on how to help readers, students, and colleagues interested enough to learn the fundamentals without losing sight of the long term gains. He also uses his own difficulties in learning to maintain, repair, and captain his sailboat as relatable examples of the learning process and how the lessons he has learned can be translated to the process of learning a new technology or skill. This was a great conversation about the various aspects of how to learn, how to stay motivated, and how to help newcomers bridge the gap between what they want to create and what is within their grasp.

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Learning To Program By Building Tiny Python Projects - Episode 273

One of the best methods for learning programming is to just build a project and see how things work first-hand. With that in mind, Ken Youens-Clark wrote a whole book of Tiny Python Projects that you can use to get started on your journey. In this episode he shares his inspiration for the book, his thoughts on the benefits of teaching testing principles and the use of linting and formatting tools, as well as the benefits of trying variations on a working program to see how it behaves. This was a great conversation about useful strategies for supporting new programmers in their efforts to learn a valuable skill.

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Learning To Program Python By Building Video Games With Arcade - Episode 249

Video games have been a vehicle for learning to program since the early days of computing. Continuing in that tradition, Paul Craven created the Arcade library as a modern alternative to PyGame for use in his classroom. In this episode he explains his motivations for starting a new framework for video game development, his view on the benefits of games in computer education, and how his students and the broader community are using it to build interesting and creative projects. If you are looking for a way to get new programmers engaged, or just want to experiment with building your own games, then this is the conversation for you. Give it a listen and then give Arcade a try for yourself.

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Using Deliberate Practice To Level Up Your Python - Episode 245

An effective strategy for teaching and learning is to rely on well structured exercises and collaboration for practicing the material. In this episode long time Python trainer Reuven Lerner reflects on the lessons that he has learned in the 5 years since his first appearance on the show, how his teaching has evolved, and the ways that he has incorporated more hands-on experiences into his lessons. This was a great conversation about the benefits of being deliberate in your approach to ongoing education in the field of technology, as well as having some helpful references for ways to keep your own skills sharp.

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Python's Built In IDE Isn't Just Sitting IDLE - Episode 243

One of the first challenges that new programmers are faced with is figuring out what editing environment to use. For the past 20 years, Python has had an easy answer to that question in the form of IDLE. In this episode Tal Einat helps us explore its history, the ways it is used, how it was built, and what is in store for its future. Even if you have never used the IDLE editor yourself, it is still an important piece of Python’s strength and history, and this conversation helps to highlight why that is.

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Learning To Program In Python With CodeGrades - Episode 224

With the increasing role of software in our world there has been an accompanying focus on teaching people to program. There are numerous approaches that have been attempted to achieve this goal with varying levels of success. Nicholas Tollervey has begun a new effort that blends the approach adopted by musicians and martial artists that uses a series of grades to provide recognition for the achievements of students. In this episode he explains how he has structured the study groups, syllabus, and evaluations to help learners build projects based on their interests and guide their own education while incorporating useful skills that are necessary for a career in software. If you are interested in learning to program, teach others, or act as a mentor then give this a listen and then get in touch with Nicholas to help make this endeavor a success.

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Hardware Hacking Made Easy With CircuitPython - Episode 212

Learning to program can be a frustrating process, because even the simplest code relies on a complex stack of other moving pieces to function. When working with a microcontroller you are in full control of everything so there are fewer concepts that need to be understood in order to build a functioning project. CircuitPython is a platform for beginner developers that provides easy to use abstractions for working with hardware devices. In this episode Scott Shawcroft explains how the project got started, how it relates to MicroPython, some of the cool ways that it is being used, and how you can get started with it today. If you are interested in playing with low cost devices without having to learn and use C then give this a listen and start tinkering!

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Teaching Digital Archaeology With Jupyter Notebooks - Episode 194

Computers have found their way into virtually every area of human endeavor, and archaeology is no exception. To aid his students in their exploration of digital archaeology Shawn Graham helped to create an online, digital textbook with accompanying interactive notebooks. In this episode he explains how computational practices are being applied to archaeological research, how the Online Digital Archaeology Textbook was created, and how you can use it to get involved in this fascinating area of research.

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Keeping Up With The Python Community For Fun And Profit with Dan Bader - Episode 188

Keeping up with the work being done in the Python community can be a full time job, which is why Dan Bader has made it his! In this episode he discusses how he went from working as a software engineer, to offering training, to now managing both the Real Python and PyCoders properties. He also explains his strategies for tracking and curating the content that he produces and discovers, how he thinks about building products, and what he has learned in the process of running his businesses.

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Building A Game In Python At PyWeek with Daniel Pope - Episode 182

Many people learn to program because of their interest in building their own video games. Once the necessary skills have been acquired, it is often the case that the original idea of creating a game is forgotten in favor of solving the problems we confront at work. Game jams are a great way to get inspired and motivated to finally write a game from scratch. This week Daniel Pope discusses the origin and format for PyWeek, his experience as a participant, and the landscape of options for building a game in Python. He also explains how you can register and compete in the next competition.

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