Teaching

How Python's Evolution Impacts Your Fluency With Luciano Ramalho - Episode 296

On its surface Python is a simple language which is what has contributed to its rise in popularity. As you move to intermediate and advanced usage you will find a number of interesting and elegant design elements that will let you build scalable and maintainable systems and design friendly interfaces. Luciano Ramalho is best known as the author of Fluent Python which has quickly become a leading resource for Python developers to increase their facility with the language. In this episode he shares his journey with Python and his perspective on how the recent changes to the interpreter and ecosystem are influencing who is adopting it and how it is being used. Luciano has an interesting perspective on how the feedback loop between the community and the language is driving the curent and future priorities of the features that are added.

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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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Build Your Own Domain Specific Language in Python With textX - Episode 269

Programming languages are a powerful tool and can be used to create all manner of applications, however sometimes their syntax is more cumbersome than necessary. For some industries or subject areas there is already an agreed upon set of concepts that can be used to express your logic. For those cases you can create a Domain Specific Language, or DSL to make it easier to write programs that can express the necessary logic with a custom syntax. In this episode Igor Dejanović shares his work on textX and how you can use it to build your own DSLs with Python. He explains his motivations for creating it, how it compares to other tools in the Python ecosystem for building parsers, and how you can use it to build your own custom languages.

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Teaching Python Machine Learning - Episode 260

Python has become a major player in the machine learning industry, with a variety of widely used frameworks. In addition to the technical resources that make it easy to build powerful models, there is also a sizable library of educational resources to help you get up to speed. Sebastian Raschka’s contribution of the Python Machine Learning book has come to be widely regarded as one of the best references for newcomers to the field. In this episode he shares his experiences as an author, his views on why Python is the right language for building machine learning applications, and the insights that he has gained from teaching and contributing to the field.

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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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Accelerating The Adoption Of Python At Wayfair - Episode 236

Large companies often have a variety of programming languages and technologies being used across departments to keep the business running. Python has been gaining ground in these environments because of its flexibility, ease of use, and developer productivity. In order to accelerate the rate of adoption at Wayfair this week’s guest Jonathan Biddle started a team to work with other engineering groups on their projects and show them how best to take advantage of the benefits of Python. In this episode he explains their operating model, shares their success stories, and provides advice on the pitfalls to avoid if you want to follow in his footsteps. This is definitely worth a listen if you are using Python in your work or would like to aid in its adoption.

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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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