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PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

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Python 101

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Novice / Tutorial
March 9th 9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
This teaches the basics of Python for beginning and intermediate software developers. Most of the material is presented with the interactive interpreter shell instead of starting with a "Hello, world!" program. Each 10-15 minute section is a demonstration followed by hands-on exercises, some of which are meaty enough to keep advanced participants interested.


Intended Audience

Software developers with experience in other languages who want a fast hands-on introduction to basic features of Python.

Tutorial Format

Hands-on with frequently alternating presentation of concepts and exercise sets. Each pair of concepts and exercises ranges in length from 5 to 15 minutes.

The tutorial will target Python 2.7, including features back-ported from Python 3, with explanations of differences from Python 3.

Attendee Requirements

Bring a laptop computer with Python 2.7 installed.


At least beginning to intermediate ability in any programming language. Self-study before the tutorial will increase your learning, for example the Python website's tutorial at

Course Outline

  • Numbers and Operators
  • Strings
  • Introspection/Discovery
  • Tuples and Lists
  • Sets
  • Dictionaries
  • List Comprehensions
  • Objects and Names
  • Loops and Blocks
  • Iterators
  • Generator Expressions
  • Functions
  • Generators
  • Namespaces
  • Simple Classes
  • Exceptions


I gave a similar tutorial at PyCon 2010 for which the video is available -- see

If you're not sure about signing up for this tutorial, take a look at the video to help you decide, or grab the handouts and watch that video instead of taking this tutorial.