Working with Python - Introductory Level
What you'll learn
- Learn the basics of Python, one of the most popular programming languages in use today
- Learn the syntax of the Python language by writing a text-based adventure game
- Learn about the difference between Object-oriented and procedural programming
- Learn to think like a computer scientist: making decisions, looping logic, and performing calculations
- Learn best practices when writing Python code
- Learn how to build a terminal-based Python program
- Learn how to create a virtual environment to isolate your program and make it easy to install
- No programming experience required
- A Windows, Linux, or Macintosh computer
Python is one of the world's most popular programming languages, and with good reason: it is extremely flexible, easy to learn, and runs on a wide variety of devices and platforms. In fact, Python recently moved to first place in the TIOBE programming community index, which is a remarkable achievement.
This course is an introduction to Python, version 3.10. Unlike many introductory courses, we will not spend hours surveying the basics of the language; personally, I see no point in doing that, since there are already many, many free resources online that do precisely that. Instead, we'll learn the language in the way that I have long preferred: we'll actually build something.
The bulk of this course will be focused on building a simple text adventure game, where the player explores a labyrinth, encounters monsters, engages in combat, finds items, and that sort of thing. It's a bit of a throwback to the early days of computer games, but the important thing here is not the quality of the game that we'll build, but rather that we'll cover all of the things you need to get started programming in Python, including:
Python's primitive data types: integer, float, string, and boolean
Python's aggregate data types: tuple, set, dictionary and list
How to make decisions in Python: if/elif/else
How to loop in Python: for and while loops
How to write functions
How to import from the standard library, and third party packages
How to structure a Python program
How to perform mathematical operations in Python
How to manipulate strings in Python
How to work with classes in Python
And, as the saying goes, much more. Periodically, I'll include "aside" lectures, which focus on a particular aspect of Python in more detail, with simple code examples that are not part of the main project.
This course requires no previous programming experience.
Who this course is for:
- This course is perfect for absolute beginners with no previous programming experience.
- It's also great if you know an existing programming language and want to become skilled in Python.
I have twenty years of experience in professional software development, and twenty years of experience as a University professor.
As an entrepreneur, I have worked with a broad range of clients, including Thomson Nelson, Hewlett Packard, the Royal Bank of Canada, Keybank, Sprint, and many, many others. I also have extensive management and project management experience. I have led teams of fifty developers and artists on multi-million dollar projects, and much smaller teams on much smaller projects.
As a professor, I have taught in a wide variety of course areas, including Computer Science, English, Irish, and American literature, and a number of "crossover" courses that bridge the liberal arts and technological fields.
I have won regional, national, and international awards for my work in the IT field, and have also won awards for my teaching and research as a University professor.