This is a very straight-forward practical programming workshop in Python designed to introduce you to programming and Python. No prior knowledge of programming concepts is assumed but some knowledge of College Algebra would be necessary. The course covers the fundamentals of programming including preparation of the computer, variables and constants, operators, data types, modularity, functions and classes. It delves into some of the deeper characteristics of object oriented programming such as encapsulation and polymorphism.
The aim is to inspire newcomers to programming to this wonderful world and to give encouragement in programming projects. I should warn that programming does take time, and the course is fairly demanding so you would be required to dedicate about 20 hours per week to this course. Python is also used for CGI and students must complete the first part entirely before embarking on this. Python CGI will be offered as a separated course once students are comfortable with the material covered in this introduction.
By the end of this course, students would be able to:
- Install Python on a personal computer
- Run Python in both interactive command line mode and CGI capability
- Run simple interactive Python prompts and code segments
- Understand and be able to use constants and variables
- Use the built-in Python operators
- Be acquainted with the Python built-in data types
- Understand and be able to use control structures
- Create simple applications
- Understand the need for correct programming techniques including testing
- Dry run algorithms
- Create functions
- Create solutions to more advanced problems
- Problem solving
Before you can think of doing any work with Python, you need to download and install the language. Go to ActiveState (www.activestate.com) and download ActivePython. Save the installation file in your “My Download Files”. We will later delete it from there as well. Run and install the package.
When done, you should be able to invoke the Python interpreter directly from the command screen: The three “greater than” signs is your Python Prompt. Now that you have Python, the next step is to download WingWare, which will be your integrated development Environment.
Go to: www.wingware.com. Go to the downloads and look for the Wing IDE 101, which is the free scaled down version of the IDE. Download and install this package.