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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Practical Python with Raymond Hettinger

Raymond Hettinger is coming to Chicago May 16-20 to put his unique spin on my Practical Python Programming course. Although that is coming up soon, there is still time to register and a few slots are still available. Needless to say, if you've been looking for a class where you can learn more about Python and improve your skills, you won't find a better class anywhere!

Raymond Hettinger is the same core developer whose name can be found on no fewer than 13 PEPs including a variety of very useful features of modern Python programming. For example, the enumerate() function that lets you keep track of where you are in iteration such as this example that gives you a line number when reading a file:

>>> f = open("data.dat")
>>> for lineno, line in enumerate(f,1):

Or maybe you like reversing things with the reversed() function:

>>> for x in reversed(seq):

Or what about putting a thousands separator on numbers?

>>> x = 123456789
>>> format(x,",")

Or sets?

>>> a = set(['a','b','c'])
>>> b = set(['c','d','e'])
>>> a & b
>>> a | b
set(['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e'])

All of these features contain some of Raymond's handiwork. However, that's really only scratching the surface. Maybe you've used various features in the collections or itertools modules. Or maybe you've used generator expressions, one of my favorite Python features. Again, Raymond's work.

Last, but not least, Raymond is a well-known speaker and presenter. I distinctly remember seeing him give one of the most amazing presentations at PyCon UK in 2008 about the inner secrets of Python containers--a talk that left me thinking "I had no idea Python worked like that." At PyCon'2011 Raymond gave a well-received talk about API Design. Update: Raymond is giving no fewer than 6 talks at EuroPython including an invited keynote talk.

So, if you're thinking about learning more about Python, you could certainly read an online tutorial, watch a video, or take a class where an instructor shows up. Or, you can join five other developers for an in-depth class created by the author who wrote one of the most in-depth Python books and presented by a core developer who knows Python inside-out. Needless to say, you won't be disappointed.

As a bonus, if you stick around for Friday afternoon, you can have your head completely exploded by signing up for my Learn Hard Python seminar--a 3 hour tour through some of Python's most advanced features including descriptors, super(), function objects, closures, decorators, context managers, and metaclasses.

Hopefully you'll join Raymond and myself for a great week of Python. More information is available at http://www.dabeaz.com/chicago/index.html.

Monday, April 04, 2011


Learn Python from Raymond Hettinger in Chicago

In one of the hallway tracks at Pycon, Raymond Hettinger came up to me and said "I've been thinking about teaching a Python class." Needless to say, I couldn't pass on that kind of opportunity. So, I'm pleased to announce that Raymond is coming to Chicago, May 16-20 to put his unique spin on my Practical Python Programming course along with an assortment of his own material. The course is being held in my Python lair so I'll stop by to say "hi" before leaving you in the hands of one of Python's foremost experts. In short, this might be one of the most fantastic Python courses ever offered--and as with past courses, space is limited to just six students.

In case you're not so familiar with Raymond's work, let's just say that it's hard to escape it if you've done any kind of Python programming at all. Not only is Raymond a Python core developer responsible for numerous features such as collections, itertools, sets, generator expressions, and the peephole optimizer, he is a well-known Pycon speaker and board member of the Python Software Foundation. In short, if you take this class, you'll not only learn about features of the Python language, you'll be learning from the person who contributed many of them in the first place.

I should emphasize that this class is really designed for new Python programmers who want to get off to a great start. As long as you know about general programming concepts, no prior Python experience is required. Of course, even if you know some Python, you are still going to learn a wide variety of new and interesting things.

More information about this and other courses is available here. Hopefully you'll join Raymond in May!

Update (April 24, 2011) There is just one slot left! What are you waiting for?

-- Dave


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