Change the future

Is Python Newbie Friendly

Simeon Franklin

Audience level:


Python is increasingly used as a teaching language for new programmers and touted as an easy language to learn for experienced developers. Its self proclaimed virtues of beauty, explicitness, simplicity and readability certainly should make it newbie and user-friendly... and mostly do. I'd like to talk with other Pythonistas about the parts that suck and what we can do to fix them!



The author has two years experience teaching Python to developers at companies like Cisco and Motorola and previously has been involved in introducing gifted high school students to programming in Python. This poster covers bumps on the road: the parts of the Python language and ecosystem that repeatedly trip up developers on their path to Python proficiency.

If you don't think Python has any user experience problems come talk to me - I'll show you from a beginners perspective what seems arcane, inconsistent, hard, or just plain broken.

If you know Python could have a better user experience come talk to me about what we can do specifically to smooth out some of these bumps.

Bumps in the Road

  • The Windows experience: installation, interactive shell, idle
  • Beginning development: interactive shell, help, stdlib
  • Ecosystem: packaging, environments, versions, runtimes, and tools