PyCon 2016 in Portland, Or
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Sunday 9 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

Python by Immersion

Stuart Williams

Audience level:
Python Core (language, stdlib, etc.)


A very fast introduction to Python for software developers with experience in other languages. Instead of a traditional top-down presentation of Python's features, syntax, and semantics, students are immersed in the language bottom-up with hundreds of small examples using the interactive interpreter to quickly gain familiarity with most of the core language features.


In three hours the instructor will demonstrate and explain 500 Python expressions, grouped by topic, evaluated at the interactive Python prompt. In exercises interspersed with the demonstrations students will experiment with another 500 expressions provided by the instructor to solidify their understanding of the topic. Each pairing of demonstration and experimentation lasts less than 15 minutes. Special attention is given to variables (names, namespaces, and objects) because many programmers new to Python assume they understand how they work based on experience in other languages, but later get tripped up by those incorrect assumptions. Lists and dictionaries, two of Python's workhorse data structures, also receive a lot of attention. Examples of complete Python programs are given only brief treatment near the end, because we assume students already know how and why to write programs even if they're new to Python.

Student Handout

No handouts have been provided yet for this tutorial