Practical Python Programming Syllabus

Day 1

  1. Introduction to Python. An introduction to the Python programming language. Covers details of how to start and stop the interpreter and write programs. Introduces Python's basic datatypes, files, functions, and error handling.
  2. Working with Data. A detailed tour of how to represent and work with data in Python. Covers tuples, lists, dictionaries, and sets. Students will also learn how to effectively use Python's very powerful list processing primitives such as list comprehensions. Finally, this section covers critical aspects of Python's underlying object model including variables, reference counting, copying, and type checking.

Day 2

  1. Program Organization, Functions, and Modules. More information about how to organize larger programs into functions and modules. A major focus of this section is on how to design functions that are reliable and can be easily reused across files. Also covers exception handling, script writing, and some useful standard library modules.
  2. Classes and Objects. An introduction to object-oriented programming in Python. Describes how to create new objects, overload operators, and utilize Python special methods. Also covers basic principles of object oriented programming including inheritance and composition.
  3. Inside the Python Object System. A detailed look at how objects are implemented in Python. Major topics include object representation, attribute binding, inheritance, memory management, and special properties of classes including properties, slots, and private attributes.

Day 3

  1. Iterators and Generators. Covers the iteration protocol, iterable objects, generators and generator expressions. A major focus of this section concerns the use of generators to set up data processing pipelines--a particularly effective technique for addressing a wide variety of common systems programming problems (e.g., processing large datafiles, handling infinite data streams, etc.).
  2. Some Advanced Topics. A variety of more advanced programming topics including variable argument functions, anonymous functions (lambda), closures, decorators, static and class methods.
  3. Testing, Debugging, and Software Development Practice. This section discusses many isses that are considered important to Python software development. This includes effective use of documentation strings, program testing using both the doctest and unittest modules, and effective use of assertions. The Python debugger and profiler are also described.
  4. Packages. Some details on how to organize source code into packages. Some information about installing third party modules and preparing your own code for distribution is given.