Practical Python Programming

Upcoming Course Dates (Chicago):

• Not currently scheduled

Instructor: David Beazley

Price: $2500


  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Course materials
  • Python Essential Reference, 4th Ed.

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This course is no longer offered. However, you can find the course materials freely available online here.


Join David Beazley, author of the Python Essential Reference and Python Cookbook, for a foundational course on Python programming with a focus on the core language, data manipulation, programming environment, and script writing. You'll learn about data manipulation using Python's built-in datatypes, organizing code into functions, creating new objects with classes, and writing larger programs consisting of modules. Practical advice concerning coding practice, error handling, testing, and debugging are also prominent topics. Finally, the underpinnings of popular standard library modules and selected third-party extensions such as Numpy and Pandas are also described.

Target Audience

This course is best suited for people who want to greatly improve their Python skills by covering the language in a highly organized manner from first principles. If you've already learned some Python through the use of popular tools such as Jupyter, this course will expand your knowledge and help you write better code. If you're completely new to Python, but have experience with another programming language, this course will give you the important concepts you need to jump in and start coding.

Instruction Format

The course is taught in a round-table format that is strictly limited to 6 students. Each course day consists of a mix of prepared presentation (35%) and hands-on programming exercises (65%). Participants should plan to spend at least 4-5 hours each day working on the exercises, discussing code with other participants, and using Python. The course is fully supported by a 400-page guidebook, exercise solutions, and materials to allow further review and study upon course completion.


Although no prior experience with Python is required, this course assumes that students have prior experience with some other programming language such as C, Javascript, or PHP. This is not an introductory class for absolute beginners on how to program a computer! Participants should already be familiar with the basic concepts of programming such as variables, statements, control-flow, functions, and data structures. In addition, it is generally assumed that students already know how to work with files, folders, editors, command shells, environment settings, internet connections, and other essential aspects of using a computer for software development.


About the Instructor

The course is taught by David Beazley, author of the Python Essential Reference, 4th Edition (Addison Wesley) and Python Cookbook, 3rd Edition (O'Reilly Media). David has been actively involved with the Python community since 1996 and was one of the early adopters of Python with scientific software. From 1998-2005, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago. He has been actively developing and teaching the Practical Python Programming course since 2007.

Copyright (C) 2005-2024, David Beazley