Python Classes: Now Open to the Public


UPDATE:So, it appears that google hangout has a 10 person max! However, we won’t let that deter us. We have live streamed the first two hangouts/classes on Youtube, which has the added benefit of automatically uploading the video after the hangout is finished. You should be able to see past classes on Sunlight’s Youtube channel, and while the hangout is happening, you should see the live video stream under the events tab of Sunlight’s Youtube channel. If you’re watching the youtube stream and have a question, jump into the Sunlight Labs IRC channel (#sunlightlabs) on (beginner’s guide to IRC ).

For a few years now, labs members of Sunlight have offered various technical classes to the rest of the staff, covering HTML and CSS, javascript, ruby, and python. It’s a good way to foster collaboration between staff and generate new ideas. Just like I enjoy picking the brains of our policy department now and then, non-Labs Sunlighters usually enjoy learning at least the basics of what the other half does.

I’m about to start up a new round of the python class, now that we’ve got a brand spankin’ new crop of fellows and interns. But since I’m pretty tired of having to futz with my linux configuration to get a proper dual display going on a TV every time, and I want the students to be able to ignore me more surreptitiously, like a proper class, I’ve decided to use the screen sharing feature on Google+ hangouts instead. And since we’ll be on a hangout anyway… why not open it up to all of you good people who might be interested?

In general, the class is geared towards absolute beginners to programming. If you already know how to program in another language, I promise you’ll be super bored. The classes will be most Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-5 pm… starting today, July 3rd! But since it’s such short notice, and this is kind of an informal thing anyway, we’ll mostly be covering python installation and setup and I’ll probably be futzing around with the hangout settings to make sure the text is readable, etc. etc.

So if you’re interested, please send me a sentence or two (using whatever email you use for google+) at klee[at]sunlightfoundation[dotcom] just explaining who you are and why you’re interested. I’d like to make the hangout totally public, but we don’t want this turning into chat roulette, so I’ll need to add you all to a circle and invite that circle to the hangout each time. Also, last time we loosely used a book called Hello World! as our text. It’s meant to teach python programming to kids, but it’s good for any beginner. You can grab the book from Manning’s site as an ebook (in all popular formats!).

DISCLAIMER: this is mostly an experiment and an informal way for us to give back to the community. I can’t promise I’ll always be on time, interesting, or not floundering for a good explanation every once in a while. I will also try to pay attention to the hangout chat as much as possible, but since the predominant audience will be in person, I might slip sometimes.

Welp, that’s about it. Have a happy 4th everyone!