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PyCamp :: August 4-8, 2008

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PyCamp is TriZPUG's Python Boot Camp, which takes a programmer familiar with basic programming concepts to the status of Python developer with one week of training. If you have previous programming experience and want to step into Python programming as quickly and painlessly as possible, this boot camp is for you. PyCamp is the perfect follow-on to Plone Boot Camp the previous week.
When and where?How to register?Is PyCamp for me?What to expect?Who is your instructor?What you need to bring?What you need to do to prepare?Who's coming to PyCamp?How to get around?Where to park?Where to stay?Where to eat?Who makes this possible?Who makes this happen?

For more information, please email

2007 PyCampers are ecstatic about functional programming with Python

When and Where

1001 Kerr Hall is a state of the art high technology classroom. There are wired 100Mb Ethernet connections and grounded AC power outlets at every seat. A video projection screen monitors the presentation computer at the front of the room. The seating is conference style on terraced risers all facing the instructor. A wireless microphone tracks the instructor throughout the room.

Boot Camp consists of two parts:

  • Check In - Monday August 4, 2008, 8:30am, 1001 Kerr Hall.
  • Boot Camp Instruction - Monday August 4 through Friday August 8, 2008, 9am-5pm, 1001 Kerr Hall.

How To Register

PyCamp registration is closed. See the list of participants.

The registration schedule was as follows:

Completed by June 30, 2008 for early bird registration ($250).

Completed by July 31, 2008 for regular registration ($300).

Qualify Yourself

Do you:

If you answered "Yes," then PyCamp is probably for you.

What To Expect

Check out the PyCamp final syllabus. This syllabus has been revised due to testing during previous TriZPUG PyCamps. It reflects what beginners can be reasonably expected to usefully comprehend and retain in one week.

PyCamp represents a unique pedagogical approach. You will learn:

2006 PyCampers whoop it up
  • By Example - Many programming courses take the rote "reference manual" approach where you are taught all the elements of a language and then expected to apply them from memory. You will instead start with working useful programs and become exposed to the elements of the Python programming language through actual code.
  • By Following Along - Many programming courses lecture passive students. Others leave students to work through programming problems on their own. You will instead participate by stepping through working and useful code line by line, building up new features and making changes as you follow along in guided labs.
  • By Pythonic Method - Every programming language has a culture and idioms which make it unique. Too many programming courses apply a generic approach to languages, resulting in programmers who write Java programs in Perl. You will learn the zenful practices which make Python the most elegant and practical of programming languages.

Your instructor

Your instructor is Chris Calloway, applications analyst for University of North Carolina Department of Marine Sciences and a member of the Plone Foundation. Chris taught the original PyCamp and has organized many boot camps and sprints for TriZPUG. Chris has been developing in Python for nine years and has 28 years of of IT experience, primarily with IBM. Chris has previously developed and taught 40 hour courses about Java technology.

What You Need To Bring

  • A laptop (required!) with a wired ethernet adapter and any of the following OS platforms:
    • Windows XP, 2000, or Vista with latest service packs, an accessible Administrator login password, and Python 2.5.2 installed
    • Mac OSX 10.5 latest revision or better (Python 2.5.2 is included)
    • Linux with a 2.6 kernel and Python 2.5.2 (included with modern Linux distributions)
  • An AC power adapter for your laptop.
  • A CAT 5 Ethernet cable

What You Need To Do To Prepare

  • After registration, you will be subscribed to a private email list where you will be sent instructions for modest installations to perform prior to PyCamp.
  • Please install the Get Firefox! FireFox web brower on the laptop you will be bringing to PyCamp if you haven't already. You will need it for the next important step (and many others).
    • After installing FireFox, please fire up an instance of FireFox and use it to install the Edgewall Python Sidebar in your FireFox browser. To install, just click on the "Add tab to Mozilla" image while viewing the Python Sidebar page with FireFox. The sidebar installs as a bookmark. A good place to put the bookmark is in the Bookmarks Toolbar folder of your FireFox browser. Then clicking on the bookmark in your toolbar will open a sidebar with a large amount of tabbed Python documentation right in your browser.

      Edgewall is a company which makes cool open source project management software with Python called Trac. When you learn Python, you learn the scripting language for Trac, and can extend it for any systems engineering approach. TriZPUG uses Trac for collective programming projects. The material for PyCamp is in a Trac instance where you can participate in developing it yourself.

  • Please insure a reader for PDF files such as Get Adobe Reader Adobe Reader is installed on the laptop you will be bringing to PyCamp.
  • Please have an SSH and SFTP client on your laptop such as Putty. Mac and Linux users, you already have one.
  • Please have a ZIP file decompression client on your laptop such as WinZip. Mac and Linux users, you already have one.
  • Optional: you can chat with the rest of your fellow PyCampers during PyCamp without disturbing anyone if you have an IRC client installed and tuned to the #trizpug channel.
  • On thing PyCamp prepares you for is interacting with data over the web. So:
  • You will not be damaged if you arrive at PyCamp with at least a cursory understanding of Regular Expressions. PyCamp covers understanding regular expressions. Quickly. Very quickly.
  • If you want to get a jump on PyCamp, then you can take a peak at some of the resources on TriZPUG's Get Up to Speed page.

Class Roster

The list of PyCamp participants updates as new registrations are submitted and approved.

How To Get Around

Chapel Hill has a free transit service to get you between the official hotel and the classroom each day. Please refer to the public transit schedule.

Where To Park

Parking is available for $1.25 per hour about two blocks from the classroom in the Dogwood Deck across from the hospital. Parking payment can be made by cash or credit card at the lot attendant booth. Once you have parked, exit the deck and turn left onto Manning Drive. At the South Columbia Street intersection, turn right and walk down the hill. Kerr and Beard Hall will be on the left as you go down the hill.

Where To Stay

The Hampton Inn Chapel Hill (1740 Fordham Blvd.) is the official hotel of PyCamp. Ask for the TriZPUG rate. If you are making reservations online, the "Group/Convention Code" is TZ0 (capital TZ, numeral 0) and the TriZPUG negotiated rate is $79/night. Enter the Group/Convention Code in the correct field under the heading "Special Accounts (Optional)" on the reservations preferences page. The code is only valid for check-in and check-out dates between Sunday, August 3 and Friday, August 8, 2008. If you are coming to Plone Boot Camp the week before, you will need a separate reservation under the code for that week, TZJ.

The Hampton Inn Chapel Hill is on the D and CL bus routes. Do not confuse with the other new Hampton Inn in Chapel Hill on Farrington Road, which is slightly farther away, not on the bus line, and not the official hotel. Other lodging options, along with bus routes, are listed in the Bootcamparama Accommodations Guide.

TriZPUG Bootcamparama is served by Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

Where To Eat

Each day of boot camp, TriZPUG will lead an expedition of PyCampers by foot across the street to a campus food court. The PyCamp official hotel provides a full complimentary breakfast each morning.

Who Makes PyCamp Possible

PyCamp 2008 is sponsored by Andor Technology. Andor develops and manufactures a range of high performance digital cameras and associated products and systems used for the measurement of light. Today, Andor has a portfolio of over 400 products which are employed in fields as diverse as drug discovery, toxicology analysis, medical diagnosis and astronomy. Thanks to new techniques developed by Andor scientists, Andor cameras span performance specifications ranging from single photon detection to nanosecond (1 billionth of a second) time resolution. Andor is a supporter of open source software developments to provide the scientific community with flexible, robust solutions.

Who Makes PyCamp Happen

TriZPUG makes PyCamp happen. And TriZPUG is an all-volunteer organization. PyCamp is happening by popular request of people in the Triangle area who want a more convenient path to learn Python. TriZPUG answered the call because TriZPUG is focused on improving the usability of Python products through self-education and outreach. 100% of proceeds from PyCamp go to support TriZPUG's continued outreach efforts.

TriZPUG is a very loose organization with no official membership, dues, or charter, although we are mostly composed of developers from local universities, government agencies, NGOs, and private industry. Python tutorials and training schools are in abundance around the world. But we find that knowing where to start in your learning path is an obstacle, as well as the cost and travel involved in for-profit Python instruction. Therefore, PyCamp is our developmental effort to establish a Python pedagogy we can use in for our particular needs.

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