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PyCamp :: August 7-11, 2006

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Following on TriZPUG's highly successful Plone Boot Camp series, PyCamp, our new Python Boot Camp, 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.
PhotosMershWhen and where?How to register?Who sponsors PyCamp?What to expect?What you need to bring?What you need to do to prepare?Who's coming to PyCamp?Where to stay?Where to eat?Who's responsible?

For more information, please email pycamp@trizpug.org.

PyCampers are ecstatic about functional programming with Python

When and Where

Phillips Hall Room 332 is centrally located on campus and 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.

Boot Camp consists of two parts:

How To Register

Thanks to strong support from the TriZPUG community, PyCamp is now full and registration is closed. PyCamp will occur again. Subscribe to the TriZPUG email list for future notifications.

The registration schedule was as follows:

Complete by May 31, 2006 for early bird registration ($250).

Complete by June 30, 2006 for regular

Complete by July 31, 2006 for late registration ($350).

Our Sponsor

PyCamp is made possible by the kind sponsorship of the Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center.

Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center is a multidisciplinary, multidepartmental facility which serves as a focal point for interactions among basic, translational, and clinical scientists studying all aspects of cardiovascular disease. Areas of specific interest include atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases, angiogenesis and cardiovascular development, cardiovascular physiology, and diseases of hemostasis.

What To Expect

Check out the PyCamp final syllabus. This syllabus has been revised due to testing during the first TriZPUG PyCamp. It reflects what beginners can be reasonably expected to usefully comprehend and retain in one week. Syllabi for Advanced PyCamp and SciPyCamp are also linked on the PyCamp syllabus in order to show the forward progression of the TriZPUG pedagogy. Successful PyCamp alums are encouraged to enroll in Advanced PyCamp and then SciPyCamp.

PyCamp represents a unique pedagogical approach. You will learn:

  • 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.

What You Need To Bring

  • A laptop (required!) with a wired ethernet adapter and any of the following OS platforms:
    • Preferred: Windows XP or 2000 with latest service packs with an accessible Administrator login password and Python Enthought Edition (Enthon) 2.3.5 installed (avoid Enthon 2.4 releases for now)
    • Mac OSX 10.3 latest revision or better (Python is included)
    • Linux with a 2.6 kernel and Python 2.3.5 or 2.4.x
  • 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.
  • If your PyCamp laptop is Windows, please install Enthon for Python 2.3.5 (not the latest Enthon release) by running the free downloadable binary. Please do not install Enthon for Python 2.4. If your PyCamp laptop does not run Windows, then please contact pycamp@trizpug.org as soon as possible.
  • If your PyCamp laptop is Fedora Core 4 or 5, you can use this procedure to install the PyCamp packages 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. 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.
  • The second day of PyCamp concentrates on Service Oriented Architecture. 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 look at two open sources of Python training materials upon which PyCamp relies heavily:

Who's Coming to PyCamp

See the list of participants.

Where To Stay

The Hampton Inn Chapel Hill (1740 Fordham Blvd.) is the official hotel of PyCamp. Bus routes to Phillips Hall are available in the Accommodations Guide:

Where To Eat

Each day of boot camp, TriZPUG will lead an expedition of PyCampers by foot to a nearby inexpensive restaurant for group lunch. You may also bring your own lunch but the classroom will be locked during lunch. There will be a complimentary beverage and snack service in the classroom all day every day of PyCamp (coffee, bottled water, sodas, granola bars, fruit, hard candies, gum). Out of town PyCampers will be supplied with a restaurant guide for evening and morning dining. A posse of TriZPUGers is usually available each evening of PyCamp for group dining (especially if it's dining on eastern NC style BBQ). The PyCamp official hotel provides a full complimentary breakfast each morning.

Who is Making 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.

PyCamp would not be happening without the help of several TriZPUG volunteers who we wish to acknowledge here:

  • Chris Calloway, UNC Marine Science - Instruction, course development, website, facilities, organization
  • Rob Lineberger, Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center - Concept, logo, materials design, lunch outings, rapporteur, sponsorship
  • Ben Best, Duke Nicholas School of the Environment - Complimentary services, materials assembly, administration
  • Jim Allman, Interrobang Digital Media - Complimentary services, OSX testing
  • Carol Ludwig, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner - Linux testing
  • Kevin Morgan, UNC School of Nursing - Networking services
  • Jesse Cleary, UNC Marine Science - Remote hosting support
  • Steven Cory, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute - Transportation services
  • Edmund Moseley, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner - Photography
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