So, this past Saturday and Sunday (15-16 March), I was at BITS-Hyderabad to attend a session on Beginner Python. Oh wait, did I say attend, that’s not completely true. I was there actually one of the speakers of the session. The session was actually spanned over 2 days. This was first time I took a session on Python.
So, here’s the full story. Me and four other undergrads from IIIT-H went to BITS Hyderabad to conduct a session on Beginner Python. To begin with, we were a bit late to reach there due to trafiic and stuff (keeping up the IIIT tradition :P). But their reception was very warm and the organizers helped us get started as soon as we reached there. We were completely surprised to see that a good number of participants were still there despite the fact that we were late by an hour or so. But we did make up for the dealy by pushing the end time of session by a couple of hours.
We decided to keep it simple on the first day given that most of them were either in their first year or second year and had never even heard of Python. So, we started with history of Python, basic data structures - lists, dictionary etc. Then we moved on functions, this was where the tricky stuff began. Numbers of doubts increased as soon as we touched list comprehensions and functional programming but we tried to keep it as basic as possible. Hope they understood the basic ideas behind these concepts. Then, it was my turn to introduce them to some of the most important standard libraries - re, os, sys, urllib2 etc. I gave them a brief overview of these libraries and tried to teach them how to get started with a new library. I must mention that explaining these libraries was bit tricky on Windows, especially sys (yes, all of them were on windows :o. Can’t imagine how my life would have been if I was never introuduced to linux. For starters, i wouldn’t be writing this blog post). But we managed somehow. So, this was how first day’s session ended.
Then we moved on to our luxurious villa in a nearby resort, courtsey to our genrous hosts. Had an awesome dinner and after a very-very happening night, we went to sleep. Woke up next morning bit late (again :D), had a heavy brunch (which was served more than an hour late after we ordered) and went back to BITS. Today, we aimed high. We started of with web2py and moved on to introducing them to a bit of machine learning using Python. And I must say, most them were not able to understand much of the machine learning part. But that’s fine in my opinion as we just wanted to introduce them to the power of Python and not get each and every detail correct. At least they understood that Python is used in a plethora of applications ranging from web frameworks to machine learning and a lot more. Even I got to learn a bunch of new stuff from my co-speakers. So, all in all it was a great experience for me. Finally, we wrapepd up at about 8'o clock. Our cab was waiting and we got back to college after a long drive of an hour and a half. I was feeling really sleepy and crashed in the cab itself. As soon as I came back, I took my dinner and crashed on bed quickly.
I had a very sound sleep and missed all the classes the next day :P. Guess that’s acceptable in lieu of the fact that I had so much fun during the last two days.