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PyLadies Intro to Python Workshop

May 22, 2011 | Tag: » Events

On Sunday, May 15, 2011, the PyLadies held an Intro to Python workshop at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena.

The goal was to create a safe, comfortable space for women to learn Python programming and be able to ask questions openly. Men were welcome as volunteers or as the +1 guests of women.

It was clear that this was a gathering of educated, sharp, successful women. Our female attendees included:

  • Grad students from UCLA and CalTech, and over-educated women with multiple degrees and Ph.Ds.
  • Senior marketers and community managers with over 10,000 Twitter followers, working on prominent tech projects
  • UX (user experience) professionals working for top companies
  • Research scientists currently using other languages in their labs for numerical analysis
  • Co-founders of startups, with 1 or more funded and/or successful companies under their belt
  • Experienced software engineers with Java, C++, .NET, PHP backgrounds
  • Product managers at top companies
  • Talented Linux sysadmins
  • Hardware hackers involved with the various LA area hackerspaces

I could go on and on. Many were happily employed, but some were looking for technical jobs. I'm hoping some of the job seekers apply to work at KPCC, our venue sponsor!

In the morning, Katharine and I did a walkthrough of the popular Learn Python the Hard Way tutorial by Zed Shaw. Attendees typed along with each exercise. At the end of each exercise, we reviewed the new concepts covered.

During lunch, KPCC's senior web producer Jason Georges took everyone on a tour behind the scenes of the radio station. KPCC is full of cool things like soundproof glass cube recording rooms.

Then we were greeted by former NFL player and pastry chef George Wrighster with a surprise tray of cupcakes from his bakery, Violet's Cakes. Yummy!

In the afternoon, we split up into smaller breakout sessions:

  • craping the Web with Python, or How I Automatically Get Happy Hour Specials Delivered to my Inbox
  • Intro to Django with the Django Poll Tutorial
  • Learn Python The Hard Way, Part 2

Then the PyLadies volunteer organizers gave lightning talks:

At the end, we celebrated over root beer floats. It was interesting and exciting to see that no one wanted to leave at the end! I was thrilled and floating on a cloud, and so were all the other organizers and volunteers.

Thank you to our special out-of-town guests! If there's anything we can do to help you in any way with your local women's developer communities, let us know.

Congratulations to all 25 ladies and 2 men who completed our intro workshop, and special thanks to all the men who attended and volunteered for braving the crowd of ladies.

By Audrey Roy

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