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Slides to learn Python basics and advanced skills. Intended audience is existing programmers. Built with reST and Docutils/S5.
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make test cases work better; add eb's code

I didn't realize how nosetests execution works
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@amontalenti amontalenti authored


This is a set of slides for a 3-day course on Python intended for existing programmers who want to learn the joy that is the Zen of Python.

It does not waste time teaching the basics of programming -- instead, it dives right into what makes Python special. The first day is spent exploring common Python idioms and ways of doing things.

The second day is spent on advanced Python features and techniques that make the language such a joy to use.

The final day is spent on learning the Python standard library and all its wonders.

I have given this presentation at places like BarCamp, HackNY, and other smaller conferences and gatherings.

View the slides online

Slides can be viewed in compiled form at:

Note that the slides can be controlled as follows:

  • Advance forward / back with the forward and back keys, or left click / right click of the mouse
  • Press c to get the "controls", which also allows you to skip slides and switch to outline mode
  • Outline mode includes some notes not included in the slidedeck, and also allows you to easily copy/paste examples into your own interpreter

I suggest you run through the slides in slide mode, and then review them in outline mode, doing examples from your own interpreter. That's how I tended to do things when I physically gave the presentation. Of course, you can also contact me on Twitter at @amontalenti if you want to see if I might be giving the talk nearby you sometime soon :-)

How this was built

Using Python, of course. It's turtles all the way down.

I wrote the slides using reST, and specifically Docutils support for S5 export. Scripts are included to compile the presentation from the index.rst file and also to allow development of new slides with live recompilation using pyinotify (Linux systems only). See and for more information.

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