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Penn State Mini-PyCamp 2012

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For beginners, this ultra-low-cost Python Boot Camp introduces you to the fundamentals of Python. PyCamp emphasizes the features which make Python a simpler and more efficient language. Following along with example Python PushUps speeds your learning process in a modern high-tech classroom. Learn how to create your own Python modules in just three days at PyCamp. This mini-PyCamp is a condensed version of the full five day PyCamp and is offered as part of the Plone Symposium East 2012.
PyCampers are ecstatic about functional programming with Python.

Registration Is Closed.

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 is coming to PyCamp? • Where to stay? • Is there a flyer?

For more information, please email

When and Where

  • WHEN: Saturday May 19 - Monday May 21, 2012
  • WHERE: Room 120, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.

This PyCamp is offered as part of Plone Symposium East 2012. However, you do not have to attend the symposium or have an interest in Plone in order to attend this PyCamp (although we hope you do both!).

PyCamp takes place in a state of the art high technology classroom. Networking and AC power are provided at every seat. A video projection screen monitors the presentation computer at the front of the room. The seating is conference style where you can spread out. Restroom facilities are just down the hall. Food service facilities are nearby on campus.

Check-in occurs at 8:30am on the first day. Class starts at 9am each following day. Class runs until 5pm each day.

How To Register:

Registration is closed.

Registration schedule:

  • Complete by Friday, March 16 for early bird registration ($275 USD).
  • Complete by Friday, April 20 for regular registration ($300 USD).
  • Complete by Friday, May 11 for late registration ($325 USD).
Classroom 120, PSU Smeal College of Business.

PyCampers celebrate their quick learning experience.

Qualify Yourself

Do you:

  • Know how to use a text editor (not a word processor, but a text editor)?
  • Know how to issue a change directory command at your operating system prompt?
  • Know what an environment variable of your operating system is?
  • Know what a PATH environment variable does for your operating system?
  • Know how to edit your operating system's PATH environment variable?
  • Know how to use a browser to download a file?
  • Know how to run a program installer?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above, then PyCamp is probably for you.

If you already know Python, then PyCamp will probably seem a bit redundant to you. You are welcome to come to PyCamp and "brush up" your skills. But be forewarned that PyCamp is paced for beginners.

What To Expect

Check out the PyCamp syllabus. The syllabus is continually revised in response to feedback from previous TriZPUG PyCamps. The syllabus reflects what beginners can be reasonably expected to usefully comprehend and retain in five days.

PyCamp represents a unique pedagogical approach. You will learn:

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. PyCamp teaches through Python language elements applied in working examples instead of abstract concepts.
  • 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 code line by line, building up new features and making changes as you follow along in guided labs. By repeating Python PushUps, you will retain what you learn.
  • 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 zen-ful practices which make Python the most elegant and practical of programming languages.

Your instructor

Your instructor is Chris Calloway, applications analyst for the 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 13 years and has 32 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 wireless laptop (required!) with any of the following OS platforms:
    • Windows 7, Vista, XP, or 2000 with latest service packs and an accessible administrative login account,
    • Mac OSX 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), or 10.7 (Lion) latest revision or better,
    • Linux with a 2.6 kernel and a package manager (rpm, yum, apt-get, synaptic, etc.),
  • An AC power adapter for your laptop,
  • Optional: an Ethernet cable for your laptop.

What You Need To Do To Prepare

Because this class is part of the Plone Symposium 2012, we are going to use the Python provided in the Plone one-click installers. This will not only make installing Python easier for you, but also give you a world class web content management system as well. Download and install the latest release of Plone 4. If you are using OSX, please use the binary Plone installer for your version of OSX.


See the participant list updated daily.

Where To Stay

Plone Symposium 2012 has negotiated a special rate for you from May 19-24 of just $99 per night at the Nittany Lion Inn just two blocks walk from the classroom (or take the hotel's free shuttle service if you are lazy). Just mention "Plone Symposium" when you call to make reservations. The Nittany Lion Inn is a member of the Historic Hotels of America National Trust for Historic Preservation and features free wireless Internet and free parking.

Get the Flyer

You can let others know about PyCamp by posting the PyCamp flyer, because PyCamp is just too good to keep a secret.