Python for Absolute Beginners Transcripts
Chapter: Welcome to the course
Lecture: What will we cover?

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0:00 What exactly are we going to cover
0:01 in this course?
0:03 Well we're going to start talkin about why Python
0:05 and why programming?
0:07 Well we actually just concluded that, didn't we?
0:10 Programming is a super power and Python
0:13 is a great programming language that's easy to learn.
0:16 Put those together and you're off to a good start.
0:19 Next we're going to talk about how to get help.
0:21 Something that's really frustrating
0:23 when you're getting started in programming is, things
0:26 are not working.
0:27 You have to type exact, precise stuff to the computer.
0:30 It's not as hard as it sounds, but if it's not just right.
0:35 Not even just the words that you write
0:36 but the order and the steps and the data.
0:39 If it comes unglued even just a little bit
0:41 it's going to freak out and crash and not work.
0:43 And refuse to carry on.
0:45 That's frustrating when you're getting started
0:47 because it's hard to know how to fix that.
0:49 Hard to know how to get help.
0:51 So there's a couple of options I have for you on how
0:53 to get help, both self help and help through
0:56 the course here.
0:58 We also want to make sure that your computer is ready
1:00 to take this course, so we're going to talk about setup.
1:03 How do you get Python, the right version
1:05 of Python installed?
1:06 As well as what editors you can use to write code
1:09 and edit code throughout this course?
1:11 So we want to spend a little bit a time
1:12 making sure everybody's setup and ready to take the course.
1:16 And then we get into the programming concepts proper.
1:19 We're going to talk about the big ideas of programming.
1:22 And what I mean by this is these are the ideas
1:25 that you would learn
1:26 from your first year computer science class
1:28 if you went and took programming in the university.
1:32 But instead of spending a whole year in a class
1:34 we're just going to spend a little bit a time
1:36 and hit the high points.
1:37 But it's important that you have the right foundation
1:39 to know how programs execute, what source code is
1:42 how it gets translated to executable stuff, and so on.
1:46 Then we're going to start writing some code.
1:48 Writing your first line a code
1:49 well we're going to write more than one line a code.
1:51 We're going to write a bunch a fun things
1:52 but here we're going to start writing a little bit a code.
1:54 Visualizing what that does to the computer, both graphically
1:57 and just runnin it to see what it does.
1:59 We'll get started there.
2:00 Then we're going to make our code interactive.
2:03 You can think of maybe different levels
2:05 of complexity of writing code.
2:07 One of 'em is, I need to do something so do x and then do y
2:11 and then do z.
2:12 Then you're done.
2:13 That's a real simple type a program
2:16 but many programs don't work that way, do they?
2:18 If you open up your web browser, it interacts with you.
2:21 You type some stuff into the address bar
2:23 and it goes somewhere.
2:24 Shows you some information.
2:25 That you click something.
2:26 It does somethin in response.
2:28 Maybe it asks you a question and then it does one
2:30 of two things, depending on what you answer.
2:32 So making this interactive code, that either reads data
2:36 and then makes a decision, or interacts with people
2:39 and makes a decision.
2:40 Or more likely does both.
2:41 This is of course, where you need to be
2:43 to write real software.
2:45 And so we're going to start writing simple code.
2:47 And then we're going to write this more interactive code
2:49 with things like conditional statements and loops and so on.
2:52 Once you have the core ideas of a programming language
2:55 in place, it's tricky to figure out
2:57 how do I attack a problem?
2:59 You know I have this code I can write.
3:02 It makes the computer do stuff.
3:04 I have this problem.
3:05 It seems extremely complicated.
3:07 And I don't really know where to start.
3:09 But obviously people can solve it with software, so
3:11 there must be some path.
3:13 But what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you a bunch
3:14 of tips and techniques on how to break down the problem, so
3:17 that it's not nearly as hard as it seems.
3:20 Ya know, a handful of techniques and we're going to do bunch
3:22 of examples.
3:23 We're going to write a lot of code and talk through them
3:26 and sort of think through the problem.
3:27 Here are a couple things we could do.
3:29 I'm going to choose this way and here's why, and so on.
3:33 We're also going to build a couple games during this course.
3:35 Games are fun and they're interactive.
3:38 And they can be nice and simple, but they also
3:41 are pretty good stand ins for this
3:43 making code interactive story, that I told you.
3:45 Right so, we'll try to have fun and write a couple a games
3:48 and that'll challenge the things that we can do.
3:51 We're going to maybe have our game save stuff.
3:53 So we want to work with files and different file formats
3:56 that our program can save and then remember, across running
4:00 our program from time to time.
4:02 Things like leader boards and configurations files
4:05 to let people extend the game without reprogramming it.
4:08 Stuff like that.
4:09 One of Python's really important powers is
4:11 it has hundreds of thousands of external libraries
4:14 that are extremely powerful.
4:16 I give you a hint about the geneticist earlier
4:19 who could do, ya know, just go grab one
4:21 of these libraries and ask some questions
4:22 of data without actually working
4:24 on all the details to make that happen.
4:26 So we're going to take a couple of external packages, apply
4:29 them to some of the programs that we write
4:31 and I'll show you where to go find many many more.
4:33 How to work with these external packages or libraries
4:36 and add some really cool features to the programs
4:38 that we write. And that's it.
4:40 This is what we're going to do.
4:41 We're going to go dutifully through simple
4:43 and then more complicated and more complicated code.
4:45 And add on little bits
4:46 of super important functionality that, I think
4:49 will actually be a whole lot of fun for you to learn
4:51 as we go.