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 in this course? Well we're going to start talkin about why Python and why programming?
0:08 Well we actually just concluded that, didn't we? Programming is a super power and Python is a great programming language that's easy to learn.
0:17 Put those together and you're off to a good start. Next we're going to talk about how to get help. Something that's really frustrating
0:24 when you're getting started in programming is, things are not working. You have to type exact, precise stuff to the computer.
0:31 It's not as hard as it sounds, but if it's not just right. Not even just the words that you write but the order and the steps and the data.
0:40 If it comes unglued even just a little bit it's going to freak out and crash and not work. And refuse to carry on.
0:46 That's frustrating when you're getting started because it's hard to know how to fix that. Hard to know how to get help.
0:52 So there's a couple of options I have for you on how to get help, both self help and help through the course here.
0:59 We also want to make sure that your computer is ready to take this course, so we're going to talk about setup. How do you get Python, the right version
1:06 of Python installed? As well as what editors you can use to write code and edit code throughout this course? So we want to spend a little bit a time
1:13 making sure everybody's setup and ready to take the course. And then we get into the programming concepts proper.
1:20 We're going to talk about the big ideas of programming. And what I mean by this is these are the ideas that you would learn
1:27 from your first year computer science class if you went and took programming in the university. But instead of spending a whole year in a class
1:35 we're just going to spend a little bit a time and hit the high points. But it's important that you have the right foundation
1:40 to know how programs execute, what source code is how it gets translated to executable stuff, and so on. Then we're going to start writing some code.
1:49 Writing your first line a code well we're going to write more than one line a code. We're going to write a bunch a fun things
1:53 but here we're going to start writing a little bit a code. Visualizing what that does to the computer, both graphically
1:58 and just runnin it to see what it does. We'll get started there. Then we're going to make our code interactive. You can think of maybe different levels
2:06 of complexity of writing code. One of 'em is, I need to do something so do x and then do y and then do z. Then you're done.
2:14 That's a real simple type a program but many programs don't work that way, do they? If you open up your web browser, it interacts with you.
2:22 You type some stuff into the address bar and it goes somewhere. Shows you some information. That you click something. It does somethin in response.
2:29 Maybe it asks you a question and then it does one of two things, depending on what you answer. So making this interactive code, that either reads data
2:37 and then makes a decision, or interacts with people and makes a decision. Or more likely does both. This is of course, where you need to be
2:44 to write real software. And so we're going to start writing simple code. And then we're going to write this more interactive code
2:50 with things like conditional statements and loops and so on. Once you have the core ideas of a programming language in place, it's tricky to figure out
2:58 how do I attack a problem? You know I have this code I can write. It makes the computer do stuff. I have this problem. It seems extremely complicated.
3:08 And I don't really know where to start. But obviously people can solve it with software, so there must be some path.
3:14 But what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you a bunch of tips and techniques on how to break down the problem, so
3:18 that it's not nearly as hard as it seems. Ya know, a handful of techniques and we're going to do bunch of examples.
3:24 We're going to write a lot of code and talk through them and sort of think through the problem. Here are a couple things we could do.
3:30 I'm going to choose this way and here's why, and so on. We're also going to build a couple games during this course.
3:36 Games are fun and they're interactive. And they can be nice and simple, but they also are pretty good stand ins for this
3:44 making code interactive story, that I told you. Right so, we'll try to have fun and write a couple a games
3:49 and that'll challenge the things that we can do. We're going to maybe have our game save stuff.
3:54 So we want to work with files and different file formats that our program can save and then remember, across running our program from time to time.
4:03 Things like leader boards and configurations files to let people extend the game without reprogramming it. Stuff like that.
4:10 One of Python's really important powers is it has hundreds of thousands of external libraries that are extremely powerful.
4:17 I give you a hint about the geneticist earlier who could do, ya know, just go grab one of these libraries and ask some questions
4:23 of data without actually working on all the details to make that happen. So we're going to take a couple of external packages, apply
4:30 them to some of the programs that we write and I'll show you where to go find many many more. How to work with these external packages or libraries
4:37 and add some really cool features to the programs that we write. And that's it. This is what we're going to do.
4:42 We're going to go dutifully through simple and then more complicated and more complicated code. And add on little bits
4:47 of super important functionality that, I think will actually be a whole lot of fun for you to learn as we go.