Introduction to Programming

The aim of this post is to help you:

  • Learn the principles of how computers work
  • Learn the basic concepts of programming (instructions/variables/loops)
  • learn the bases of Python programming
  • Learn how to execute, design, write and debug programs

Know the basic programming concepts:

  • For loops
  • Conditional statements
  • Cnstants integers/floats/strings (insist that there are different types)
  • Variables
  • Lists/dictionaries
  • Loops over sequences
  • Functions/parameters/local variables/recursion
  • Modules
  • File input/output

Have acquired some practical skills:

  • Download some source code (e.g. Python) from the Internet (e.g. Github) and display it.
  • Run a program from the command line
    • open a terminal, interact with the shell
    • navigate the directory structure with cd/ls
    • type commands, possibly with options or arguments
    • interrupt a running program (using the process manager)
  • Execute a python script.
  • Install missing modules
  • Launch ipython and use it interactively (distinction shell/interpreter python)
  • Use an editor (atom) to view/edit a Python script
  • Find/read Python’s documentation
  • What to do when there is a crash/error message


For beginners:

For intermediate students:

For advanced students:


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