Minneapolis PyStar 4 (After Action Report)

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Gregg Lind

Feb 8, 2012, 4:37:48 PM2/8/12
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Minneapolis PyStar 4 (After Action Report)

author: Gregg Lind (and any errors are entirely his!)

(Yes, this is ridiculously late, but it has some good stuff)!

* PyStar 4 was on Dec 17, 2011, at Clockwork (who are still awesome)
* we had (about 15) learners and 5 guides.
* engagement was very good, and we think that our initial exercise of
"Human Computer"
was a big part of it (see below)

Requests for modules:

* 'find the exceptions'
* something having to do with csv / excel
* find duplicate images/files/mp3s.
* get songs for my albums


* Human Computer was AWESOME:
(idea by vaughns and GL). We didn't touch code until 11:30, but
once we did, the questions were
REALLY good. People had a much deeper understanding of the
synchronous / procedural programming
model, especially passing of control. The 'sequence diagram' in
particular seemed to clear up
many misconceptions.

* setup was done by 10 (easily). We did simple gEdit + Python + (on
windows) GitBash.
Most people required no assistence and were able to self-install.
Install instructions could get trimmed down.
Github accounts are useful later on.

* patches for XCodeless ``virtualenv`` still aren't landed. (cf:

* ipython (or bpython or something with tab completion would be
helpful). Foolproof install
instructions would help here (in particular, ``readline`` + ipython
on OSX is gnarly.)

* (possible) alternative to ipython (to get completion?)

$ echo >> ~/.profile PYTHONSTARTUP=~/.pythonstartup

(then put this in ~/.pythonstartup)

import readline
except ImportError:
print "Module readline not available."
import rlcompleter
if 'libedit' in readline.__doc__:
readline.parse_and_bind("bind ^I rl_complete")
readline.parse_and_bind("tab: complete")

* github accts made it really easy to edit / bughunt / file bugs for
the pystar site. This should be encouraged!
Changing users into contributors is as easy as having them find and
fix a documentation bug :)

For next time:

* add a few new modules
* refine human computer
* add stubs to js modules
* it would still be nice to find a good online python environment.

[xpost to events-list pystar pymntos]

Lukas Blakk

Feb 8, 2012, 4:41:31 PM2/8/12
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This is excellent and reminds me - can we do a BOF at PyCon for any
PyStar folks who are there to clean up curriculum, perhaps sprint on new
stuff and do a roundtable of our various take aways. It's been a year
since the birth of the PyStar model, let's evaluate and get some "where
to now?" ideas going.


Gregg Lind

Feb 8, 2012, 4:42:51 PM2/8/12
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I would be glad to! I never got around to scheduling a formal "day
before" PyStar, but would be glad to, if someone points me in the best
direction. Guerilla style preferred :)


Tim Baldoni

Feb 8, 2012, 4:48:59 PM2/8/12
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On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 15:37, Gregg Lind <gregg...@gmail.com> wrote:
> [...]

> *  it would still be nice to find a good online python environment.
> [...]


Eryn O'Neil

Feb 8, 2012, 4:56:37 PM2/8/12
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That Code Academy one looks sweet. I will have to test that out.

This has been my lightweight goto in the past: http://codepad.org/
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