In conjunction with my involvement as co-author of the upcoming Python Cookbook, 3rd Ed. (not yet released), a tutorial at this year’s PyCon in Atlanta, an internal (and ongoing) lunchtime seminar series entitled ‘Snakes On a Plate’, and other recent Python-related projects, I’ve also been refining and revising what I can now call a completely awesome 3-hour introduction to the Python programming language.
If you’re a sysadmin, operations engineer, devops engineer, or just want to get your hands dirty with Python, I can’t think of a better more cost-effective way to do it than to attend the ‘Grokking Python’ tutorial at this year’s PICC conference, which is being held in New Brunswick, NJ, April 29-30.
While I do plan for the tutorial to run through the basics, I also assume attendees have programmed in some other language before. In addition, I firmly believe that, properly presented, most would find that Python is a very simple language to get to know and understand. That being the case, the most basic elements of the language (control statements, loops, etc) will be covered in the first hour (and the materials will be available for later reference).
Once we’re through that, it’s head first into what admin/ops engineers do for a living. Python was developed by a systems programmer for systems programming. As such, support for a huge swath of admin tasks (and far, far beyond) is baked into the language, and enormous tomes have been written covering third party tools and modules to do anything else you can possibly imagine.
We’re going to look at some of the more ho-hum parts of scripting, like accepting input from users, command line options and arguments, and file handling, but before it’s over we’re going to have a look at the basics of email, networking, multiprocessing, threading, coroutines, SSH, and more.
We’re also going to cover use of the Python interactive shell, which will not only help speed your mastery of the language and its standard library, but also holds promise as a sysadmin tool in its own right.
The blowing of minds is a goal of the tutorial. Bring a laptop, and bring some bandages 😉