The New Zealand Python User Group is promoting Python as a programming language ideal for introducing students to software development. The group claims Python is one of the closest programming language to the English language and is therefore very simple to learn. As evidence of the simplicity of Python they point to Otago University who have decided to teach Python as part of an introductory course to programming.
The group also points to how Python runs the software on the XO laptops that have been distributed to over a million children in developing countries worldwide as part of the One Laptop Per Child project. Next weekend PyCon will be held in Christchurch, giving Python developers the opportunity to see a presentation of the OLPC, including a demonstration of a number of XO laptops in action. Python supports both simple programming models such as procedural development along with more modern concepts such as object orientation. In this way it provides a smooth transition between simple programming concepts to more complex concepts without the need to change languages. This feature has made it an ideal platform for teaching students while giving them marketable skills.
Python runs on a wide variety of hardware, from ARM based systems commonly found in smart phone through to large distributed systems such is used by Google, who consider Python one of their three official languages. Python has an extensive set libraries which continue to expand to deliver functionality for it's developers and a very active user community as is in evidence by the attendance of PyCon. “Registrations sold out 4 days prior to the registration closing date” comments Tim Knapp, Conference Director, “which really highlights the great level of interest in the language throughout New Zealand.”Python's flexibility will also be highlighted throughout the conference programme, with presentations on how it is being used in the field of animation, in computer games, on cell phones and websites. Some of the presenters at the event will be coming from England, America, and Australia.
The conference starts at 8:30am this Saturday at the Canterbury Innovation Incubator. For more information go to https://python.nz/.