Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Python African Tour Kumasi: Programming in the Garden City of Ghana

Python African Tour Kumasi workshops were held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) ICT Centre and British Council, Kumasi, from 29th September to 1st October, 2011. This was a follow-up to the Python African Tour Ghana workshops/hackathons held in Accra last January. The event attracted more than 60 students and staff of the university as well as IT professionals.
The Kumasi training programme was designed to equip mostly new and passionate programmers to solve problems through computer programming (using Python of course). The specific objectives of PAT Kumasi were:

  • To introduce participants to concepts in programming and methodologies
  • To give them hands-on practice with the Python programming language
  • To encourage more students and professionals to take up the Python programming language
The Workshops
Problem solving, the Python way: @boyombo from Evince Systems making a point
 Participants were welcomed to the training (KNUST ICT Centre) with a brief presentation of Python African Tour, its objectives and the first PAT Ghana event that was held in Accra in January. The day’s technical activities started with a general introduction to programming (i.e. concepts including variables, data types, statements and expressions, control structures, etc) by Edward Pie (@hackstockpie). Participants were introduced to IDLE as these concepts were demonstrated.

On the second day, new participants showed up, so Francis Addai (@faddai) did a quick recap of the first day’s concepts. He further continued with more examples on control structures, then data structures in Python and functions. Next, differences between using IDLE (interactive mode) and files with py extension (script mode) were pointed out, and the learners were guided to create python programs in files. Things were put in a more practical perspective after lunch when Bayo Opadeyi (@boyombo) took the participants through a voting application (web app).  The Urllib2 module was used to create an HTTP server and a client to send and receive requests. It was fun!

Saturday's training started with Francis reviewing the previous day's lessons about data structures and functions. Next, Bayo led trainees to complete the voting app which was started the previous day. He then proceeded with a lecture on programming patterns (abstraction and recursion), explaining that their use makes programs more efficient. He further demoed some software he built with Python and Django. He concluded his presentation with advice for developers, sharing some personal experiences and philosophies. Francis concluded the day's training with Intro to Django tutorials.
Cross-section of #PATKumasi attendees at the end of the final day
During the closing remarks participants were encouraged to join the Ghana Python User Group and follow up on developments on both Facebook and Twitter. Students expressed interest in attending future PAT workshops in KNUST. PDFs and videos were copied for participants to go and continue exploring with the python programming language. Links to resources online were given out including the Online Python Programming Course set up at P2P.

Yedase- Thank you!
Python African Tour (Ghana) is grateful to the efforts of our sponsors and supporters: Google (Gold), BECATEC (Silver), Ageliaco (Silver), PSF (Hackathon), Hutspace, Ghana GTUG, Evince Systems, KNUST GTUG, Adroit Ghana, KNUST and British Council. Special “thank you” also to our trainers-Francis Addai, Edward Pie and Bayo Opadeyi for their enthusiasm, patience and dedication.

R to L: #PATKumasi trainers (@hackstockpie, @boyombo & @faddai) with @dotkwame and @niiadjeisowah

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