Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Introduction to Programming Using Python Workshop at University of Ghana

As part of Python Ghana's efforts to build the capacity of young people in Ghana to solve problems through Python and allied open source technologies, we organised a workshop for students at the University of Ghana in partnership with the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology and the student society COMPSSA. The workshop took place at the Software Lab at the Department of Computer Science, UG, and lasted from 7 October to 4 November 2017. All in all, four Saturday sessions were held.

The first session was held on 7 October 2017. COMPSSA vice president Nicholas welcomed everyone to the workshop, after which Evans introduced the Python Ghana team. Gameli then gave a brief overview of Python Ghana. He informed participants of the organisation’s desire to help students strengthen their problem-solving skills using Python, one of the most sought after programming languages, as a tool. Emmanuel then took over and led the workshop for the day. He covered fundamental concepts such as programming, variables, and conditionals.

Emmanuel takes participants through fundamentals of programming

The workshop continued on 14 October with training being led by Edward with support from Emmanuel. Also four volunteers who are Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) from MEST were present to support the learners. Day one’s concepts were reviewed and more advanced topics such as abstraction, loops, and functions were introduced. Edward also took time to advise the students on the importance of learning with purpose and inculcating good practices as this stage of their lives. Students were also given homework so they try their hands on code for themselves.

Edward taking learners through how to properly write Python functions

Some of our team members with volunteers from MEST Africa

The third session took place on 21 October. Emmanuel led the training for the day, covering advanced topics including object-orientation, modules, and the Python Standard Library. The students also had the opportunity to interact with and Python African Tour founder Kamon. It was through the Python African Tour initiative that our community was born back in 2011. Kamon shared his experiences using Python for software development and leading Python communities and projects.

The final day of the workshop was moved to 4 November due to some challenges. It was led by Francis. The main topic was Python for web development using the Flask framework. He led an exercise on using forms to collect data for backend processing and output as information. Although attendance was low, compared to the earlier days, the session was interactive and the learners were engaged.

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Question time

All in all, we had a successful workshop, which would not have happened without the active participation of students and support of COMPSSA and the Computer Science Department. Also, our partners and Global Lab Network deserve credit for contributing in cash and kind. Finally, thank you to our hardworking team members especially Evans, Emmanuel, Enoch, Edward, Francis, and Gameli for their various inputs. Check out more pics on our Facebook page!

Selfie time after one of our sessions

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