I’ve been training people in programming, including in Python, for 20 years. I’ve always enjoyed teaching; it’s an amazing feeling to know that you’re helping people to accomplish things that they couldn’t do before. The fact that I get to travel the world, meeting so many smart and interesting people, and helping them to use Python in new and better ways, is a great part of what I do.
My courses are constantly undergoing improvement and evolution. If you took a course with me last year, the odds are pretty good that I’ve tweaked it in a number of ways — improving the explanations, changing the demos, and streamlining the exercises.
One change that people don’t expect me to make, but which I do every year, is to remove content. That’s right; every year, I cover less material in each of my courses than I did the previous year.
Why would I do that? How can that possibly help?
Because by covering less material, I can give my students more time to truly learn the topics that remain. And when I say “truly learn,” I mean that we not only have more opportunity for questions and discussion, but also for exercises. Many, many exercises.
I find that removing content and adding exercises helps people to learn better. It helps the information to settle into their minds more firmly. It helps the students to truly, deeply understand the points I’m trying to make. And the point of a course isn’t to race through a checklist of topics, being able to say, “I covered them all!” Rather, it’s ensuring that people have learned the most important ideas, so that they can progress on their own. Having 100 topics on your day-long syllabus isn’t really going to help anyone; no human can remember that much.
I also encourage my students to work in pairs when they’re solving exercises. Without fail, those who follow my instructions, and work together with others to solve the problems, learn more and have a deeper understanding of what we’ve done.
About a year ago, I had a thought experiment: What if I were to make a course that was only exercises? That is, I wouldn’t do any teaching up front. Rather, the learning would take place in the exercise, in the collaborative solving of the exercise, and in the follow-up afterwards, including when I solve the problem.
Thus was born Weekly Python Exercise. My goal is to make you a more fluent Python developer, and Weekly Python Exercise represents the best combination of content, exercises, and technologies for accomplishing this task. The first cohort of WPE has been learning since June, and the feedback has largely been very positive. But there’s always room to improve, and so in creating this new, January 2018 cohort, I thought long and hard about how to increase interactions and make it as valuable as possible — within the constraints of online teaching and short, weekly exercises.
I’m very proud of WPE, and I’m excited that dozens of people are going to be joining me for this improved version of Weekly Python Exercise. I can’t think of a better way to help boost your Python career.
What does a $180 subscription to Weekly Python Exercise get you?
- 52 exercises
- 52 detailed (written) answers
- Access to our exclusive forum, in which you can chat with other WPE’ers
- Access to exclusive office hours with me, to discuss the problems
Also: If you sign up now, you get free, unlimited access to future cohorts of Weekly Python Exercise. You’ll be invited to join the forums and office hours, and to solve the problems along with everyone else, whenever I next offer this course.
And if it’s not for you? Just let me know, and I’ll refund your money. But I think that you’re going to really love it, and get a lot out of it. You’ll understand how Python works behind the scenes
In 48 hours, this opportunity will go away until I next offer WPE — and I’m not sure when that’ll be. So don’t delay; sign up for Weekly Python Exercise.
Questions or comments? Just watch this video: