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Part-time course
Diploma in Python Programming

This Diploma in Python Programming course is targeted towards those with little or no experience in programming who are looking to begin their career in programming or advance their career with the Python programming language. Python is a general-purpose programming language that has a wide range of industry applications, from small single task scripts to complete desktop applications.

Python is a programming language which has recently begun to gain an ever-increasing market share. The cross-platform nature of Python allows it to be used for different tasks on any operating system. This allows Python developers to be utilised for many different IT related roles.

This course leads the students from the basics of writing and running Python scripts to more advanced features such as file operations, regular expressions, working with binary data, and using the extensive functionality of Python modules. Particular emphasis is placed on features unique to Python, such as tuples, array slices, and output formatting. Students should be comfortable using the basic operating system on their laptop (Linux, Unix, Windows, Solaris or Mac OS X, etc.) on which they will be running Python. While not mandatory, basic skills with at least one other programming language are desirable. Students receive a copy course notes and will be able to see the instructor’s screen simultaneously with working on their own.

On completion of this course, the learner will have acquired the skills to:

  • Master the fundamentals of writing Python scripts
  • Learn core Python scripting elements such as variables and flow control structures
  • Discover how to work with lists and sequence data
  • Write Python functions to facilitate code reuse
  • Use Python to read and write filesMake their code robust by handling errors and exceptions properly
  • Work with the Python standard library
  • Explore Python’s object-oriented features
  • Search text using regular expressions

This section provides a detailed breakdown of all of the content covered during this course.

An Overview of Python

  • What is Python?
  • Interpreted languages
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Downloading and installing
  • Which version of Python
  • Where to find documentation

The Python Environment

  • Structure of a Python script
  • Using the interpreter interactively
  • Running standalone scripts under Unix and Windows

Getting Started

  • Using variables
  • String types: normal, raw and Unicode
  • String operators and expressions
  • Math operators and expressions
  • Writing to the screen
  • Command line parameters
  • Reading from the keyboard

Flow Control

  • About flow control
  • Indenting is significant
  • The if and elif statements
  • while loops
  • Using lists
  • Using the for statement
  • The range () function

Array types

  • list operations
  • list methods
  • Strings are special kinds of lists
  • tuples
  • sets
  • Dictionaries

Working with Files

  • Text file I/O overview
  • Opening a text file
  • Reading text files
  • Raw (binary) data
  • Using the pickle module
  • Writing to a text file

Dictionaries and Sets

  • Dictionary overview
  • Creating dictionaries
  • Dictionary functions
  • Fetching keys or values
  • Testing for existence of elements
  • Deleting elements

Functions

  • Syntax of function definition
  • Formal parameters
  • Global versus local variables
  • Passing parameters and returning values
  • Sorting
  • The sorted() function
  • Alternate keys
  • Multiple keys
  • Lambda functions
  • Errors and Exception Handling
  • Dealing with syntax errors
  • Exceptions
  • Handling exceptions with try/except
  • Cleaning up with finally

Modules and Packages

  • What is a module?
  • The import statement
  • Function aliases
  • Packages

Regular Expressions

  • RE Objects
  • Pattern matching
  • Parsing data
  • Subexpressions
  • Complex substitutions
  • RE tips and tricks

Highlights of the Standard Library

  • Working with the operating system
  • Grabbing web pages
  • Sending email
  • Using glob for filename wildcards
  • Math and random
  • Accessing dates and times with datetime
  • Working with compressed files

Python Classes

  • About o-o programming
  • Defining classes
  • Constructors
  • Instance methods
  • Instance data
  • Class methods and data
  • Destructors

Project work will be utilised to assess students on this programme. This approach provides hands on experience for each of the different libraries and functions discussed during this course.

This programme provides a strong foundation in the concepts of Python programming in both procedural and object-orientated design. On completion of this course, the learner will have the skills needed to begin a QQI Level 6 program in IT. The learner will also have the skills needed to begin a junior role in IT support relating to Python programming and operating systems or a junior development role in Python programming.

Ready to start your journey?