You may recall that in June, I attended Hack for MN 2014 and there I met Dana, co-founder of PyLadiesTC and got connected with the local PyLadies. At the recap event, Hack’d for MN, I met Carole and learned that she was also interested in learning Python. So Carole and I teamed up in the fall (October) to become PyLady organizers ourselves, and organize a beginner cohort that would meet regularly to learn Python.

There were two classes that we decided to try on Coursera: University of Michigan’s Programming for Everybody (Python), and Rice University’s An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python. We met weekly on Saturday mornings, and three ladies finished each class. I finished the first one, and made it through week five (of eight) in the second one.

Fast-forward to December: I had the opportunity to present our Beginner Cohort to the local Python User Group, PyMNtos. Carole and I worked with our cohort to put together some slides, and I volunteered to share our triumphs and struggles with the group. Then we demonstrated the final game- called RiceRocks, it’s basically asteroides- for the group.

The presentation to PyMNtos was great- it was really nice to hear from a supportive audience about struggles that they had while to learn to code, and everyone agreed that having a cohort to meet regularly for a class was really helpful. We also shared some tips that we had each learned while taking Coursera classes- from discussing whether or not to try the forums to how to tell what kind of answer the quiz questions expect.

Presentation View presentation here