# Teaching Python to Beginners

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2020-10-20 06:53:36

One idea from a book that left a deep impact on me was about the surgeon’s culture of teaching. Residents practice the philosophy of “see one, do one, teach one,” with the implication that first you watch how a procedure is done, then you do it yourself, then you can teach it to others. When you can teach a skill to others,  you’ve mastered it.

In software, we don’t really have this formalized apprenticeship structure  (as I wrote about for the Increment), but it’s still generally understood that if you can teach something you know to beginners, then you understand the concept well yourself.

I was recently invited to teach Python for Beginners at WSDS, the American Statistical Association’s Conference for Data Science, and got to try out this idea in practice.

I thought it would be relatively easy to put together a slide deck that focused on a two-hour intro course, but it was, of course, much harder than I anticipated, for several reasons.