Python at ALA

Before the preconference


What To Do Next



  • Make sure you and your computer are ready for the preconference
  • Make sure you understand some fundamental programming terms and concepts


Tell a staff member that you are ready to be checked off. Together you will go through the following check-off steps:

Step 1

Start a command prompt, and from that command prompt start Python. Then quit Python.

Step 2

Create a new Python file (with a .py extension). In that file, type

print "Hello World"

and save the file. From a command prompt, navigate to and execute that Python script.

Step 3

Open your text editor, and press "Tab". Use the left arrow key to show the instructor that you are using spaces to indent, not tabs.

Step 4

To test the ColorWall installation: navigate to the ColorWall directory and run

python -a

Step 5

To test the Wordplay installation: navigate to the Wordplay directory and run


Step 6

Walk through the Tutorial concept that was most confusing for you. The Tutorial is here.


You're done with the setup portion of this preconference and ready to rock and roll with code.

We'll have a break from 10 until 10:15, and then start in on an interactive lecture. If it's not 10 yet, here are some things you can do:

  • Get up, walk around, stretch.
  • Practice your new Python skills with some CodingBat exercises.
  • Solidify those skills with more CodingBat exercises.
  • Flag down a staff member and walk through whichever CodingBat problem was most confusing for you.
  • Offer to help your neighbors.
  • If you have any other questions about the tutorial, project setup, or CodingBat questions, now is a great time to ask!

Next Step:

Back to Self-paced introduction, part 2