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Toronto PyCamp™ 2013

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PyCamp teams with the second PyCon Canada Conference! Toronto PyCamp and the PyCon Canada Conference happen on the campus of the University of Toronto. Go to the PyCon Canada weekend to see the amazing things Python can do for you, then experience a week of PyCamp. For beginners, this ultra-low-cost Python Boot Camp makes you productive so you can get your work done quickly. PyCamp emphasizes the features which make Python a simpler and more efficient language. Following along with example Python PushUps speeds your learning process in a modern high-tech classroom. Become a self-sufficient Python developer in just five days at PyCamp! PyCamp is an official sponsor of PyCon Canada.
Register separately for the PyCon Canada conference (August 9-11, 2013) at Registration and the call for talk proposals for PyCon Canada 2013 are open now.

Registration Has Closed!

When and where? • Who sponsors PyCamp? • How to register? • Is PyCamp for me? • What to expect? • Who is your instructor? • What you need to bring? • What to do before class? • Who is coming to PyCamp? • How to get around? • Where to park? • Where to stay? • Where to eat? • Is there a flyer?

For more information, please email

When and Where

  • WHEN: Monday through Friday, August 12-16, 2013
  • WHERE: Classroom 25, Woodsworth College Residence, 321 Bloor Street West, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

PyCamp takes place in a state of the art high technology classroom. Networking and AC power are provided at every seat. A video projection screen monitors the presentation computer at the front of the room. The seating is conference style where you can spread out. Restroom facilities are just down the hall. Several dining options are conveniently located nearby.

Check-in occurs at 8:30am on the first day. Class starts at 9am each following day. Class runs until 5pm each day.


Toronto PyCamp 2013 is graciously sponsored by the University of Toronto Department of Physics. Toronto PyCamp 2013 is also a Diversity Sponsor PyCon Canada, the Canadian national Python conference. While not required, PyCamp encourages you to register for the PyCon Canada weekend preceding your PyCamp week. You will get the most out of PyCamp experience by participating in the wider Python community at PyCon Canada. Registration for PyConCanada is separate from registration for PyCamp. Be sure to register for both!

How To Register: Registration Has Closed!

Registration schedule:

  • Complete by Friday, June 28 for early bird registration ($325 CAD public / $275 CAD with or email address).
  • Complete by Friday, July 19 for regular registration ($350 CAD public / $300 CAD with or email address).
  • Complete by Monday, August 5 for late registration ($375 CAD / $325 CAD with or email address).
Classroom 25 in Woodsworth College Residence

Woodsworth College Residence at the University of Toronto

PyCampers celebrate their quick learning experience.

Qualify Yourself

  • Do you know how to use a text editor (not a word processor, but a text editor)?
  • Do you know how to issue a change directory command at your operating system prompt?
  • Do you know what an environment variable of your operating system is?
  • Do you know what a PATH environment variable does for your operating system?
  • Do you know how to edit your operating system's PATH environment variable?
  • Do you know how to use a browser to download a file?
  • Do you know how to run a program installer?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above, then PyCamp is probably for you.

If you already know Python, then PyCamp will probably seem a bit redundant to you. You are welcome to come to PyCamp and "brush up" your skills. But be forewarned that PyCamp is paced for beginners. Only a few advanced language features are covered. But not before beginning features are understood by the entire class.

What To Expect

Check out the PyCamp syllabus. The syllabus is continually revised in response to feedback from previous TriZPUG PyCamps. The syllabus reflects what beginners can be reasonably expected to usefully comprehend and retain in five days.

PyCamp represents a unique pedagogical approach. You will learn:

PyCampers whoop it up.
  • By Example - Many programming courses take the rote "reference manual" approach where you are taught all the elements of a language and then expected to apply them from memory. PyCamp teaches through Python language elements applied in working examples instead of abstract concepts.
  • By Following Along - Many programming courses lecture passive students. Others leave students to work through programming problems on their own. You will instead participate by stepping through working code line by line, building up new features and making changes as you follow along in guided labs. By repeating Python PushUps, you will retain what you learn.
  • By Pythonic Method - Every programming language has a culture and idioms which make it unique. Too many programming courses apply a generic approach to languages, resulting in programmers who write Java programs in Perl. You will learn the zen-ful practices which make Python the most elegant and practical of programming languages.

Your instructor

Your instructor is Chris Calloway, applications analyst for the University of North Carolina Department of Marine Sciences and a member of the Plone Foundation. Chris taught the original PyCamp and has organized many boot camps and sprints for TriZPUG. Chris has been developing in Python for 14 years and has 33 years of of IT experience, primarily with IBM. Chris has previously developed and taught 40 hour courses about Java technology.

What You Need To Bring

  • A Wifi-capable laptop (required!) with any of the following OS platforms:
    • Windows 7 or Vista with latest service packs and an accessible administrative login account,
    • Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later with XCode installed, or
    • Linux with a 2.6 kernel and a package manager (rpm, yum, apt-get, synaptic, etc.).
  • An AC power adapter for your laptop.
  • A Cat 5 or Cat 6 Ethernet cable for your laptop's network adapter.

What To Do Before Class

Follow these installation instructions before class. Making it through these instructions will be the most difficult thing you have to do for PyCamp. So by the time you show up for class with a prepared laptop, it will be all downhill. It is important to get through these instruction before class. Installations are a time consuming process. Class is for learning Python.


See the participant list updated daily.

How To Get Around

Toronto is served by excellent mass transit which also extends to Pearson International Airport. It only costs $3 CAD to take mass transit to within one block of the classroom from the airport. The airport Rocket bus 192 stops at the Kipling subway station on the Green (Bloor-Danforth) subway line. It's an express bus and Kipling station is the last stop. To get on the bus, go to column R4 at the ground transportation exit of the airport. Column R4 is just across one lane of traffic from column R3. You will need exact change to take the bus. But keep your ticket as you will also use it for the subway. All fares are complete to destination whether starting on the bus or subway. All subway lines leaving Kipling station are the Green line, so take any train. Take the Green line eastbound from Kipling station 15 stops to St. George station. St. George station is the eastbound stop after Spadina station. St. George station is within one block of the classroom on both the Green (Bloor-Danforth) and Yellow (Younge-University-Spandina) lines. The Yellow line serves a downtown loop.

Where To Park

Municipal Parking operates a number of lots within a few blocks of the classroom for as little as $1 per hour.

Where To Stay

There are several good hotels and charming bed-and-breakfasts within walking distance of the classroom. Prices range from $59 per night to about $170 per night dependent on location and amenities. Have a look at the PyCamp Accommodations Guide.

Where To Eat

The neighborhood surrounding the classroom is abundant with a variety of places to dine.

Get the Flyer

You can let others know about PyCamp by posting the PyCamp flyer, because PyCamp is just too good to keep a secret.