Gentle hands-on introduction to Python programming

Gentle hands-on introduction to Python programming



Start date:

16 November 2020

General context

This course is organised over three full days. With the help of plenty hands-on exercises, you will get introduced into the different types of variables in python, the peculiarities of python and good programming habits. This course will provide you an ideal stepping stone for further developing programming skills in Python. 

  • Learning the basics of Python programming: different variables, reading files, writing files, conditional statements
  • Being able to write a basic Python script from scratch
Required skills

Aimed for people with no programming skills whatsoever. If you want to follow a more advanced training (e.g. machine learning) and you have little/no experience with Python, please register for this training.


Tuur Muyldermans

Tuur Muyldermans is a bioinformatics trainer at the VIB Bioinformatics Core and ELIXIR Belgium. 

Contact Tuur Muyldermans :
James Collier

James Collier is a professional software developer with >10 years of experience working on software ranging from tiny embedded devices through to high-performance and web applications. He completed his PhD at Monash University on Australia and now works on scientific software within the VIB Bioinformatics Core.

Contact James Collier :



- Short introduction to programming and Python
- Print statement - showing what your program does.
- Variables and operators - how to do math
- Conditions - deciding what to do
- Loops - doing the same thing with different information


- Lists and tuples - how to handle a range of variables
- File reading and writing - getting hold of data and dumping your results
- Functions - re-using the same bit of code


- Imports - what functions does Python provide?
- Dictionaries - organising your variables
- Plots- plotting basic figures with matplotlib

Throughout the course we'll stress the importance of 'good programming practice', such as clear variable names and adding comments to your code.