Introduction to Python Programming

Toby Hodges   2020-01-08   Comments Off on Introduction to Python Programming

Date(s) - 2020-01-08 - 2020-01-09
09:30 CET - 17:00 CET


  • Mattia Forneris
  • Toby Hodges
  • Nic Karcher

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to programming with the Python language. The course material is suitable for complete beginners, with no previous programming experience or knowledge required or assumed. Participants can work through the course at their own pace, so the materials are also suitable for those with some programming experience.

Python has grown in the last ten years to become one of the most widely-used programming languages in biology. This increasing popularity reflects how easy Python is to learn compared with some other languages, and how adaptable it is to a wide variety of different tasks. Simultaneously, the rise of data-driven approaches to science means that programming skills are becoming more and more important for biologists.

The course will be based on Software Carpentry lesson material and teaching methods. Course participants will follow along with live coding demonstrations by the instructors, broken up by plenty of exercises and opportunities to apply what is being taught.

Participants will learn:

  • the basic concepts and building blocks of programming in Python
  • how to quickly automate repetitive tasks and calculations
  • how to load, work with, and export tabular data files with the Pandas library
  • automating the visualisation of data using Python’s powerful plotting libraries
  • good programming practices and techniques for debugging

After attending the course, you will have a good understanding of the core themes of programming, and be able to write your own Python programs, to automate repetitive analysis tasks and produce visualisations of your data. The course organisers will be on hand to provide help and advice throughout the duration of the course.


Participants must bring their own laptop to work with on the course, with the Anaconda Python Distribution (version 3.6 or above) installed. If you would like help installing Anaconda, please email Toby Hodges in advance of the course.

Course Fee:

EMBL Bio-IT will offer the course for free to all EMBL members.

The external participants will be charged with a course fee of 60 Euros (to cover the lunch and infrastructure related cost). The invoice details will be shared via email.

Registration Note

EMBL members: to avoid problems with conflicting user accounts for future courses, please log in with your standard EMBL username & password before registering.


Bookings are closed for this event.