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Working with Python: functions and modules

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This course will cover concepts and strategies for working more effectively with Python with the aim of writing reusable code. In the morning session, we will briefly go over the basic syntax, data structures and control statements. This will be followed by an introduction to writing user-defined functions. We will finish the course by looking into how to incorporate existing python modules and packages into your programs as well as writing you own modules.    

Please be aware: this one-day course is the continuation of the Introduction to Solving Biological Problems with Python; participants are expected to have attended the introductory Python course and/or have acquired some working knowledge of Python. This course is also open to Python beginners who are already fluent in other programming languages as this will help them to quickly get started in Python.



Anne Pajon, CRUK

Cristian Riccio, University of Cambridge

Gulliermo Parada, Sanger Institute

Mukarram Hossain, University of Cambridge

Sergio Martinez Cuesta, CRUK

Stephanie Owen, Sanger Institute


Audience and Prerequisites


Syllabus, Tools and Resources

During this course you will learn about:

  • Writing functions
  • Best practice approaches to write reusable code
  • Structuring code in a custom module
  • Using Python libraries
  • Working with biological data using BioPython


Learning Objectives

After this course you should be able to:

  • Write reusable Python code, using functions and libraries effectively, and according to best practice guidelines
  • Acquire a working knowledge of key concepts which are prerequisites for advanced programming in Python e.g. writing modules



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Course materials

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