Learning Python in a week: Debanshi tells her story

Date of Publication: 02 January 2019

Find out from one of our 2018 students- Debanshi, who studied Computer Science in Bengaluru-what our courses are really like, and what impact they have on your learning and future.

Hey everybody! If I were told to describe my experience at the oxford summer courses in just a word, I would say “life-changing” because that’s exactly what it was for me. I had never thought in my wildest dreams that a normal summer course would impact my life in such a huge way. I not only met like-minded people out there with whom I could share my ideas and opinions but also people of diverse personalities and cultures.

Everybody had something unique about them. Today I can confidently say that those 10 days of my life during the course made me discover my inner passion, voice my opinions boldly in an unfamiliar setting as well as make lifelong friends.

Whoever has asked me about the oxford summer courses I’ve always blurted out unconsciously, “Go for it! You will have an amazing experience and discover yourself in the process.”

 

There were various disciplines which students could choose from -law, entrepreneurship, business, leadership, computer science, and medicine to name a few. I had chosen Computer Science as my subject of study.

The name of my course instructor was Mark Robert Amery, a graduate from the Queen’s College in Oxford, and he did all that he could to make anything as mundane as a tic tac toe game so interesting. After attending this course as a computer science student and learning an entirely new language like Python in a matter of ten days, I developed an inclination towards programming and finding solutions to problems. I also started believing in myself a lot more.

I vividly remember the day when Mark divided us into 3 groups of 5 each and told us to make pygames (games that are made using python as your base programming language). He said we could make any game we wanted.

Now came the hilarious part. Out of the 3 groups, the other two groups had experienced young programmers who had known python before coming for the course, while our group had absolutely nobody with prior python knowledge. My team had people well- versed in various other programming languages but all of us knew barely 7 days of python and now we were told to make a whole game in this foreign language.

So, at first when both the other groups started working on their respective games, five of us were staring at each other’s faces and wondering how to start. That was the time I thought somebody must take the initiative. I instantly got up from my seat and went to Mark asking him what we should do. He said, “Start right away! I know you can do it.” So, I went back to my seat, gathered my group and said” Okay guys, let’s begin from scratch. We have to do this!” Once we started working on the game, we worked and worked.

 

That gaming week, truly sparked my curiosity. I didn’t know any limits. I went to Mark during lunch, in the bus, and at any time to debug my program and that’s what later became my passion. I sat for hours on end trying to figure out how to make grids for the tic tac toe. After all the challenging work, on the final presentation day, our group proudly presented not one but three well- developed games.

When you learn anything from scratch and then go on to master it in the way I did, it boosts your self- confidence and makes you believe in yourself which is very essential.

Today I am teaching python to students of my class in my school and sharing what I learnt with many other curious minds’. I can’t thank oxford summer courses enough for giving me such an enriching experience that I will cherish forever.

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