By Bella Rubin and Daniella Namdar
Let’s Talk Python (LTP) is an elite computer science club at Queens College, which utilizes a collaborative, community-based approach to learn Python, the computer coding language.
Python’s simplicity and power makes it the preferred language of technology companies including Google, IBM, NASA, Goldman Sachs, and Facebook. Python is easy to learn and can be used to create apps, websites, games and search engines.
LTP founder and president Bella Rubin started the club to create a community of people passionate about learning the Python language in an interactive and motivational environment. Rubin knows technology is the future, and coding will enable students to think creatively and solve problems. “Students join LTP to expand [their] understanding of coding and Python,” Rubin explained, recognizing that Python will help students in whatever career they wish to pursue.
LTP welcomes students of all majors—no prior coding experience is necessary. Members are placed in teams according to their proficiency level and resource preference. Each team elects a team leader, and decides when and how often they want to meet. Teams set goals for themselves and track their progress on how the coding language learning is going. Additionally, once a month, the entire community unites to network with each other, and share their experiences.
Teams discuss the challenges they overcame, milestones they’ve reached, and projects they’ve completed. Professionals from the field are invited for additional guidance and networking opportunities. An elected “Team of The Month” works together to research and give a presentation on a trending topic in the industry, such as bitcoin, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, etc.
There are many online resources available to learn Python, and LTP provides an extensive list for members to experiment with and select. LTP member Eric Li explained the benefits of having these resources present, “I didn’t know about the Codecademy website [before LTP]. It is a useful website, the layout is so straight forward.”
Once teams master the basics of Python, they complete projects to add to their portfolios and compete against each other in competitions for prizes. In the future, LTP hopes to coordinate Hackathons.
LTP communicates on Slack, an instant messaging platform helpful for clubs and businesses. Members share code, resources and encouragement. Teams coordinate meet times and the LTP Board posts information regarding upcoming events.
LTP introduces a new way of learning altogether. During their free time, when LTP members are not attending classes, they get together with their friends to talk and learn about something they are passionate about.
Members learn about teamwork, leadership, responsibility and time management. They set milestones for themselves and achieve them. They practice presentation and public speaking skills. LTP is different from other computer science clubs on campus, because members are actively engaged and gain expertise in countless arenas.
LTP Secretary and Team Leader Ming Lei encourage students to join as, “Joining LTP makes college life even more meaningful!”
LTP has 60 members on Slack, and is always looking to grow. To join, go to LetsTalkPython.com and click “Sign up.” For questions, please contact LetsTalkPython@gmail.com.