by Kim Desmond, Martin Breuss and Caden MacKenzie, CodingNomads
The first-ever CodingNomads Python bootcamp in Barcelona has come to a close, and was a celebration of coding, community, and Catalunya! Led by instructors from Austria and the US, we graced Barcelona with the presence of our students from the US, Holland, Saudi Arabia, and an Estonian-turned-local-Barcelonian.
Together we conquered hiking paths along the coast and countryside, dipped into the Balearic sea, dined on Friday tapas (“just… just keep bringing more food!!”), participated in the local stand-up comedy scene, and spent hours programming – both during and outside of class times!
Continue reading to learn about our Python bootcamp, student outcomes, projects built, and our fun weekend adventures in Barcelona!
“CodingNomads personalized support is unmatched! I went there to learn to code, which I did, but during that time I also gained a group of friends that I plan on staying in contact with forever.” —Patrick V.
About our Python bootcamp
Our Python coding bootcamp was 12 weeks long, including 2 weeks of online preparation, 6 weeks of intense daily coding in Barcelona, and a final 4 weeks of building out projects online.
Our students learned Python programming from scratch, Django, API development, SQL, AWS and more, so they could build and deploy full-scale web applications.
Although our Python course focused on Backend Web Development, we took a couple of excursions into the realms of data science and analysis using pandas, jupyter labs and other technologies. Our students join our coding bootcamps with interests across the board, so we build flexibility in our class structure to support students going forward in varying directions.
“I just finished the Python Bootcamp in Barcelona and highly recommend CodingNomads. As an experienced data analyst, I figured Python was a good next step towards data science (plus I wanted to travel!) – now I feel confident this was the right step for me!” —Laura V.
Python for beginners
We know that once you get the hang of one programming language, learning another one is much easier! So we make sure to get the core computer science basics right, going over lots of coding exercises and diving deep into the language whenever our inquisitive students wanted to know “Wait…but why?!.”
APIs, SQL and Django
Following Python fundamentals, we started to work with APIs. Our students learned to harvest data from platforms such as Twitter for use in services they wanted to build themselves.
Then we took off learning SQL – a very widely used technology for interacting with databases – as well as how to integrate it with our Python code.
We learned to use Python’s most popular web framework Django, for building production-quality webapps. We also learned how to use Django REST Framework to build APIs. Finally, we used multiple services on AWS (Amazon Web Services) to deploy our webapps and interact with a remote server environment.
Student goals & outcomes
Our students came to our course with a wide variety of goals, yet unified through the serious wish to learn Python programming.
Some wanted to get a good basic understanding of programming in order to be able to learn any other language, and build products by themselves. Some came to fulfill a lifelong wish to learn Python. Others found themselves at a crossroads, deciding between taking their professional lives into a new direction, improving their current job positions with tech skills, or building the necessary skills and network to find well-paid remote work opportunities.
Everything that’s worth something in life requires hard work, and attending a bootcamp is only the start of a challenging but rewarding path to becoming a programmer.
That said, we were very proud to see our students take great leaps forward, and quickly too. Within just a few weeks of the course ending, one student already got an internship at an AI company working with big data and APIs – pretty sweet!
“I am left in awe of the fact that I am actually now capable of building the complex trading platform I have set out to do. Not only that, but I have a bunch of new friends that you would normally only get after spending years together in college.” —Rasmus G.
Building Python projects for beginners and beyond
Our students built a flurry of projects during the bootcamp, some of which are large-scale and still ongoing! Some students dove into full-stack web development with Bootstrap and CSS to build out their portfolio pages. Others created new products through various API integrations. Some worked with interesting datasets to analyze and report about female unemployment in developing countries.
Here are other examples to take a closer look:
One of our students Laura built an API using Django that gives cryptocurrency buy and sell suggestions by analyzing Google Trends search results and historical Bitcoin prices.. She also created a Tableau visualization to show her algorithm’s performance. Even as she was just building out the concept, her project made it on the front page of Hackernoon. Here’s a live link to the visualization in the screenshot below.
Crypto Currency Auto-Trader
Another student has been diligently working on fulfilling his dream of creating a functioning cryptocurrency trading bot. He’s gone to impressive lengths by building out a solid database and well-structured, reusable code. The screenshot below shows his database design as mentioned in a tutorial he wrote on Medium.
Why learn Python programming?
Python is a great language for getting started with programming. It reads almost like English, or pseudocode, which helps humans (rather than machines) easily read it.
If you want to get your feet wet with programming, Python is a great choice. It’s a language that enables you to build full-production products, and apply to a variety of well-paid job positions. Successful Python students can future-proof your job opportunities, and as an added bonus, have fun building exciting projects throughout the process!
Python scales incredibly well and is diverse in its application. With Python, you can do anything. You can build production scale webapps like Instagram, write scripts to automate workflows on your computer, and dive into data science and machine learning. Largely driven by data science and machine learning, Python has been the fastest growing language for years. It’s a pace that is likely to continue.
You can see Python’s soaring StackOverflow question views below (based on this StackOverflow Trends analysis).
The Python bootcamp experience in Barcelona
Living in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city with a beautifully relaxed and joyful feeling. Simply strolling through the streets or sitting at a lively plaza makes for an uplifting and relaxing experience, taking in the sounds of people chatting over tapas, and children roaming in groups.
Our CodingNomads group spent most our time in the Gracia neighborhood, where our co-working space Betahaus had lovely views from their café terrace! We often enjoyed good conversations on hikes in Barcelona’s famous Parc Güell, just around the corner from Betahaus. A few of us decided to expand on the bootcamp idea and challenge our bodies in addition to our minds with daily CrossFit classes spoken en español!
Joining the Barcelona comedy scene
One of our students Kadri is an Estonian living in Barcelona. Showing us around like a local, she invited us to her stand-up comedy shows, which quickly became one of our weekend meeting spots. Even our US student Tony got on stage to perform…twice!
And those Barcelona views
Barcelona also boasts a couple of beautiful hills that were easily accessible from our neighborhood. So it isn’t a shocker that we frequently spoiled ourselves with beautiful views across the city we were getting to know and love during our time there.
Weekend trip to Palamós
Because life can’t only be coding, and we were right on the beautiful Mediterranean coast, we rented a car and took a weekend trip up North to Palamós. Hiking along the beautiful and rugged coastline rewarded us with some amazing views!
Being out and about in nature is also a great way of getting to know each other from a different perspective. We had fun exploring pretty beaches, talking up dogs in Estonian, and sharing some chips and cava while swimming at our own private beach in the crystal clear sea.
On our way back, we stopped for some patatas bravas and mounted the final hills to our car with the setting sun in the horizon.
Weekend trip to Montserrat
Another one of our weekend trips took us to the famous monastery of Montserrat. Yes, there’s a cable car going up the mountain, but of course, our hiking-fanatic group wanted to surmount that challenge by foot. And what a good choice it was to do so!
The hike uphill gave us great views over the unique cliffs in the area. Montserrat itself is quite lively with tourists, and seeing the ancient buildings and views was a good experience well worth the hike!
A coding bootcamp for the books
All in all, it was an honor to work with our first CodingNomads Python bootcamp in Barcelona. Everyone added a unique piece to this beautiful puzzle. It was rewarding to help such motivated, smart, interesting, and lovely people take their steps into the world of Python programming, and become a close group of friends! We’re excited to stay contact, and see where their paths will lead them.
Is CodingNomads the right fit for you?
If you’re considering taking the first steps into a new tech career, and want a productive reason to escape from home/daily life to an epic travel destination with an awesome group of people, CodingNomads just might have the right thing for you :).