The Testing Goat

Obey the Testing Goat!

TDD for the Web, with Python, Selenium, Django, JavaScript and pals...

Coaches needed for Python Bootcamp @ Pycon US in Portland next week.

Wed 18 May 2016
By Harry

Coming to Pycon? Want to help some beginners to get to grips with Python, and get the most out of the conference? I need your help!

Having observed the surprising number of beginners to be found at Python conferences, I organised a "beginners' day" at last year's EuroPython in Bilbao. We had about 30 beginners attend (from a crowd of 1200 at the conference) -- quite a few science types, some people who already knew another language but wanted to learn Python, and a few total beginners. Everyone seemed to leave with lots of nice things to say about it.

Here's a couple of clips:

I'm running something similar at Pycon this year, on the first day of the tutorials:

Python Bootcamp at Pycon USA 2016, May 28th

The basic idea is shamelessly stolen from the awesome DjangoGirls, and is mainly structured around:

  • self-directed learning based on a selection of Python tutorials (one for total beginners, one for sciencey types, one for web developers, one for programmers who already know another language, and so on)

  • coached by friendly Python developers sitting near each attendee

  • supplemented by a few short lectures on the Python "ecosystem" (what is the cheese shop / the bdfl / a pep / pip / requests / IPython notebook / etc etc)

There's more info in the repo.

I need more coaches! I would love to get to a 3-to-1 ratio of attendees to mentors. You don't have to be an expert Python developer, you just have to be a friendly person, that remembers how tough it can be as a beginner, and that wants to help. I expect quite a few "data science" people in particular, so if you have skills in that area (even if you've only just learned them yourself), I want you!

Check out the DjangoGirls coach manual for a flavour of the kind of attitude I'm trying to cultivate. And don't forget you'll have to swear the "Oath of the Mentor", as per the link above.

Helping beginners is a great feeling, I hope you'll join me! Emails to [email protected] please :)

PS: This is not a free event for attendees, but I am donating my entire fee for it back to the PSF. Minus, perhaps, a small budget set aside for "thankyou" drinks and cakes for coaches :)


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Read the book

The book is available both for free and for money. It's all about TDD and Web programming. Read it here!

Reviews & Testimonials

"Hands down the best teaching book I've ever read""Even the first 4 chapters were worth the money""Oh my gosh! This book is outstanding""The testing goat is my new friend"Read more...


A selection of links and videos about TDD, not necessarily all mine, eg this tutorial at PyCon 2013, how to motivate coworkers to write unit tests, thoughts on Django's test tools, London-style TDD and more.

Old TDD / Django Tutorial

This is my old TDD tutorial, which follows along with the official Django tutorial, but with full TDD. It badly needs updating. Read the book instead!

Save the Testing Goat Campaign

The campaign page, preserved for history, which led to the glorious presence of the Testing Goat on the front of the book.