Pythonic Andragogy (Python for Adults)

Short Form


You've heard of kids using turtle graphics. Lets talk about "tractor graphics" in a hypothetical Python course from a possible future.


Acquiring the fluency and literacy needed to participate in Open Source communities includes absorbing cultural memes not specifically relating to software. How might future curricula leverage a full range of experience to make for productive immersion learning?

You’ve heard of kids using turtle graphics. Lets talk about “tractor graphics” in a hypothetical Python course from a possible future.

Kirby currently teaches Python full time for the O’Reilly School of Technology, a division of O’Reilly Media.

Speaking experience

OS Bridge, EuroPython, Pycon, OSCON, Portland Python User Group, Bellingham Linux User Group, Willamette University, London Knowledge Lab and more.


  • Kirby guy

    Kirby Urner

    4D Solutions


    Kirby moved to Portland from Chicago when his dad joined the Portland Planning Bureau, after which the family moved overseas to serve planning clients in Libya, Philippines, Egypt, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Lesotho.

    Kirby attended Princeton University, focusing on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein for his thesis, while haunting the “E-Quad” (engineering quadrangle) for computer science courses, having fallen in love with APL (Princeton had scattered APL terminals, slaved to an IBM 370, throughout the campus).

    After serving as a mathematics teacher in an exclusive Catholic academy for young women, and as a contributing editor for computer literacy materials for McGraw-Hill in the 1980s, Kirby returned to Portland to pursue a career in programming in the not-for-profit sector, starting with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Center for Urban Education, and later as an associate with Dawn Wicca & Associates (DWA).

    Kirby’s background in philosophy and computer science continued to inform his approach to education whereas the development of the Internet enabled him to discover his global team of peers, including within the Python community.