headshot of Python instructor Erez Powell

Instructor Spotlight: Erez Powell

Erez Powell is a software engineer and an educator who has worked for multinational corporations, startups and everything in between throughout his career. Most of Powell's professional experiences stem from the digital games industry, reinforced by his work in educational technology and mobile app development. He joins UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education as an instructor in the Python for Data Analysis Concentration.

Why do you teach?

I teach because I love to learn. Knowledge is power, especially in today's economy, so I teach to empower others. 

How would a student describe your teaching style?

I give my students as much support as I can and try to challenge them toward a path of growth. I believe in experiential learning, preferring that students learn how to utilize and adapt the tools they learn in class rather than memorize a handful of examples.

How will learning Python impact a student's life? 

Learning to use Python lets you practice three important skills: problem solving, abstract thinking and technical communication. All three are crucial professional skills in technical fields.

How has Python grown in popularity?

I started as a programmer in 2005 when Python was not yet considered a major programming language. Python code was designed to be easy for non-programmers to write and understand. It can be quickly and safely shared between colleagues and is easily expanded with new functionality, making it attractive to scientists and researchers who were not skilled software engineers but needed a tool to handle all their experimental data. As a result, some of the earliest code libraries developed by the Python community specifically addressed the need to parse, process, analyze and visualize large quantities of data. That is how Python became one of the most important tools in the field of Big Data.

Why should someone learn Python programming?

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ranked Python as the #1 programming language in the world in 2022.

What jobs are available to those with Python training?

Considering a career in programming?

Our courses provide a strong foundation and understanding in Python programming to help you launch a new career in data science or computer programming or enhance an existing career by building your Python skills. ​​​​​​Get started today! View courses open for enrollment.

Students who complete our Python for Data Analysis Professional Concentration will have the skills to find employment as software engineers, software developers, server engineers, data analysts, and data visualization and modeling engineers. Additionally, students who complete our program are not limited to jobs that solely utilize Python. Because most major programming languages share many similarities, employers are often willing to hire someone without language-specific experience if the candidate is otherwise a great fit.

What do you want students to take away from your course?

By the end of Introduction to Python Programming, each of my students will be confident to pursue a programming career. I want my students to understand what kinds of jobs are out there, how UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education courses will prepare them to be competitive job candidates and, most importantly, that they are capable of achieving their professional goals.

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