Given the variety of backgrounds of Ocean Mapping students and the fact that some of them have limited programming experience, there is a need to ensure a minimum common level of programming skills. Python is a natural choice as a means to provide those skills. The language is simple to learn for inexperienced programmers, increasing popular, and freely available. Based on such considerations, the e-learning Python for Ocean Mapping (ePOM) project was established.
The teaching goals are to familiarize Ocean Mapping students with key programming concepts and, at the same time, to teach them programming habits and skills that can be potentially translated to other programming languages. Given the popularity of Python, there is a lot of online material about the language. This can be overwhelming. Thus, ePOM aims to help the students to navigate their way through the huge amount of help and online resources. Last but not least teaching goal, ePOM aims to provide enough basic Python skills to ease the first lab assignments.