titus: for goodness' sake advise them to think creatively about their programming.
if they're doing applications, show them pyjamas: i think that's absolutely essential.
even if you don't know anything about it, at least show them the samples on the pyjamas.pyworks.org site.
point them at my web site, which comes with the source code, and squish my web site down to 800, then 640, then 300 pixels wide, on the browser.
and remember to mention that because pyjamas is version 0.1, the auto-resize doesn't work yet :)
show them SQLobject and SQLbuilder (part of turbogears) and Formencode (part of turbogears) and the _very_ simple htmltmpl.sourceforg.net (not part of turbogears but it damn well should be).
explain that htmltmpl has not had _any_ "maintenance" on it - because basically, it is complete! it does what is needed, and if you think anything more is needed, then you are programming / designing the web site completely wrong.
but - above all, emphasise creativity as the absolute fundamental and overarching priority which they should be focussing on. they should be _good programmers_ who _happen_ to be using python.
make sure every module, class and function is either obvious (from its name or from its very few lines) or is documented, and make DAMN sure that everything has test procedures.
someone on here was raving about a new python test environment, which automatically hunted through code looking for stuff that LOOKED like a test - can't remember what it's called.
emphasise that the more testing you can do, the faster you will develop the program.
so, it doesn't matter if you write test procedures: that's good, because those will do testing.
it doesn't matter if you are a fast typer and have some scripts which do your install automatically: the sooner it's installed, the quicker you can do testing.
if you have code coverage techniques (saw one on here last week - looked great) - then great: that's testing.
the faster you can do testing - of _any_ kind - users, test suites, your own development cycle, whatever it is - the faster you will become confident that your code does what you need it to do.
the NSA and GCHQ have a way of thinking about things.
they don't care too much if something is broken, as long as they can _prove_ that it's broken. what they DO care about is if they CAN'T prove one way or the other if it's broken.
so, for the poor NSA and GCHQ, windows is _totally_ out of the question. outright. flat-out. banned. they REFUSE to use it, and will NOT allow a windows computer on their premises. AT ALL.
why? because it's 60 MILLION lines of utter unprovable shit. they can't tell where it _isn't_ secure.
tell your 20 scientists these things and they will go 'hmmmm...' :)