Python is fast becoming the most popular language on the planet. There are many reasons behind this unprecedented rise of Python which include the language’s simplicity to learn, the cleanness of its written code, which appeals to beginners. Python is also incredibly powerful and has amazing libraries. It is also a versatile language and finds applications in many fields like finance, data science, mechanical engineering, and supply chain.
Whatever your reason may be for wanting to learn Python. If you are a beginner who wants to get trained in Python, then you should surely consider picking up Learn Python The Hard Way written by Zed Shaw. Zed is a software programmer who is well known in the programming world for creating the Mongrel web server for Ruby web applications.
Zed is someone who doesn’t shy away from controversy or speaking his mind. He frequently writes articles covering, technology, problems in the programming world, and business. He has written more than 11 books on programming and computer science. Zed considers himself an ‘old programmer’ who has reached the stage where coding has become ‘boring’ for him now.
Who Is Learn Python The Hard Way 3rd Edition For?
Learn Python The Hard Way is ideal for complete beginners who have little or no programming experience. The title seems daunting, however what Zed really means is that you will learn Python through hands on practice, repetition, and manually typing all the code. Learn Python The Hard Way is one of the books from Learn Code the Hard Way series and all of these books follow the same pedagogy for teaching coding.
If you already have a lot of experience programming or you already have high level skills in Python, this book might not be the best for you. Learn Python The Hard Way teaches you Python interactively, this means that Zed Shaw takes you through a maze that gets progressively harder. You have to completely let go of all prior notions you might have and you have to try to make the exercises in the book run by giving your best shot.
Zed also sprinkles his dose of offbeat humor throughout the book which keeps the Python lessons lively. Many readers found the book funny. However, Zed warns about people who already know a lot of programming might find his approach ‘insulting’. He simply says, that means you are not the intended reader of the book.
Python The Black Belt of Programming
According to the author, Learn Python The Hard Way is like getting your programming black belt. It prepares you to start any other programming book and handle it just fine. Going through Learn Python The Hard Way would not make you a complete programmer but you will be equipped enough to start some interesting projects.
Some of these projects are listed by Zed at the end of the book. So you would have things to do after completing the book. This is good because I feel pretty homeless after finishing any book. I don’t know where to go or what to do next.
Learn Python The Hard Way is divided into 52 exercises or chapters. Each exercise is designed to teach you something specific. Each chapter is further sub-divided into 3 or more parts- ‘what you should see’, ‘study drills’, ‘common student questions’.
‘What you should see’ shows you what the code looks like on screen. ‘Study drills’ are small questions that you must answer or solve. ‘Common student questions’ are clarifications of common problems learners often have.
Learn Python The Hard Way Exercise
Exercises 1 to 10 deal with setting up a Python environment, learning about variables, printing, strings and text. Exercises 10 to 20 deal with parameters, prompting, functions and files. Exercises 20 to 30 let you revise what you have learned so far. You also have to give your first test. You also learn Boolean logic and loops.
Then in exercises 30 to 40 you learn about libraries, dictionaries, debugging, and lists. Exercises 40 to 52 make you learn object-oriented programming and inheritance. You start your first projects. You also work on your first game and your first website. Learn Python The Hard Way ends with advice from Zed about programming and life in general. I think it is an interesting touch!
It is always nice to see what other people who read the book, think about it. A person who read Learn Python The Hard Way writes:
“I originally purchased this book for a senior developer who wanted to go from Java to Python to keep his skills updated. When I got the book I had a quick flick through and I knew I would need to purchase it myself. I’m a full stack developer myself and last year I came over to backend and started learning Python…”
Another reader on Amazon thinks this about Learn Python The Hard Way:
“This book since reading it yesterday i’ve been able to jump back onto my Django / Python projects with a new found confidence, it now makes a lot more sense and has given me a real good fresher and understanding on the fundamentals. The author is brilliant and I really do look forward to purchasing more of these books as he makes it quite funny to learn python, and the coding examples are brilliant.”
Where To Buy Learn Python The Hard Way 3rd Edition?
You can get Learn Python The Hard Way on Amazon starting from $17 for a digital copy and $34.97 for a paper back. Another good option is to buy the book from the author itself from learncodethehardway.org for $29.99.
You get a complete package when you get it from the author’s website including 52 videos for all the chapters/exercises in the book- this amounts to 12 hours of video material. You get a PDF of the book. Plus you get email help from the author. Note that you can only get a digital copy from the author’s website. You will have to pay through PayPal.
In case you purchased a paperback locally or through an online seller, you are also eligible for the video lessons. You will have to register your book on informit.com.