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Think Python

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 959
Author/s    : Allen B. Downey
Publisher   : O'Reilly Media
Category   : Other
Review by : Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating        : 10 horseshoes

"Think Python" is available online ( which means you can decide if you like it first. Personally, I wanted to write in my copy making the paper copy a great thing. Inexpensive too for a computer book. It's one of those great books I know I'll refer to again. Can't imagine why you'd buy the Kindle version though.

The book is targetted at those learning Python. It's appropriate whether you are new to programming or coming from another language. And most importantly, it is NOT a "Learn Python in X days" type book. Those have their place, but this book targets those who actually are/want to be developers. Hence the subtitle "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist."

Each chapter ends with debugging tips, a glossary of terms and numerous exercises for practice. Common idioms are covered in addition to syntax, techniques and algorithms. Recursion is presented in a not scary, approachable way.

The author uses the term "state diagram" to refer to the state of variables in an object. I've never seen this usage before (being more used to the UML state diagram) and look forward to asking the author about it in his book promotion next month.

I think this makes for a great first Python book. To be followed by one that teaches the Python libraries. It teaches you how to think in Python. And how to be a developer; not just a coder.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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