Best python book for new programmer?

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#1 danicloud  Icon User is offline

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Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:02 PM

i am relatively new to programming and coding and i decided to learn python as a first language. I learned a lot in the last few days with internet resources but i wanted to buy a book to have a more structured way for learning. What do you think is the best book?? thanks
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#2 Motoma  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:13 PM

Personally, I think that "Dive Into Python" and "Learning Python The Hard Way" are two of the best books out there.

Make sure the book you buy is teaching the version of Python you want to learn! There are discrepancies between Python 2.x and 3.x.
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#3 Tayacan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:20 PM

Nah, really - the differences aren't big enough that they should impact what book you buy. Rather, make sure that you install the version of Python that your book tells you to. It's more important to pick up the principles of programming than learning whether or not there should be parentheses around a print statement.
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#4 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:42 PM

I agree with Motoma. If you are planning on using python 3.x, get a good book that uses 3.x. It's stupid to get the wrong book for the version you want just so that you'll get hit by the "gotchas" later. There are plenty of good books in the2.x and 3.x camp.
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#5 Tayacan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:07 PM

Yea, but installing a different version of Python is easy and free. Getting a new book because you discover the one you bought for version x wasn't as good for learning as the one for version y is less so.
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#6 danicloud  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 05:22 PM

and i have another questions... is python overall a good choice for first language, i really want to understand the principles of programming and how the computer works.
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#7 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:22 PM

Some would argue that Python is the best choice :)

MIT uses Python to teach their introductory class if that counts for anything...

EDIT:
@Tayacan
Then make sure the book you get for version x is a good one to begin with ;)

This post has been edited by atraub: 07 June 2011 - 08:23 PM

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#8 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:45 PM

I found Learn Python the Hard Way to be an excellent book with a refreshingly different approach to teaching one to program. Where most books are full of dry, boring text, LPTHW teaches by example. The book is broken up into 52 sections with most of the sections requiring the reader to type a snippet of code into an editor and then run the code. In addition, each section has a small "extra credit" section that asks you to do something, but doesn't tell you how to accomplish the task. I think this is great because it makes you think for yourself.

I think that even if you have already chosen a book, you should still look at LPTHW.

This post has been edited by atraub: 28 April 2012 - 08:51 PM
Reason for edit:: fixed broken link

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#9 Simown  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:03 AM

I'd go with Beginning Python - From Novice to Professional, that's how I got started with Python, the book is definitely good enough to teach yourself without external tutoring!

The book covers mainly 2 but notes the key differences in syntax between the two versions. The 2nd edition onwards covers some Python 3.
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#10 nooblet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:16 AM

Go with Python 2.
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#11 Simown  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:42 AM

Regarding "Dive into Python" I really struggled to grasp the concepts in that book (which is available online) when I was new to programming as it uses a top-down approach. I can see now how it's a great book but I just couldn't learn the basics from it. I couldn't recommended it for a beginner in my personal opinion.
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#12 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:08 AM

View PostSimown, on 08 June 2011 - 08:12 AM, said:

Regarding "Dive into Python" I really struggled to grasp the concepts in that book (which is available online) when I was new to programming as it uses a top-down approach. I can see now how it's a great book but I just couldn't learn the basics from it. I couldn't recommended it for a beginner in my personal opinion.


I think thats because Dive Into Python isn't meant for someone new to programming. The book is meant for people who have already been programming for a while in a different language and want to learn Python.
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#13 Simown  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:03 AM

I believe it is, yeah. That didn't stop me from reading it starting out though.

It was suggested in this thread for a "new programmer" - I don't think it should be the first Python book someone reads but it would be a benefit to read it in future.
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#14 danicloud  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:30 PM

thanks you for the responses, i subscribed to Safari Book and added "Learning with python 4th edition" any reviews for this book?
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#15 brendankiely  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best python book for new programmer?

Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:21 AM

A great book is the Quick Python Book.

It's the best introductory guide to Python for programmers
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