Category Archives: Books

Books that I’ve read, reviewed or cited for this article

Python 201 is Now an Online Course

My second book, Python 201: Intermediate Python, was just released as an online course over at Educative. I also have Python 101 on there as well. Educative is a pretty new educational website. It’s kind of like Code Academy except that they usually charge for access to all their courses.

Note: This is NOT a video course!

Anyway, they were kind enough to provide me with a 50% off coupon to share with anyone on Reddit. Here it is: au-py201-50. Note: This coupon code is only good for 1 week.

If you haven’t heard of my second book, then you’ll find a really good table of contents and some free content on Educative. You can also see the book’s table of contents on Leanpub here: https://leanpub.com/python201/

PyDev of the Week: Dan Bader

This week we welcome Dan Bader (@dbader_org) as our PyDev of the Week. Dan does a weekly Python Tricks newsletter / blog that’s a fun read. He has also authored a Python Tricks book. I always like checking out my interviewee’s Github page to see what they enjoy coding or writing about, so I encourage you to check that out as well. Let’s take a few moments to learn more about Dan!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

Hey everyone :wave: My name is Dan Bader and I’m a complete Python nut. I’ve been obsessed with programming ever since I managed to convince my parents to buy me a dusty old Commodore 64 from the classifieds in a local newspaper. And my love for writing code hasn’t diminished since then.

Eventually I got a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Computer Science. I worked in full-time positions for a few years and today I’m an independent software developer and consultant.

I was born and grew up in Germany but then later moved to Canada. I love both countries—and fortunately I mostly work remotely these days so I get to visit each one a fair bit. I’m glad I found a partner who’s willing to put up with these antics :slightly_smiling_face:

In terms of hobbies I like working out at the gym, cooking vegetarian food (buying my first proper cast-iron wok in Vancouver’s chinatown changed my life, haha), and going on hikes. I also read a lot. In general I found what makes me the happiest is building stuff. So I try and optimize for that. Every now and then I play some guitar to relax.

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Dan Bader

Book Review: Murach’s Python Programming

I review books for the i-programmer website from time to time and they recently gave me a copy of Murach’s Python Programming by Michael Urban and Joel Murach. This book is long at almost 600 pages and it’s pretty expensive for the paperback. For those of you with short attention spans, I give you the Quick Review. For those who would like something a bit more in-depth, you will need to click through to see the rest.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: In this case, because i-programming asked me to
  • Why I finished it: Because this book is well written and fairly interesting
  • I’d give it to: Someone who wants to learn Python

Continue reading Book Review: Murach’s Python Programming

Python 101 Now FREE on Leanpub Permanently

After the amazing response I had when I made Python 101 free for a few days a couple of months ago (see here, I have decided to make it free (or Pay What You Want) permanently on Leanpub (PDF, mobi and epub):

Note: I am still selling it on Amazon, Gumroad and Lulu

Now you can check it for free any time you like. If you happen to like the book, I would appreciate it if you could drop a review of it over on Amazon or contact me about doing a Reader Testimonial on Leanpub since they don’t have an automatic way to leave one of those.

When I originally wrote the book, I noticed that there were few or no books available that described how to create executables of your code or distribute your code via Python’s Package Index (PyPI). Python 101 covers these topics as well as introducing the reader to Python’s standard library, how to install 3rd party packages and an introduction to some of the most popular 3rd party packages for Python, such as SQLAlchemy, requests and virtualenv.

Python 101 has 5 sections, 44 chapters and 295 pages.

Here’s some coupons for my other books in case anyone is interested:

Python 101 is now a Course on Educative

My first book, Python 101, has been made into an online course on the educative website. Educative is kind of like Code Academy in that you can run the code snippets from the book to see what kind of output they produce. You can edit the examples that are executable, but you cannot save your edits currently. You can get 50% off of the course by using the following coupon code: au-pythonlibrary50 (note: This coupon is only good for one week)

Python 101 is for primarily aimed at people who have an understanding of programming concepts or who have programmed with another language already. I do have a lot of readers that are completely new to programming who have enjoyed the book too though. The book itself is split into 5 distinct parts:

Part one covers the basics of Python. Part two moves into learning a little of Python’s standard library. In this section, I cover the libraries that I find myself using the most on a day-to-day basis. Part three moves into intermediate level territory and covers various topics such as decorators, debugging, code profiling and testing your code. Part four introduces the reader to installing 3rd party libraries and briefly demonstrates some of the popular ones, such as lxml, requests, SQLAlchemy and virtualenv. The last section is all about distributing your code. Here you will learn how to add your code to Python Package Index as well as create Windows executables.

For a full table of contents, you can visit the book’s web page here. Educative also has a really good contents page for the online course too.

wxPython Cookbook Artist Interview: Liza Tretyakova

I always put a lot of thought into the covers of my book. For my first book on wxPython, I thought it would be fun to do a cookbook because I already had a lot of recipes on my blog. So I went with the idea of doing a cookbook. For the cover, my first thought was to have some kind of kitchen scene with mice cooks. Then I decided that was too obvious and decided to go with the idea of an Old West cover with cowboy (or cow mice) cooking at a fire.

I asked Liza Tretyakova, my cover artist for wxPython Cookbook, to do a quick interview about herself. Here is what she had to say:

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

My name is Liza Tretyakova, I’m a free-lance illustrator currently working in Moscow.

Education:

  • Moscow State University, Faculty of History of Arts
  • BA(Hons) Illustration, University of Plymouth


I work as an illustrator for about 10 years. I love horses and I used to have a horse. Also I’m interested in archery. I like reading and spending a lot of time with my daughter Yara, who is 7 years old.

What motivated you to be an illustrator versus some other profession?

Since I was a child I have been drawing all the time and it just happened that I started to work as an illustrator, it turned into a profession.

What process do you go through when you are creating a new piece of art?

It is different every time, there is no specific “recipe” 🙂

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be an illustrator?

You should try to draw every day, the more the better.

Do you have anything else you would like to say?

It was a pleasure working with you!

Thanks so much for doing the interview and for agreeing to be my illustrator for my wxPython Cookbook.

You can see more of Liza’s work on Behance.

wxPython Cookbook is Officially Released!

I recently finished up Mmy third book, wxPython Cookbook and I am officially releasing it today. My wxPython Cookbook is my longest book yet, clocking in at over 340 pages and over 50 recipes. I have a full table of contents on Leanpub for anyone who is interested in the nitty gritty details.

Here are the current places that you can get a copy of the book:

Thanks so much to all my readers and Kickstarter backers who have encouraged me throughout the writing process.

Holiday Sale on Python Books

It’s the holiday season so I am putting all my books on sale starting today. The sale will run through December 23rd. You can purchase any of my books for $6.99 on Gumroad or Leanpub. I’m actually recommending Leanpub now as I find its user interface much easier to navigate for my readers, but if you already have a Gumroad account, then feel free to use that.

You will receive the books in PDF, mobi and epub from both Leanpub and Gumroad.

Here are the links:

Gumroad

Leanpub

Softcover editions

I have 10 more copies of the first run of Python 201: Intermediate Python that you can now purchase. You will also receive the digital versions of the book. Note that the first run had a mistake in the asyncio chapter that has been rectified in the digital copies. The future versions of the paperback will be fixed soon.

Python 201 is the Featured Book on Leanpub Today

Leanpub is featuring my second book on their homepage today:

py201_featured_leanpub

You can get the book for 50% off until tomorrow by using the following link: http://leanpub.com/python201/c/50percent

Python 201 covers the following topics:

Part I – Intermediate Modules

  • Chapter 1 – The argparse module
  • Chapter 2 – The collections module
  • Chapter 3 – The contextlib module (Context Managers)
  • Chapter 4 – The functools module (Function overloading, caching, etc)
  • Chapter 5 – All about imports
  • Chapter 6 – The importlib module
  • Chapter 7 – The itertools module
  • Chapter 8 – The re module (An Intro to Regex in Python)
  • Chapter 9 – The typing module (Type Hinting)

Part II – Odds and Ends

  • Chapter 10 – generators / iterators
  • Chapter 11 – map, filter, reduce
  • Chapter 12 – unicode
  • Chapter 13 – benchmarking
  • Chapter 14 – encryption
  • Chapter 15 – Connecting to databases
  • Chapter 16 – super
  • Chapter 17 – descriptors (magic methods)
  • Chapter 18 – Scope (local, global and the new non_local)

Part III – Web

  • Chapter 19 – Web scraping
  • Chapter 20 – Working with web APIs
  • Chapter 21 – ftplib
  • Chapter 22 – urllib / httplib (client / server)

Part IV – Testing

  • Chapter 23 – Doctest
  • Chapter 24 – unittest
  • Chapter 25 – mock
  • Chapter 26 – coverage.py