Category Archives: Books

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

Book Review: Python Testing with pytest

A couple of months ago, Brian Okken asked me if I would be interested in reading his book, Python Testing with pytest. I have been interested in learning more about the pytest package for a while, so I agreed to take a look. I also liked that the publisher was The Pragmatic Programmers, which I’ve had good experience with in the past. We will start with a quick review and then dive into the play-by-play.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: The author of the book asked me to read his book
  • Why I finished it: I mostly skimmed the book to see how it was written and to check out the examples
  • I’d give it to: Anyone who is interested in testing in Python and especially in the pytest package

Continue reading Book Review: Python Testing with pytest

Educative Python 101 / 201 Courses on Sale

It’s that time of year again where the holidays are upon us, so I am doing a sale of some of my works. You can get Python 101 for FREE and Python 201: Intermediate Python for 50% off. Here are the coupon codes you can use:

Note that Python 101 is completely FREE with this coupon while the second course is 50% off. You can also get Python 101’s eBook for free over on Leanpub. You can also get the eBook for Python 201 for 50% off by using this link: http://leanpub.com/python201/c/py201free

All these coupons are good for one week. Thanks for your support!

Back to School Python Book Sale 2017

It’s time for school and going back to the university, so I am putting on a “Back to School” sale for my Python books. You can now buy my second and third books for 50% off on Leanpub.

You can check out my first book, Python 101, in its entirety over on http://python101.pythonlibrary.org/ if you need a sample of my writing style. Leanpub also has samples of both of those books that you can download as a PDF.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments or ping me via the contact form.

ANN: Python 101 Website

After making my first book, Python 101, freely available, I have been investigating the best way to make its contents available online as well. Since I write all my books in RestructuredText, I had a few options. I ended up going with Sphinx for now, but I may end up switching to something else in the future.

Sphinx is the documentation tool used by the Python language for their documentation and it is also the backbone of Read the Docs, which is a website of documentation for 3rd party Python packages. I tried the default Sphinx theme of Alabaster, but it didn’t have the two features I most wanted:

  • Mobile friendly
  • Next / Previous buttons to make chapter navigation easy

Or at least it didn’t appear to be easy to modify to make these features available. So I ended up switching to the Read the Docs theme as it had both of those features. You can check out the book at the following URL:

http://python101.pythonlibrary.org

Book Review: Software Architecture with Python

Packt Publishing approached me about being a technical reviewer for the book, Software Architecture with Python by Anand Balachandran Pillai. It sounded pretty interesting so I ended up doing the review for Packt. They ended up releasing the book in April 2017.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: Packt Publishing asked me to do a technical review of the book
  • Why I finished it: Frankly because this was a well written book covering a broad range of topics
  • I’d give it to: Someone who is learning how to put together a large Python based project or application

Continue reading Book Review: Software Architecture with Python

Python 101: Working with Dates and Time

Python gives the developer several tools for working with dates and time. In this article, we will be looking at the datetime and time modules. We will study how they work and some common uses for them. Let’s start with the datetime module!

The datetime Module

We will be learning about the following classes from the datetime module:

  • datetime.date
  • datetime.timedelta
  • datetime.datetime

These will cover the majority of instances where you’ll need to use date and datetime object in Python. There is also a tzinfo class for working with time zones that we won’t be covering. Feel free to take a look at the Python documentation for more information on that class. Continue reading Python 101: Working with Dates and Time

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