Books


My first book, Python 101 has been published today. You can buy it directly from my blog which will get you a PDF, EPUB and MOBI version of the book. You can also purchase a softcover edition of the book via Lulu. Finally, I have published the eBook to Amazon.

If you happen to run a Python or technology blog and would be interested in reviewing my book, Python 101, please feel free to contact me with your blog’s information. I am looking for a few good bloggers to review the book.

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Here’s some more information about the book:

Part One

The first part is the beginner section. In it you will learn all the basics of Python. From Python types (strings, lists, dictionaries) to conditional statements to loops. You will also learn about comprehensions, functions and classes and everything in between! Note: This section has been completed and is in the editing phase.

Part Two

This section will be a curated tour of the Python Standard Library. The intent isn’t to cover everything in it, but instead it is to show the reader that you can do a lot with Python right out of the box. We’ll be covering the modules I find the most useful in day-to-day programming tasks, such as os, sys, logging, threads, and more.

Part Three

This section covers mostly intermediate level material. Here are the topics covered:

  • lambda
  • decorators
  • properties
  • debugging
  • testing
  • profiling

Part Four

Now things get really interesting! In part three, we will be learning how to install 3rd party libraries (i.e. packages) from the Python Package Index and other locations. We will cover easy_install and pip. This section will also be a series of tutorials where you will learn how to use the packages you download. For example, you will learn how to download a file, parse XML, use an Object Relational Mapper to work with a database, etc.

Part Five

The last section of the book will cover how to share your code with your friends and the world! You will learn how to package it up and share it on the Python Package Index (i.e. how to create an egg or wheel). You will also learn how to create executables using py2exe, bb_freeze, cx_freeze and PyInstaller. Finally you will learn how to create an installer using Inno Setup.

Writing Style

This book will be written using my original blogging style. This means that the chapters will be shorter than your usual programming textbook. Most chapters will most likely be less than 10 pages! The idea here is to get the reader up to speed on the subject, not to beat them over the head with it.
Who should read this book?

This book is for beginners, but I believe people with intermediate skills will also find its contents valuable.

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Python 101, the book I am authoring is nearly finished. I had a couple of “proof” copies produced by Lulu to verify things were laying out correctly and to help me find mistakes. Seeing it in print is pretty cool. It also made some oversights pretty obvious, although they’re all cosmetic in nature.

Anyway, right now I am just going through the book and doing some final edits. I also have an appendix to add and I am currently waiting for two more illustrations to be finished. The book is still scheduled to launch in June, 2014. You can actually pre-order the ebook now. I will add a link to the softcover when it’s ready for purchase, probably sometime during the first week of June.

Here’s a fun sneak peak of one of the next pieces of art:

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This contest is over!

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Packt Publishing has partnered with my blog to give away 2 copies of their ebook version of Mastering Object-oriented Python by Steven Lott. You can read my full book review here, but frankly, I thought it was one of best advanced Python books I’ve read in a long time. It’s also based around Python 3, although most of the concepts will work with Python 2.

How You Can Win

To win your copy of this book, all you need to do is come up with a comment below highlighting the reason “why you would like to win this book”.

Duration of the contest & selection of winners

The contest is valid for 2 weeks, and is open to everyone. Winners will be selected on the basis of their comment posted. The contest will close on 05/26/2014 at 1 p.m. CST.

Packt Publishing asked me to be a technical reviewer for one of their latest Python books, Mastering Object-Oriented Python by Steven Lott. This book is a sequel of sorts to their 2010 release, Python 3 Object Oriented Programming by Dusty Phillips, which I reviewed here.

Note: This book is explicitly for Python 3 developers and does NOT talk about Python 2 much at all.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I was asked by the publisher to be a part of editing the book, however this is just the sort of book I like to read
  • Why I finished it: It’s quite well written and you learn a lot about how the internals of classes work
  • I’d give it to: An intermediate Python programmer who wants to learn new things

(more…)

Kivy is a neat package that allows Python developers to create user interfaces on mobile devices. You can also deploy the applications to desktops too. This is the second book I’ve seen put out on the subject. The first book, Kivy – Interactive Applications in Python by Roberto Ulloa came out last year from Packt Publishing. This year, we have Dusty Phillips’ work, Creating Apps in Kivy from O’Reilly. I will be reviewing the PDF version of the book.


Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up:I picked this book up because I like the author’s previous work, Python 3 Object Oriented Programming
  • Why I finished it: The book is pretty short and it’s interesting
  • I’d give it to: Someone who already knows Python

(more…)

I just wanted to drop a quick note that the Python 101 book is now available for Pre-order here. Currently you will receive the draft versions of the book as they become available. Right now, Parts I and II have been released which amounts to approx. 115 pages of content.

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You can read more about the book below: (more…)

The Python 101 book campaign finished today. I am now well funded to create the book and get all the artwork done. I think I may try to get additional illustrations too. While we didn’t hit the next stretch goal, I plan to go ahead and work on screencasts anyway. As I mentioned previously, I most likely won’t start on those until after I’ve finished writing the book. I have received lots of positive comments about the book so far and I hope to put out a product that you will find useful.

I will be sending out Part I as soon as I can after Kickstarter transfers the funds. You will receive a survey asking for your email address. I will probably be sending a survey out to those who bought t-shirts and such too.

Thanks a lot for all your support. I am very grateful.

There are under 2 days left in the book campaign! I think that’s pretty exciting. I hope you do too!

I’ve been busy writing the new Part 3 lately. I only have two more chapters to go before it’s done. My hope is that Part 3 will be done by the end of the week.

I have also come up with a fun little script that can put my book together for me. Today it dawned on me that this little program would be a good illustration for my readers about how to tackle a project and break it into more manageable pieces. So I’ll be adding a chapter or two somewhere in the book about that as some of my backers have already mentioned that they would like to know how to do this sort of thing.

Thanks for your support!

We only have five more days before the end of the campaign, so I thought it would be nice to share a couple chapters from the book. You can download the introduction along with chapters 1 and 2 here.

I have been working on the new section of the book since it is now the new Part III. It is coming along pretty well. My illustrator has been busy creating some new art for the book. I’ll be sharing that soon.

Thanks a lot for your support and have a great weekend!

There’s a Python book contest going on over on the Bite Sized Python Tips blog. You can get one of 3 copies of the book Tkinter GUI Application Development by Bhaskar Chaudhary. I reviewed this book late last year and found it be a really interesting book. I think it will give you lots of good ideas to try in developing your own GUI applications. Now’s your chance to get a copy of this neat book!

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