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!

This is an update on the Kickstarter campaign I am running in support of my Python 101 book:

We made it halfway through the campaign and I think we’re going to reach our first stretch goal! Speaking of stretch goals, I was thinking I should go ahead and announce a couple more.

Stretch Goal #2: 1500 backers

If we can reach 1500 backers, then I’m going to create some companion screencasts to go with the book. These screencasts wouldn’t be done in time to launch with the book and probably won’t cover every single chapter, so I would just release them during the summer and fill in the blanks according to the feedback I receive. Also I plan to release the screencasts for anyone, probably by publishing them on Youtube.

On the topic of licensing

I mentioned in my last update that I was thinking about doing a website version of the book and attaching a Creative Commons license to it. I didn’t get a lot of feedback from that, but of the few that did respond, there seems to be more who think I should give the book away for free. By turning the book into a website, I suspect that the number of people who will purchase the book will drop significantly. So we’ll make this into a special two-fold stretch goal:

Stretch Goal #3 – $25,000 or 2500 backers

If we reach $25k in funding or 2500 backers, then I’ll release the book as a website, but with a copyright. If we get significantly higher than that, then I will consider releasing the website contents under Creative Commons instead.

In the mean time, I ask you to tell your friends, classmates and colleagues about this Kickstarter. The more we spread the word, the more likely we are to reach the stretch goals!

P.S. I am finishing up the last half of the last chapter of Part II. Hopefully Part II will be completely roughed out by the end of day or early tomorrow.

It’s time for another update! I want to apologize for not writing sooner, but I’ve been without  internet for several days and I’m writing this from my phone. I just wanted to let you all know that I’m planning to finish part two this week.

I’ve had some people ask if I plan to release the book under a Creative Commons or similar license. While I’m not really interested in releasing the eBook itself like that, I am considering turning the book’s contents into a website, kind of like Dive Into Python.  

I may make that my next stretch goal. Let me know what you think in the comments.

If you’d like to support the book, feel free to go to the Kickstarter page

I had a lot of ideas for the cover of Python 101. My first idea was to go to the zoo and take some photographs of Pythons there, then pick the right one stick that on the cover. I have a lot of photo editing software, so I also considered taking the photo and changing it so it looked like a drawing or a painting. Then I started thinking about my blog and how my readers were the ones encouraging me to write the book in the first place. So I ended up going with one of my other ideas, which was to continue the Mouse Vs Python theme.

I ended up hiring an artist I know who did my original blog logos. His name is Tyler and he owns and operates Killustration Studios. You can see some of his work on deviantArt. Anyway, I told him my ideas for the book cover and I thought I would share the various versions of the cover as it evolved.

The First Rough Cover

The following image is the first version of the cover. It’s pretty rough, but I could see my vision taking shape:




My readers have been asking me to write a book for a few years now and I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. For my first book, I decided to write something that’s for beginners and intermediate programmers. There will be four parts to the book with the first part being aimed squarely at the beginner programmer. The next 3 parts will follow a more cookbook-like style in that they will contain a lot of tutorials. I’ll be folding some of the articles from my blog into the book and updating them if appropriate, but there will be plenty of new content.

To get things going, I am running a Kickstarter campaign. to raise some funds to help in the development of the book. If you’ve ever found this blog useful, please consider supporting the funding of my book.

I copied most of the text from the Kickstarter campaign here for your convenience: (more…)

Last year, Packt Publishing asked me to be a technical reviewer for a book called Python High Performance Programming by Gabriele Lanaro. It was published in December, 2013. For those of you with short attention spans, I give you my short review:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I got it for free, but I would have picked it up because the subject matter interested me
  • Why I finished it: This book had lots of interesting tips that made me want to keep reading it
  • I’d give it to: Someone who wants to learn about optimizing their code

If that whetted your appetite (more…)

The people at Packt Publishing recently sent me an ebook copy of Raúl Garreta and Guillermo Moncecchi’s book, Learning scikit-learn: Machine Learning in Python to review. Machine learning isn’t a topic I’m very familiar with, but I gave the book a shot as it sounded interesting. I’ll start off with my quick review for those of you with little time:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: This book was a review copy, but I’m actually interested in just about any Python programming book
  • Why I finished it: The book is well written and while I don’t understand a lot of it, the gist of the text was interesting…and I skimmed a lot.
  • I’d give it to: Someone who uses Python for scientific purposes or machine learning

If you found that intriguing, then feel free to read the full review! (more…)

A few years ago, a fellow named Zed Shaw created a website called Learn Python the Hard Way that a lot of people praised. The website is made up of lots of short exercises that help beginner programmers learn the various nuances of Python but in bit-sized chunks. He kept updating it from time to time and eventually Addison-Wesley turned it into a book by the same name. I was recently given a copy of the PDF version of the book to review. Here’s the quick version:

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: I received this book specifically to review it, although I was interested in reading it anyway just from what I’d heard about the site
  • Why I finished it: The book’s chapters are short…and technically, I skimmed a lot of it
  • I’d give it to: Someone who wants to learn Python and who has no previous experience with any other language


The Real Python: Advanced Web Development, featuring Django 1.6 KickStarter campaign released a preview chapter today called “Software Craftmanship”. It is the first chapter from the book. The PDF download consists of 33 pages.

You can go get it too by going to the following address: If you haven’t already, you can still support their Kickstarter for 3 more days.

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