Tag Archives: Python

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 cannot edit the examples though. 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.

PyDev of the Week: Cameron Simpson

This week we welcome Cameron Simpson as our PyDev of the Week. Cameron is the co-author of PEP 418 – Add monotonic time, performance counter, and process time functions and the author of PEP 499 – python -m foo should bind sys.modules[‘foo’] in addition to sys.modules[‘__main__’]. He is also a core Python developer and enthusiast. You can check out some of his projects on bitbucket. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

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

I’ve been a programming nerd since I was about 15, and I’ve got a BSc in Computer Science. I’m a somewhat lapsed climber and biker; I still have a motorcycle and try to use it but circumstances interfere; I’m trying to resume some indoor climbing too. I’m spending a fair amount of time on a small farm, and teleworking from there part of the time; I’ve been fortunate to find work where that is possible.

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PyDev of the Week: Oleg Broytman

This week we welcome Oleg Broytman (@phd_ru) as our PyDev of the Week. Oleg is the maintainer of the SQLObject project. According to their website “SQLObject is a popular Object Relational Manager for providing an object interface to your database, with tables as classes, rows as instances, and columns as attributes.“. You can also see what else Oleg is a part of via Github and his website. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Oleg better!

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

I was born in Central Asian part of Soviet Union. I relocated to Moscow, Russia to study computer science at CS department of Moscow State University. I started to program before IBM PC era, my first computers were Soviet clones of PDP-11 and IBM/360.

Outside of my professional job I spend a lot of time with computers taking parts in Free Software projects.

Other than that I live usual life spending time with my family, reading books, listening music, watching videos.

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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.


  • 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.

PyDev of the Week: Ivan Levkivskyi

This week we welcome Ivan Levkivskyi (@ILevkivskyi) as our PyDev of the Week! Ivan is the author or coauthor of several Python Enhancement Proposals, specifically 483, 484 and 526. In other words, Ivan is one of the lead developers behind adding type hints to Python via the typing module. Ivan is a scientist and as such, he has written a lot of interesting research papers, which I will readily admit that they are over my head. You might also find his Github page interesting as he is involved in a lot of projects. Let’s take some time to get to know our fellow Pythonista better!

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

I work as a researcher in theoretical physics. I was more interested in mathematical physics in high school, but now I mostly interested in mesoscopic physics — area that investigates the boundaries between our macroscopic world and the quantum microscopic world. I have been learning physics for about 20 years and never had any CS education. Although, I should note that my rough familiarity with category theory helps me in the programming world.

Most of the time, programming was rather my hobby, only the last 5 years I have been programming for work. My first acquaintance with programming was learning x86 assembly at an age of 10. Then I played with other languages from time to time. And now I use Python a lot in my work, mostly for prototyping and number-crunching.

I am from Ukraine originally, but now live in Switzerland. Apart from physics and programming, I like mountain sports: hiking, rock climbing, ski touring, etc. Also I like listening to music a lot and I used to play accordion and bass.

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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.

PyDev of the Week: Philip House

This week we welcome Philip House (@PhilipHouse2) as our PyDev of the Week! Philip is one of the authors behind PEP 526 – Syntax for Variable Annotations which was provisionally accepted into Python 3.6. Philip also writes a blog and is involved in the development of several 3rd party Python packages which you can check out on Github. Let’s take some time to get to know him better.

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

I graduated from Northwestern University in 2015 where I studied computer science for my degree program. During my time there, I was mainly interested in learning about how the web and distributed computing works. Some of my favorite work in undergrad was doing research on and building crowdsourcing and social computing systems. I was particularly curious about learnersourcing – solving problems with a crowd of motivated learners.

From internships and personal projects in college, I built up experience building web applications and data-intensive projects. When I graduated, I went to work as a platform software engineer where I worked with building API’s and highly available distributed services with a mixture of Python and Java.

I’m currently working on a startup with some former classmates in the industrial IoT space.

When I’m not sitting in front of a computer, I really enjoy camping with friends and playing old-school Gamecube games.

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PyDev of the Week: Jacob Vanderplas

This week we welcome Jacob Vanderplas (@jakevdp) as our PyDev of the Week! Jacob is the author of Python Data Science Handbook: Essential Tools for Working with Data and works at the University of Washington as a researcher and teacher. As you might have guessed from the title of his book, Jacob is very much in tune with the Scientific programming projects in Python. If you check out his github profile, you will find many interesting highlights on Scikit-learn, for example. Let’s take some time to get to know him better!

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

I’ve always been drawn to physical activity – I was a swimmer in high school and college, and post-college got into triathlons, culminating with an Ironman a few years back. I’m not as competition-driven these days, but the way I relax is to go out on long hikes, runs, swims, or bike rides. My favorite pastime is to head out on long trail-runs deep into the mountains, though I don’t make it out as much these days with a toddler at home!

I was born and raised in Palo Alto, majored in Physics at Calvin College and did my PhD in Astronomy at University of Washington. In between I lived for a year in Northern Japan, guided mountaineering excursions for two summers in the Sierra Nevada, and taught at a middle school outdoor science program for two years in the redwood forests above Santa Cruz – my experiences during those years and the people with whom I shared my time have had a profound impact on me, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had!

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PyDev of the Week: David Goodger

This week we welcome David Goodger as our PyDev of the Week! David is the original author of reStructuredText and Docutils. He has an old school website where you can get an idea of what he’s been up to. Let’s take some time to get to know our fellow Pythonista!


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

In the Python world I’m best known as the creator of Docutils and reStructuredText. In addition, I have been active in the PSF, including a stint on the Board of Directors and chairing the PyCon 2008 and 2009 conferences in Chicago. I’m still a PEP (Python Enhancement Proposals) editor and I even once held the commit bit for the Python source tree, although I’ve let that lapse.

A proud Canadian, I grew up in the Montreal area. I graduated from McGill University in Montreal with a BSc in Computer Science. After graduating, I moved to Japan to teach English on the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) programme. Did that for 2½ years, during which time I met and then married my wife, and I found work in my field in Japan. I worked for 2 years as a systems administrator at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo (local hire, not in the foreign service or as a diplomat!), then another 2½ years at a small company doing document processing. Back in Canada, we lived in Kitchener, Ontario and in a suburb of Montreal. We’ve been living in Minnesota, USA (in a first-ring suburb north of the Twin Cities) for almost 3 years now, and I’m working as a systems engineer. We have two children (a 19 year old son and a 17 year old daughter) and an adopted Border Collie mix dog.

Hobbies: I love cycling. I rode a week-long, 500 mile bike tour this past summer in Minnesota from the headwaters of the Mississippi to the Iowa border, along the Mississippi River Trail, on my Vision Recumbent bike. I play poker recreationally, about once a week, in home games as part of the Minneapolis Rounders (where I’m known as “Canadian Dave”). I even host a cash game every month. My board game of choice is Go (which is how I first became interested in the Japanese language and culture), although I haven’t played much lately. And I love to read and watch movies in my down time.

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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:



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.