Most helpful critical review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Could be better!!
on April 22, 2012
I'm technical by nature and have programmed many years ago and wanted to get back into it. I got Learn to Program by Chris Pine which uses Ruby and this Practical Programming book which uses Python. I'm half way through both books. In comparison the Ruby book was smooth, easy to follow and few to none errors. I found the structure of the Ruby book excellent as each chapter built on the next. This book in contrast I'm finding much more of a chore. It does serve the purpose and will be a good intro to Python, BUT .... There a lot of errors in this book, small typos and such. Some exercises at the end of the chapter use methods from chapters that are further out and haven't been covered yet. Plenty of inaccurate page number references. Only the answers for the even exercises are found on the web, while the Ruby book gives all the answers. The Python book just doesn't seem as clear and easy to follow as the Ruby book. If you are just looking for a book to get into programming and not sure or care about language; I highly recommend the Ruby book over this one. If you need a Python intro I would say this book is okay, but leaves something to be desired and I feel the way the material is presented creates a slight unnecessary struggle. I haven't tried any other Python books to compare. And I will be continuing on and finishing this book even though I'm not raving about it. I'd say the python book reminds me of a mediocre college textbook with errors and a lack of clarity that might require an instructor to decipher. The Ruby book is smooth and easy to follow at home. Note this review is for the first edition, Publication Date: June 4, 2009 | ISBN-10: 1934356271 | ISBN-13: 978-1934356272 | Edition: 1 .. the same one selling here on Amazon.