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Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner 1st Edition

18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1592000739
ISBN-10: 1592000738
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Dawson has worked as both a programmer and a computer game designer and producer. In addition to real-world game industry experience, Dawson earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. He currently teaches game programming and design to students of all ages through UCLA Extension courses and private lessons. Visit his Web site at www.programgames.com to learn more or to get support for any of his books.

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Product Details

  • Series: Absolute Beginner
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (August 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592000738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592000739
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,598,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Dawson has worked as both a programmer and a computer game designer and producer. In addition to real world game industry experience, Mike earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. Currently, he teaches game programming in the Game Production Department of the Los Angeles Film School. Mike has also taught game programming to students through UCLA Extension and The Digital Media Academy at Stanford. He's the author of four books: Beginning C++ through Game Programming, Guide to Programming with Python, and C++ Projects: Programming with Text-Based Games. You can visit his website at www.programgames.com to learn more or to get support for any of his books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

147 of 149 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Have you wanted to try writing computer programs, but didn't know how to begin? Or maybe those huge, menacing looking tomes in the computer section of your local B&N store frightened the bejeezes out of you? Well, you may wish to take a serious look at the Python programming language. It is extremely easy to get started and there has been a huge community of on-line fans using it and helping each other ... Python is a great language to teach to school kids. It is also used by NASA, HP, Google and serious programmers all over the world.
This book is for the real beginner. If you know anything at all about python don't buy this book (consider LEARNING PYTHON, by Lutz and Asher). If you know something about programming, but nothing about python then don't buy this book (consider PYTHON CORE PROGRAMMING by Wesley Chun). If you are a Pythonista already, then stop reading. For all the rest of you I recommend PYTHON PROGRAMMING by Dawson. It will provide the most gentle introduction to programming in general, and python specifically, that you will find anywhere. Dawson is an excellent writer. This book is NOT the typical massive "programmer's bible," but rather, a slim primer - the basics. Dawson will take you by the hand and lead you down the garden path. Work through the easy exercises and play with the programs on the CD. At the end of the path you should be pleasantly surprised at how easily you learned the rudiments of a powerful computer language. You'll have all the knowledge needed to move on to Wesley Chun's enormous tutorial or the slim, but dense LEARNING PYTHON.
The book's cover says "for the absolute beginner" and I can't emphasize enough that this book is really for the programmer neophyte. I'd recommend it to any of my computer phobic friends.
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95 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Robert on October 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're a beginning or intermediate programmer (with a year or less of programming under your belt), then this is the best, first Python book you can find. Not only is it the best intro to Python out there, but it's one of the best intros to programming in general I've ever read.
The book is clear, well-written and won't put you to sleep like many other technical books. The author knows how to teach and keep things interesting. And while the book is entertaining, it still covers the Python basics, including:
* Variables
* Branching
* Strings
* Lists, Tuples and Dictionaries
* Functions
* Files
* Exceptions
* Classes (including new-style classes)
But the book goes beyond the fundamentals to cover more advanced topics that most other intro to Python books don't, including:
* Program Design
* Object-Oriented Programming
* GUI Programming
* Multimedia Programming (including graphics, sound and animation)
If you're already a programming whiz, with years of coding experience and mutlti-language fluency, then this book may be too basic for you. In that case, I recommend the Python Visual Quick Start Guide. It's aimed at readers with a solid programming background. And while it doesn't have extensive OOP coverage, it will get an expert programmer up and running with the Python fast.
Finally, once you've got some Python experience, I highly recommend Python in a Nutshell to take you from Python programmer to Python guru.
Hope this helps you on your Pythonic journey!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By David Goldsmith on October 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Michael dawson happens to get it. Not only the language he writes of, but the language he uses to educate. I am new to Python and this book really helped open the doors for me. Because of this book, Python is not a huge scary beast... it's a friendly and helpful pet! Thanks for such a great read!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Patrick F. Sampson on July 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really wanted to learn a programming language badly. Through some design of fate I chose Python. And only afterwards got to know that I had made the best choice for a beginning programmer. Since I cannot stand to read "tutorials" on the internet, flipping HTML pages, I prefer to learn through reading curled up with a book, I had to get a book or books.

Even though Learning Python 2nd edition seemed to be the most popular, there was something about it I didn't like while reading the index. Then I saw this book, read the index, the reviews (even though only 4) can't lie, and if this book was more popular this column would be full of 100 5 star reviews undoubtedly.

After only a week, I am writing programs that would have caused me to quit a week ago if he had said I have to write such and such a program by a certain time.

You don't have to go as fast as me, you can take your time, I am just putting in a lot of hours.

Anyway, what I found good about this book, is he explains each line of code while introducing a new topic/technique/syntax etc... And the progression of topics combined with learning is excellent. At the end of every chapter you are given 4 challenge programs to write on your own to put into practice mainly what you learned in the chapter. This helps you put into practicality what you read and see if you really know what method or code you need to write the program.

Like the book says, at times you will be challenged but never overwhelmed. This book is true to topic. It is for the absolute beginner, if you have NEVER programmed before this book is for you. It holds your hand if it has to, and you can walk on your own soon. It is a solid introduction to Python.
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