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15 Reviews
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good intro to Python for novices
Matt clearly knows his Python. He has peppered the book with helpful tips that compelled me to whip out my Python interpreter to experiment. Many of the tips were very handy, even for a semi-experienced Python programmer such as myself.

Matt is pleasingly frank in his recommendations to avoid certain approaches, and after reading the book, I feel like I have a...
Published on December 29, 2011 by David Smith

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5 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless if you have connectivity to the internet
As a seasoned programmer, I really must say this is one of the most useless books about a computer language I have read in a long time. It's much faster to learn how to use Python by using any search engine. You type in 'python read file' and get more information than the book gives you.
Published 22 months ago by J. Schmuecker


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good intro to Python for novices, December 29, 2011
By 
David Smith (Murray, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
Matt clearly knows his Python. He has peppered the book with helpful tips that compelled me to whip out my Python interpreter to experiment. Many of the tips were very handy, even for a semi-experienced Python programmer such as myself.

Matt is pleasingly frank in his recommendations to avoid certain approaches, and after reading the book, I feel like I have a better eye for assessing how "Pythonic" something is. In fact, now that I have finished the book, I can look back on Python code I wrote before reading the book, and critique the heck out of it. Prior to reading this book, my Python code looked a lot like my C++ code, which is just a shame. This book can help inoculate you against such behavior.

The book reads smoothly and quickly. Matt is very careful to keep his explanations succinct and clear, such that you don't feel like you're reading a college text book or a reference manual. Even still, the book does contain a high information density.

If you can already crank out Python list comprehensions and lambda expressions, this is probably not the book for you. If you are an experienced programmer and want to learn Python, this is a fast way to start. If you are a total programming novice, this may be a good way to begin, but I'm not a great judge for this audience.

The current edition has a smattering of typos that I suspect will be corrected in future versions, but they don't impact the book's readability (unless you are a complete Grammar Nazi).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for beginners, April 13, 2012
By 
VJD (Sunnyvale, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
I have written small python scripts with the help of Google. I always felt that I had to look up too much online to write a simple script. This book explained a lot of basic things about Python clearly and also some neat tips and tricks. It also gives a hint of what to study after you finish the book. I really like this book. I definitely learned a few new things from this book along with clear understanding of Python basics.

Note: It doesn't cover advanced topics like generators and list comprehension.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good guide on the basics of Python, January 1, 2014
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This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
Treading on Python Volume1: Foundations of Python by Matt Harrison is a very good primer on Python. The author did a very good job on distilling the key aspects of the language in a succinct manner.

The author provided excellent code snippets and tips on "the python way of doing things". I could tell that the author is a practitioner with real world experience based on the snippets that he provided. For instance, the author discussed the enumerate function which makes the combination of range and len unnecessary. He explained why using the enumerate function is a better way of iterating through a sequence.

I would recommend this book to any person with some programming experience. The reason for 4 stars is that I wished the author would've had more exercises throughout the book to ensure that the reader understands the material.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet :), August 19, 2013
I was the technical editor for "Treading on Python". There are two things that are great about this book. First, Matt Harrison's a really good Python programmer, and his writing is very crisp. Secondly, the book is really short! It's weighs in at a mere 183 pages. It's definitely worth a shot if you're new to Python, and you want a quick intro!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fine text! A cure for bloat!, July 15, 2013
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This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
There was a time when, if I were looking to get some background on a language, you just couldn't do without those "skinny, little" O'Reilly books. I remember when we all joked, in class, that you better have your O'Reilly in your jeans back pocket before you asked any questions.

What has happened, and oh so quickly?! The 2004 edition of Learning Python was 591 pages. Well, that could fit into the side pockets of some oversized cargo shorts. The 2013 edition is 1600 pages! And that ain't goin' nowhere. Amazon and O'Reilly Press make the Kindle edition so desirable and cheaper, then why the heck not stuff it up in the cloud? The first editions of Python in a Nutshell (or of just about anything in a nutshell) never seemed to be more than a few pages past 200--as if that were all the O'Reilly's creaky, old press could pump out before overheating. Once, pithy and powerful, like Russell Crowe in the Gladiator. Everything I'd wanted to know about lists in two or three pages. The book now? Looks as big and as fat as its companion bookend, Learning Python.

I can understand that, in this digital land of rapid searches and instant bookmarking, there could be some value in books that offer everything. But I miss books that cored the apple neatly and whittled off the skin in one beautiful spiral. I did not ask for a bushel of apples.

I thought this would be something else to despair of (so many things, I forget to despair). However, self-publishing, which may seem like a much lower hurdle than the demands of a publishing company, may be the rescue of the terse self-help book. Extra points if it's quirky.

In comes Secrets of a Pythonista: Tricks & Tips to Learning Python Quickly, by Matt Harrison. I love the name. Just check what else comes up with an Amazon search of "Secrets of a P". You will see some interesting suggestions. In the book, you will find a lot of action at a cattle ranch.

At 168 pithy pages, I don't care if it's digital or hardcopy. Just gim'me. Check out this clear writing styles, which excludes everything I don't need to know right now:

"Dunder Methods
You might be wondering what all the attributes starting with __ are. People call them magic methods or dunder methods, since they start (and end ) with double underscores (Double UNDERscores). "Dunder add" is one way to say __add__, "the add magic method" is another. Special methods determine what happens under the covers when operations are performed on an object. For example when you use the + or / operator on a string, the __add__ or __div__ method is invoked respectively. Beginner Pythonistas can usually ignore dunder methods. When you start implementing your own classes and want them to react to operations such as + or / you can define them."
Harrison, Matt (2011-11-03). Secrets of a Pythonista: Tips & Tricks to Learning Python Quickly (Treading on Python) (Kindle Locations 681-686). . Kindle Edition.

My old mind can remember that!!! Please check Matt Harrison's Amazon page. More good information, in healthy portions, than I can shake a bookmark at.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to get me moving on Python, November 28, 2012
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This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
I have been telling myself I need to learn Python for about two years, but just never got started for one reason or another. I bought this book for Kindle on a whim while on a trip, read it on the plane back home and on my layover, trying the code on my laptop, and wrote a couple of useful scripts the next morning.

I'm not saying it'll take you from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, but in my case, the style of the book exactly fit my learning style; that is, the use of simple, short code segments directly in the interpreter, plus frequent reminders of Python's help functions and dir(object) usage to discover new functionality, got me going where other sources haven't. I won't be writing anything earth-shattering any time soon, but I'm already scripting some easy parsing, carving and decoding/conversion tasks that I had to do by hand before.

I could think of at least 7 worse ways to spend nine bucks.

On a side note: this book focuses on Python2, but I used Python3 and had very few issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great beginner book, July 1, 2012
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This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
Very good for a beginner, I really enjoyed and I have a bunch of python books that are too big or too advanced. The only glaring omission for an get started book was he seemed to cover all the basics but totally left out while loops, like they don't exist. But overall very clearly written and short enough to get through. Great little book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Python book for my needs, March 5, 2014
By 
garbel "garbel" (Woonsocket, RI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
I support a product that uses Python 2.7 extensively. To learn Python I purchase a number of books and visited quite a few online sites. I found this particular book perfect for my needs. The book is short and very readable. I went with the Kindle version so I could highlight important concepts and keep notes.

All the big-and-heavy books I purchased look good on my book shelve but this book is the one I go to.

Very happy with the purchased.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 17, 2014
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This review is from: Treading on Python Volume 1: Foundations of Python (Kindle Edition)
Treading covers the basics of the language in a concise manner that explains without draining the readers interest. It also serves as an evangelistic tool for those who love Python.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and To the Point, February 7, 2014
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This book is very considerate of the reader by editing out all extraneous words to get to the point of teaching you some basic python programming.
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