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Python Tricks: A Buffet of Awesome Python Features Paperback – October 25, 2017
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About the Author
Dan Bader is a software developer and consultant who helps Python programmers take their coding skills to the next level. His articles, videos, and trainings reach over half a million developers per year. Dan has more than 15 years of experience in software design and development and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Computer Science. Find out more about Dan at www.dbader.org.
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I consider my Python level to be intermediate. I have completed reading 100 pages(1/3 of the book). Although the content is decent, this feels like it is targeted more towards beginner(not an absolute beginner) than intermediate level. I am hardly learning anything new that is already not in Fluent Python (which is a big ass book in comparison but provides better understanding of the Pythonic tricks) or in Raymond Hettinger or David Beazley’s videos on YouTube.
I will update the review once I finish reading the entire book.
Update: I finished reading the book and I still stand by what I said earlier. If you have time and patience, go with Fluent python. Other than the new style string formatting, rest of the content is mostly covered in that.
That does not mean this is not a good book. I really loved some of the chapters like generators, iterators. The examples were more simple and easy to understand. Overall, I found this book to be more of a tutorial than a reference material. Mainly because I use the excellent pymotw website for the Collections part of the book.
As he notes in the Introduction, this book grew out of the Python Tricks emails, and it really shows. Dan has a knack for constructing code snippets that illustrate Python concepts in very few lines, and also for writing extremely clear descriptions of why they behave as they do. Further, even though Dan has years of Python experience, it seems clear to me he hasn't lost the sense of the ways in which Python can be confusing to new learners. I've only sampled here and there from his Buffet at this point, but have already gained two new concrete pieces of knowledge: bytearrays are mutable whereas bytes are not; and all it takes to create an abstract base class is to use metaclass=ABCMeta and decorate as needed with @abstractmethod. Even though I'd looked at the Python documentation for both of these before, I never quite understood either of them. But, Dan's phrasing and presentation made them crystal clear on my first read.
One additional thing I like about the book is how Dan has included bits and pieces of his philosophy on Python, programming, writing good code, etc. Some people might be turned off by the editorializing, I suppose, but I really appreciate that the book provides these sorts of "meta" perspectives.
All in all, an excellent resource for someone with modest to moderate Python experience looking to round out their knowledge of some of the more subtle features/behaviors of the language.