- Paperback: 292 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (December 28, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1491939362
- ISBN-13: 978-1491939369
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Allen Downey is a Professor of Computer Science at Olin College of Engineering. He has taught at Wellesley College, Colby College and U.C. Berkeley. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley and Master's and Bachelor's degrees from MIT.
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Top customer reviews
I would whole heartedly recommend this book to readers looking for a quick 0-60 self study in (Python) scripting. It's a great place to start for someone with really zero or next to zero experience who is looking to get up and running as quickly as possible. This book does not spend much/any time on computer science. It spends very little time on software design over and above splitting scripts into modules and basic OOP.
When my 13 year old cousin expressed some interest in programming I gave him this book without a second thought. For a high school class / intro college course for non(-committed) CS majors looking to cover the same ground in more detail I'd recommend Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science by Zelle. (These recommendations assume you are committed to Python if not look at How to Design Programs by F, F, F, & K)
Bottom Line: If you are looking to cultivate an interest before crushing it with big O notation or have zero interest in CS but want to automate something using Python this is a good starting place.
N.B. This book is freely available online.
I bought this book for a new job that I took. I minored in CS and wish I would have had this book as my first programming book. I was attracted to it because I needed to learn Python (for work) and all of the guys use the Learning Python for reference. I figured why not start from the beginning and work my way there.
As far as the progression of the book, it moves pretty quickly. You have to stay on your toes with the examples. Having been exposed to a bit of Python before reading, I was able to keep up with the examples just in my head for a little while but as the book moved on, I was doing them in a console. I also think the flow of the book and how Allen moves from topic to topic keeps things cohesive quite well.
Overall, very well executed book and Allen assumes the reader has no experience in programming. Great book!
After finishing the book I wanted to write a follow up. I have to say that I stand by my initial review and rating! It has been a huge help in getting me up to speed. There are a few specific things that I would like to address.
In regards to the basic principles of Python, this book had done a very good job at balancing what you need to know vs what you can know. It was good to be reminded that this book is a beginner book. I ended up looking up more details and specifics of certain functions and methods mostly because I had specific requirements that I needed to perform with them. This can't be faulted on the author. As I had mentioned in my first review, if you're looking for more specifics, Learning Python, 5th Edition by Mark Lutz is a great tool. I've borrowed a coworkers copy and will be getting one of my own soon.
I cannot speak on behalf of the database content since I skipped over that section and have no experience doing database/structure.
Otherwise still very good book. I enjoyed being challenged as I read the examples and I like how it wasn't just a "finish what I've shown you" type of examples, but the author said, "Ok, I showed you mostly how to do it this way, and you finished it in another example, now do it a completely different way with what we just discussed."
It is a well laid out introduction to computer science, programming, data structures, algorithms, and Python. It is very well suited to independent study.
I am a retired university professor of computer science. This is a book I would have chosen as a class text.
This is a wonderfully written book. Having programed for several decades, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed a introductory programing book. This book blends in concepts of how to solve problems while introducing python. The progression of python was done excellently with non-trivial insightful examples.
I only gripe I have about my current copy of the book is that there were several pages missing! The 4 star is for these missing pages. Otherwise, this product deserves a 5 star for what it accomplishes.
The temporary fix:
As others have noted, this book is available online and I was able to read the missing pages there!
Most recent customer reviews
If you are seeking to learn Python, I am not certain this book will be of help to you in that it...Read more