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Think Python

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Think Python, 9781449330729 (144933072X), O'Reilly, 2012
In January 1999 I was preparing to teach an introductory programming class in Java. I had taught it three times and I was getting frustrated. The failure rate in the class was too high and, even for students who succeeded, the overall level of achievement was too low.

One of the problems I saw was the books. They were too big, with too much unnecessary detail about Java, and not enough high-level guidance about how to program. And they all suffered from the trap door effect: they would start out easy, proceed gradually, and then somewhere around Chapter 5 the bottom would fall out. The students would get too much new material, too fast, and I would spend the rest of the semester picking up the pieces.

If you want to learn how to program, working with Python is an excellent way to start. This hands-on guide takes you through the language one step at a time, beginning with basic programming concepts before moving on to functions, recursion, data structures, and object-oriented design.

Through exercises in each chapter, you’ll try out programming concepts as you learn them. Think Python is ideal for students at the high school or college level, as well as self-learners, home-schooled students, and professionals who need to learn programming basics.

  • Start with the basics, including language syntax and semantics
  • Get a clear definition of each programming concept
  • Learn values, variables, statements, functions, and data structures in a logical progression
  • Discover how to work with files and databases
  • Understand objects, methods, and object-oriented programming
  • Use debugging techniques to fix syntax, runtime, and semantic errors
  • Explore interface design, data structures, and GUI-based programs through case studies
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