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From Python student to Python developer

You know that Python is easy to learn, powerfully expressive, has a huge community, and offers amazing functionality out of the box. Maybe you need it for work, maybe you're planning a startup, and maybe you just wanted to experiment with a new programming language.

Whatever the reason, you decided to learn Python. You took a course, watched some videos, or read a book. You definitely understand the basics.

And yet, you don't feel completely fluent: You're not always sure which data structure to use, you're not totally familiar with how to work with data in files, and the syntax of list comprehensions is particularly confusing.

If this sounds like you, then you're the kind of person for whom I've written "Practice Makes Python."

Already convinced? Skip to the packages

Practice what you learned

You don't need a tutorial. What you need is practice, so that you can become fluent in Python. And there is no shortcut to fluency; the only way to get there is through repeated, directed practice. This means making lots of mistakes -- and then learning from those mistakes, as you move onto other projects.

"Pratice Makes Python" thus gives you 50 programming assignments, each of which aims to get you to think like a Python developer. After doing these exercises, you will feel more comfortable developing in Python. You will have advanced from being a Python student to a Python developer. You will have gained not only experience, but perspective that will allow you to create Python programs for work and pleasure.

The book is divided into ten chapters, and challenges you to use Python to solve a variety relatively short (10-30 minutes) exercises. The exercises are designed to make you think not about Python's syntax and capabilities, but rather when it is most appropriate to use different data structures, function argument types, and object-oriented capabilities.

Practice Makes Python stresses the use of Python's built-in data structures and capabilities. Among other things, you'll learn:

Each exercise contains a problem, a sample solution, and a discussion in which I describe how to solve the exercise. If you purchase a package, and not just the book, then you also get a 5-10 minute video for each exercise (yes, 50 videos), in which I walk you through the process of solving the problem.

These exercises have been tested with my students at some of the best-known companies in the world:

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I have created and refined these exercises so that they address issues that new Python programmers find confusing. If you are trying to become a more effective Python programmer, I think that you'll find these exercises to be interesting, challenging, and even (I hope) somewhat entertaining.

Not sure?

I believe that the exercises in this book will really help to improve your Python programming. If you're not sure, though, please try five exercises from the book. Every day, you'll either get an exercise or (one day later) its solution e-mailed to you.

These exercises are free, and you are no obligation to buy the book after you try them. However, I'm sure that you'll find they improve your Python programming so much that you'll want to buy the book.

Who am I?

I'm Reuven Lerner, a software developer with nearly 20 years of experience working with Python. For more than 10 years, I have taught Python to thousands of people in the United States, Europe, Israel, and China. Companies such as Apple, Cisco, HP, SANDisk, and VMWare invite me back again and again to teach their staff how to program in Python.

This experience has taught me what parts of Python are confusing -- and what types of exercises and explanations help developers to get over that confusion. "Practice Makes Python" contains 50 of the most effective exercises I have used in my classes. These exercises cover all of the essential areas of Python -- built-in types, as well as files, comprehensions, object-oriented programming, and iterators. Each exercise is followed by my own solution, as well as a discussion of why I wrote the solution in this way, and why I rejected some of the alternatives.

"Practice Makes Python" will help you to become a better and more thoughtful programmer. If you are already using Python at work, then you'll use it more intelligently, with a deeper understanding of the language. And if you were hoping to use Python at your job, then this book will give you the skills you need to do so.

This book, and all of my teaching, is informed not only by my experience as a programmer and lecturer, but also by my PhD in learning sciences. I have studied how people learn, individually and in groups, and apply that knowledge in my courses and my writing.

FAQ

Is this book for me?

If you have read a Python tutorial, or took a Python programming course, but have used Python for less than one year, then you are just the person for whom I've aimed the book. You need to have a basic understanding of data structures and functions, but the book assumes that you're still a bit unsteady on these topics.

I have found that many experienced Python programmers also benefit from these exercises, helping them to understand such topics as passing functions as creating complex data struturess, parameters, list comprehensions, and object-oriented techniques.

What is in the videos?

The two higher-level plans include access to each of the 50 videos that I am creating, one for each exercise. In the video, I live-code the solution that is presented in the book, discussing it along the way and mentioning additional options and considerations. Five videos are currently available, each of which is 5-10 minutes long. I expect to release more each week, until the entire set is complete. Customers who purchased the higher-tier packages will receive updates via e-mail, indicating when new videos are available. Students in my live classes know that my live-coding demonstrations and explanations are a critical part of my lectures, in that they demonstrate not just the solution, but also the way to reach that solution. Consider the difference between seeing the answer to a math problem, and watching someone solve it, step by step, with commentary, and you'll understand the difference. An example video is here .

Does this book use Python 2.x or 3.x?

The examples should all work with both versions of Python. The book assumes usage of Python 2.7, albeit with many mentions and descriptions of Python 3.x. The files included with higher-level tiers contain solutions that have been tested in both Python 2.7 and Python 3.4.

Is the book DRM protected?

No, it is not.

Do you offer special group and site-license pricing?

Yes, absolutely, assuming that you wish to buy at least 10 copies. Please contact me at reuven@lerner.co.il, and I will be happy to provide you with pricing and licensing information.

Do you offer student pricing?

Yes, indeed! I was a student (for way too many years), and I understand that students are often short on cash. Contact me privately at reuven@lerner.co.il, and I'll send you a coupon code that you can use for a significant discount.

Consultant package

The 159-page book

containing 50 exercises in Python, as well as solutions and discussion -- in PDF, Mobi, and epub formats

Video explanations

Video explanations for each of the 50 exercises, released as they are produced

Video conference

30 minutes of a video (Skype/Hangouts) conference with me, in which we can discuss exercises and possible solutions

And more..

Each of the solutions in a separate file, with versions for both Python 2.7 and 3.4

$25 HackHands coupon

60-day Money-back guarantee

$210 pre-sale price: $180

Developer package

The 159-page book

containing 50 exercises in Python, as well as solutions and discussion -- in PDF, Mobi, and epub formats

Video explanations

Video explanations for each of the 50 exercises, released as they are produced

And more..

Each of the solutions in a separate file, with versions for both Python 2.7 and 3.4

$25 HackHands coupon

60-day Money-back guarantee

$140 pre-sale price: $120

Simple package

The 159-page book

containing 50 exercises in Python, as well as solutions and discussion -- in PDF, Mobi, and epub formats

money-back guarantee

60-day Money-back guarantee

price: $39
..

Pablo Lucena

Network administrator, Miami, Florida

The author shares his years of experience through the discussions at the end of each task that tie everything together. This is not a "text book" filled with theory about Python — it's a book filled with exercises to help you understand the language by doing ... by practice.

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Anthony J. Burton

Production Engineer, Braintree

I don't have a "standard CS" background and books like this are fantastically helpful. ... The problems I've worked through so far have made me think hard about Python and programming in general, and I think my skills have definitely improved.

Shai Elbaz

Software engineer, Informatica

It was really inspiring learning from you. Your "pythonic" proficiency and unique sense of humor really made it work!

Yaniv Rozenboim

Software engineer, Hardware

Reuven is a superb instructor. His knowledge in Python is phenomenal and his passion for it makes the course not only very constructive but also very fun.

If you have any questions about the book, I would love to answer them!

You can reach me via e-mail as reuven@lerner.co.il, or on Twitter as @reuvenmlerner.

A second chance to buy the three packages..

Consultant package

  • The 159-page book.
  • 50 exercises in Python
  • Solutions and discussion (in PDF, Mobi, and epub formats).
  • Video explanations for each of the 50 exercises.
  • Each of the solutions in a separate text file (Python version 2.7 and 3.4)
  • $25 HackHands coupon
  • 60-day Money-back guarantee
$210 pre-sale price: $180

Developer package

  • The 159-page book.
  • 50 exercises in Python
  • Solutions and discussion (in PDF, Mobi, and epub formats).
  • Video explanations for each of the 50 exercises.
  • Each of the solutions in a separate text file (Python version 2.7 and 3.4)
  • 60-day Money-back guarantee
$140 pre-sale price: $120

Simple package

  • The 159-page book.
  • 60-day Money-back guarantee
price: $39