Learn Python the Hard Way A Very Simple Introduction to the Terrifyingly Beautiful World of Computers and Code

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 10/1/2013
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
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Master Python and become a programmer -- even if you never thought you could! This breakthrough book and CD can help practically anyone get started in programming. It's called "The Hard Way," but it's really quite simple. What's "hard" is this: it requires discipline, practice, and persistence. Zed A. Shaw teaches the Python programming language through a series of 52 brilliantly-crafted exercises -- all formatted consistently, and none longer than two pages (including "extra credit"). Just read each exercise, type in its sample code precisely (no copy-and-paste!), and make the programs run. As you read, type, fix your mistakes, and watch the results, you'll learn how software works, how programming works, what good programs look like, and how to read, write, and see code. You'll discover how to spot crucial differences that fundamentally affect program behavior, and you'll learn everything you need to know about Python logic, input/output, variables, and functions. Above all, you'll learn the attention to detail that is indispensable to successful programming (and so much else in life). At first, yes, it can be difficult. But it gets easier.And Shaw offers plenty of extra guidance and insight through 5+ full hours of teaching video on the accompanying CD. As Shaw's thousands of online readers and fans will attest, the moment will come when you just "get it" -- and that moment feels great. Nothing important comes without discipline, practice, and persistence. But, with Learn Python the Hard Way, readers who bring those qualities to programming willmaster it -- and they will reap the rewards, both personally and in their careers.

Author Biography

Zed A. Shaw is the author of the popular online books Learn Python the Hard Way, Learn Ruby the Hard Way, and Learn C the Hard Way. He is also the creator of several open source software projects like Mongrel, Lamson, Mongrel2, and has been programming and writing for nearly 20 years.


Table of Contents

Introduction: The Hard Way Is Easier

Exercise 0: The Setup
Exercise 1: A Good First Program
Exercise 2: Comments and Pound Characters
Exercise 3: Numbers and Math
Exercise 4: Variables and Names
Exercise 5: More Variables and Printing
Exercise 6: Strings and Text
Exercise 7: More Printing
Exercise 8: Printing, Printing
Exercise 9: Printing, Printing, Printing
Exercise 10: What Was That?
Exercise 11: Asking Questions
Exercise 12: Prompting People
Exercise 13: Parameters, Unpacking, Variables
Exercise 14: Prompting and Passing
Exercise 15: Reading Files
Exercise 16: Reading and Writing Files
Exercise 17: More Files
Exercise 18: Names, Variables, Code, Functions
Exercise 19: Functions and Variables
Exercise 20: Functions and Files
Exercise 21: Functions Can Return Something
Exercise 22: What Do You Know So Far?
Exercise 23: Read Some Code
Exercise 24: More Practice
Exercise 25: Even More Practice
Exercise 26: Congratulations, Take A Test!
Exercise 27: Memorizing Logic
Exercise 28: Boolean Practice
Exercise 29: What If
Exercise 30: Else and If
Exercise 31: Making Decisions
Exercise 32: Loops and Lists
Exercise 33: While Loops
Exercise 34: Accessing Elements of Lists
Exercise 35: Branches and Functions
Exercise 36: Designing and Debugging
Exercise 37: Symbol Review
Exercise 38: Doing Things to Lists

Exercise 39: Dictionaries, Oh Lovely Dictionaries
Exercise 40: Modules, Classes and Objects

Exercise 41: Learning to Speak Object Oriented

Exercise 42: Is-A, Has-A, Objects and Classes

Exercise 43: Gothons from Planet Percal #25
Exercise 44:  Inheritance Vs: Composition

Exercise 45: You Make a Game
Exercise 46: A Project Skeleton
Exercise 47: Automated Testing
Exercise 48: Advanced User Input
Exercise 49: Making Sentences
Exercise 50: Your First Website
Exercise 51: Getting Input From A Browser
Exercise 52: The Start of Your Web Game

Next Steps
Advice From An Old Programmer

Command Line Primer

FAQ: Zed Answers Python Questions


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