• ISBN13: 9780596802370
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
Looking for a reliable way to learn how to program on your own, without being overwhelmed by confusing concepts? Head First Programming introduces the core concepts of writing computer programs — variables, decisions, loops, functions, and objects — which apply regardless of the programming language. This book offers concrete examples and exercises in the dynamic and versatile Python language to demonstrate and reinforce these concepts.

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Head First Programming: A Learner’s Guide to Programming Using the Python Language

5 thoughts on “Head First Programming: A Learner’s Guide to Programming Using the Python Language”

  1. This book teaches general programming concepts to people who have used a computer but never programmed before using Python 3 and the IDLE IDE. Python was used because it has a pseudocode look to it – the new programmer doesn’t have too many obscure things to remember. If you are going to use Python, you should teach version 3 since not even Python 2 print statements work in Python 3. If you know you are going to be using Python, one of the main drawbacks of this book is that it does not teach you to program in Python “the Python way”. However, the authors believe, probably correctly, that if you don’t even know what a control loop or an exception is, that most of the books on specific languages might be too big a first step for the budding programmer, and they are probably right. The book doesn’t get into heavy concepts such as algorithms, automated testing, threads, recursion, and alternative tools, but once you finish that book you can go to more advanced texts and pick those concepts up fairly easily.

    If you are not familiar with the Head First approach in textbooks, it may seem strange at first. The book uses lots of cartoons and odd looking pictures of people that appear to be from 50’s issues of Life Magazine so that you’ll remember things. There are Q&A sessions, concrete projects and exercises, and even crossword puzzles. Be sure to finish every exercise or the information won’t “get into your head” the way the information has been designed to do so. I’d say because this series of books is so good at holding your interest, it would be an especially good choice for a high school student who is just learning to program. Highly recommended for the novice programmer.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. I like the Head First Books. I find them enjoyable and a lot of fun to work through. So I was looking forward to starting a hobby in programming by working through this book. Unfortunately I found this book to be both frustrating and confusing in places rather then enjoyable and rewarding.

    The goal of the book is to use the Head First method of learning to teach the reader programming concepts using Python 3. HF Programming is very good in explaining programming concepts, however personally I had problems with some of the exercises it gives the reader. The reason I had problems with some of the exercises was I felt that the authors didn’t explain how Python 3 worked in sufficient detail.

    There are two main types of exercises in HF Programming, code completion and writing/modifying a program from scratch. In the code completion exercises the authors would present the reader with a program that was missing code segments. They would supply the code segments needed to complete the program at the bottom of the page. The reader had to pick the correct code segment and insert it into the missing line. The writing/modifying a program from scratch exercises would present the reader with a problem and then ask the reader to write/modify a Python 3 program to solve the problem.

    I had no problem with the code completion exercises. Using the concepts taught in the book, and examining the code carefully, I was able to work though these exercises, just fine. However most of the time I found that I didn’t have enough knowledge of how Python 3 worked to be able to complete the writing/modifying a program from scratch exercises. I found that I either had to do some research via Google, or look at the solution of the exercises to understand how to write the required program.

    To be fair, researching via Google, and carefully going through the provided solution code, did teach me a lot. But personally I would have preferred to have had the required knowledge presented in the book before the exercises in numerous simple and clear example programs, but that’s just me. Other readers may not have this problem.

    To conclude, this is a good book that does meet it’s objective in teaching programming concepts. However I found that it can be confusing and frustrating to work through in places.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  3. This tutorial in programming for the adult (high-school and beyond) beginner is outstanding, probably the best volume of its kind. But, determining whether this book is for you and getting the most out of it requires understanding what it successfully sets out to accomplish. It is a careful guide-yourself tutorial in programming concepts and practice for the mature (but-not-humorless) reader providing scientifically-designed pedagogy to instruct and give practice in modern programming concepts using the Python 3 language. The purpose of this book is to enable an adolescent or adult who has never programmed previously, to accomplish significant coding projects and to provide instruction in modern programming methods. It is not (nor does it claim to be) the most efficient method of learning Python and its idioms for someone who has previous programming practice. In fact it eschews Python style in favor of whatever control structures and statements will be clearest to the novice and that will provide a template which can be followed in other modern languages. Like all of the excellent and carefully taught Head-First series it offers designed multi-sensory instruction in the topic under consideration applying recent discoveries in cognitive science and instructional design to ensure that the reader “gets it” and can carry out the methods s/he has learned in practice. I would highly recommend this book to instruct a beginner in programming on modern methods and practices. It does not pretend to be a general introduction to the Python language, its idioms, libraries and practices. In choosing Python 3 for its well-thought examples it uses the best of this batteries-included language but many of the tools, libraries and graphics and scientific packages that so far are only available for Python 2 cannot be demonstrated to the reader.

    To summarize this is an outstanding and comprehensive introduction to programming for the mature reader, but in designing this text for that specific goal it does not pretend to be a general tutorial in Python or other particular methods.

    –Ira Laefsky
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. I got this book for my 15 ear old son who has never programmed. It is very well designed to help the beginner through ACTIVELY learning the core fundamentals of programming. For the novice, this is by far the best book I found. Warning, it does require you to think from the start. My son was put off by what he thought was slow progress. What he didnot realize was that he learned in 3 days what I learned in the first 6 wk of class. I highly recommend this series. I own 6 titles and they are all excellent.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I bought this for my 13yo son so he could learn the fundamentals of computer programming. I’ve used other Head First books and find they are entertaining to read and this was important, as I knew it that was necessary to keep his interest. I let my son work on the problems for a while and then go help him on the parts he gets stuck at. Others have mentioned that it might be a bit confusing for the complete novice. Maybe. It’s certainly not an easy task to write a book that presents complex concepts while still being entertaining and providing example programs that are useful and interesting. While it may not earn as high marks as some other Head First titles, my son is learning and we are happy with the results.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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