Product Description
If you are new to programming with Python and are looking for a solid introduction, this is the book for you. Developed by computer science instructors, books in the “for the absolute beginner” series teach the principles of programming through simple game creation. You will acquire the skills that you need for practical Python programming applications and will learn how these skills can be put to use in real-world scenarios. Throughout the chapters, you will find c… More >>

Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 3rd Edition

5 thoughts on “Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 3rd Edition”

  1. Have you wanted to try writing computer programs, but didn’t know how to begin? Or maybe those huge, menacing looking tomes in the computer section of your local B&N store frightened the bejeezes out of you? Well, you may wish to take a serious look at the Python programming language. It is extremely easy to get started and there has been a huge community of on-line fans using it and helping each other … Python is a great language to teach to school kids. It is also used by NASA, HP, Google and serious programmers all over the world.

    This book is for the real beginner. If you know anything at all about python don’t buy this book (consider LEARNING PYTHON, by Lutz and Asher). If you know something about programming, but nothing about python then don’t buy this book (consider PYTHON CORE PROGRAMMING by Wesley Chun). If you are a Pythonista already, then stop reading. For all the rest of you I recommend PYTHON PROGRAMMING by Dawson. It will provide the most gentle introduction to programming in general, and python specifically, that you will find anywhere. Dawson is an excellent writer. This book is NOT the typical massive “programmer’s bible,” but rather, a slim primer – the basics. Dawson will take you by the hand and lead you down the garden path. Work through the easy exercises and play with the programs on the CD. At the end of the path you should be pleasantly surprised at how easily you learned the rudiments of a powerful computer language. You’ll have all the knowledge needed to move on to Wesley Chun’s enormous tutorial or the slim, but dense LEARNING PYTHON.

    The book’s cover says “for the absolute beginner” and I can’t emphasize enough that this book is really for the programmer neophyte. I’d recommend it to any of my computer phobic friends. There is very little jargon; the reading level would be appropriate for junior high school students. I think Michael Dawson hit upon a real gem of a pedagogical idea: each major concept is introduced through writing a computer game. They are simple in concept and even simpler when written in python. He ends the book with an arcade shootem-up complete with animated graphics, sound effects, and music! The reader should by that point, feel comfortable modifying and adding to it. The book is nicely laid out and appears to have very few typos.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. If you’re a beginning or intermediate programmer (with a year or less of programming under your belt), then this is the best, first Python book you can find. Not only is it the best intro to Python out there, but it’s one of the best intros to programming in general I’ve ever read.

    The book is clear, well-written and won’t put you to sleep like many other technical books. The author knows how to teach and keep things interesting. And while the book is entertaining, it still covers the Python basics, including:
    * Variables
    * Branching
    * Strings
    * Lists, Tuples and Dictionaries
    * Functions
    * Files
    * Exceptions
    * Classes (including new-style classes)

    But the book goes beyond the fundamentals to cover more advanced topics that most other intro to Python books don’t, including:
    * Program Design
    * Object-Oriented Programming
    * GUI Programming
    * Multimedia Programming (including graphics, sound and animation)

    If you’re already a programming whiz, with years of coding experience and mutlti-language fluency, then this book may be too basic for you. In that case, I recommend the Python Visual Quick Start Guide. It’s aimed at readers with a solid programming background. And while it doesn’t have extensive OOP coverage, it will get an expert programmer up and running with the Python fast.

    Finally, once you’ve got some Python experience, I highly recommend Python in a Nutshell to take you from Python programmer to Python guru.

    Hope this helps you on your Pythonic journey!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Michael dawson happens to get it. Not only the language he writes of, but the language he uses to educate. I am new to Python and this book really helped open the doors for me. Because of this book, Python is not a huge scary beast… it’s a friendly and helpful pet! Thanks for such a great read!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. I really wanted to learn a programming language badly. Through some design of fate I chose Python. And only afterwards got to know that I had made the best choice for a beginning programmer. Since I cannot stand to read “tutorials” on the internet, flipping HTML pages, I prefer to learn through reading curled up with a book, I had to get a book or books.

    Even though Learning Python 2nd edition seemed to be the most popular, there was something about it I didn’t like while reading the index. Then I saw this book, read the index, the reviews (even though only 4) can’t lie, and if this book was more popular this column would be full of 100 5 star reviews undoubtedly.

    After only a week, I am writing programs that would have caused me to quit a week ago if he had said I have to write such and such a program by a certain time.

    You don’t have to go as fast as me, you can take your time, I am just putting in a lot of hours.

    Anyway, what I found good about this book, is he explains each line of code while introducing a new topic/technique/syntax etc… And the progression of topics combined with learning is excellent. At the end of every chapter you are given 4 challenge programs to write on your own to put into practice mainly what you learned in the chapter. This helps you put into practicality what you read and see if you really know what method or code you need to write the program.

    Like the book says, at times you will be challenged but never overwhelmed. This book is true to topic. It is for the absolute beginner, if you have NEVER programmed before this book is for you. It holds your hand if it has to, and you can walk on your own soon. It is a solid introduction to Python. Right now I am looking for my second book which I believe will be Dive into Python and Python Cookbook.

    This book is almost exactly like Michael Dawson’s other book Beginning C++ Game Programming. Which like this book as received a great response from reviewers and users. It’s funny because I can’t tell which one was conceived first. This book teaches you programming and Python by using small simple games, like hang-man, tic-tac-toe and others, but is in the “Absolute Beginner Series” and just uses the games as a fun tool to learn.

    So either he used this idea for his C++ book and wrote it for the game development series for a specific marketing purpose, or he wrote the C++ one first and used its idea for this Absolute Beginner series.

    Regardless of what you want to learn programming for, or this Python language specifically, you have to start at the beginning. Don’t go thinking you can create the next Windows or 3d game engine, because a book talks about game programming… and this book Learning Python for the absolute beginner is the most solid foundation you can get for programming and learning Python, to go onto more complicated stuff applications or games.

    Sorry for the long winded- fluffy review. The point is

    If you == Beginner

    get this book.

    If you want fastest easiest most fun creative way to learn Python as a beginner get this book. Hope this helps.

    == is a comparison operator from Python 🙂
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I actually started with the O’reilly books and they are great, but if your new to programming/scripting, this book is a better place to start. It will get you up and running with Python fast. yeah, its easy, but I think that’s the point (hence the title “Absolute Beginners”). The exercises are fun and get the concepts across very well. If you’ve mastered other languages, go with O’reilly. if you are new to coding start with this book.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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