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Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner [Paperback]

Mike Dawson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
RRP: £20.99
Price: £14.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Jan 2010 1435455002 978-1435455009 Third
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 code samples that illustrate concepts presented. At the end of each chapter, you will find a complete game that demonstrates the key ideas in the chapter, a summary of the chapter, and a set of challenges that tests your newfound knowledge. By the time you finish this book, youll be well versed in Python and be able to apply the basic programming principles youve learned to the next programming language you tackle.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; Third edition (31 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435455002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435455009
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 18.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Introduction. 1. Getting Started: The Game Over Program. 2. Types, Variables, and Simple I/O: The Useless Trivia Program. 3. Branching, while Loops, and Program Planning: The Guess My Number Game. 4. for Loops, Strings, and Tuples: The Word Jumble Game. 5. Lists and Dictionaries: The Hangman Game. 6. Functions: Tic-Tac-Toe. 7. Files and Exceptions: The Trivia Challenge Game. 8. Software Objects: The Critter Caretaker Program. 9. Object-Oriented Programming: The Blackjack Game. 10. GUI Development: The Mad Lib Program.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a beginner 1 Sep 2011
By Clara
I bought this book knowing absolutely nothing about programming. It begins at the very start, with the basics and explains the concept of everything you learn. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it has been great. It does have a website paired with it, that I thought was a little tricky to navigate, but that is only necissary in downloading python. Even then, you can also go to the python website as well(Which the book clearly explains). It has lots of entertaining programs to write, and includes the code in the book. For example, you start with the simple 'Game Over' program, and go on to Hangman, The Useless Trivia Program and even the three-year-old simulator! There is code for these on the website, but I find it more enjoyable to type it into the computer from the book. Like this you can see how it works, and add or change bits if you want. At the end of each chapter is a set of challenges which you can undertake. They vary, but usually include skills from the chapter. I have noticed that it seems to have a focus on game design and programming.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really first class book 11 Oct 2011
I have done a bit of computer programming in the past, I learnt C, C++ and Perl. Never used any seriously, though Perl was handy a few times. Anyway, I have never touched programming for years. Recently I had been looking at Python. Modern, easy to learn (apparently) and a language that is capable of everything from the smallest task up to very big projects. Python 'glues' well onto other languages and programs.

The small tasks are what interests me. I have a few things I need to do, a database that is in an absolute mess. It needs LOTS of alterations. I did load it up into an Excel spreadsheet and managed to sort out about 80% of bad data with search and replace. The rest needs something more. It needs a program that will scan through and find data in wrong places and swap the cells over. And I need to do a few other utilities sort of stuff.

A bit of Googling proved that Python was ideal. It can 'plug' into spreadsheets and databases, has good csv support, and lots of examples and tutorials are available to help me out!

First I downloaded Python 2.7 and printed out a few good tutorials from the internet. Then I played around enough to know I could cope with the language. Being a bit old fashioned, I like to work from a good book about any subject I want to learn. This one had excellent reviews and at a very reasonable price.

As it happens this third edition of the book is written for Python 3 rather than the more common Python 2. This has proved to be no big deal. The differences between the Python 3 and Python 2 don't make much difference at the beginner level. You will cope. Python 2 of course has far more in the way of external and useful modules. Such as Django and the xlrd module which I am using to read Excel spreadsheets.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GCSE Computing 26 May 2012
By Nico
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book!

I am a teacher with some programming experience and am in the process of setting up a new course, for my school, OCR GCSE Computing. I needed a computer language that was easy for teenagers to learn, cross-plaform (so it can run on Macs & Windows PCs), modern with the ability to introduce object orientated programming and to lead on to other languages such as Java. I have taught Java via the excellent BlueJ IDE and the wonderful book, "Objects First with Java: A Practical Introduction Using BlueJ", but this is a bit advanced for 14 / 15 year olds. I did consider using "Greenfoot" with another great book - "Introduction to Programming with Greenfoot: Object-Oriented Programming in Java with Games and Simulations (Alternative Etext Formats), but the OCR course needs more basic introduction to loops, if statements, and arrays and doesn't strictly need objects. As for Visual Basic - well too much fiddling with interface objects, not enough "pure" programming and besides not cross- platform. So I chose Python.

Next step was to choose a tutorial style textbook, with lots of worked examples, exercises to test the students, a fun learning curve, basics and fundamental concepts explained, practically based and with lots of code to play with. I chose "Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner." I chose well, very well!

This book does everything I wanted it to do. Chapters 1 to 7 cover all the programming requirements of the course. The teaching method of building up programming via coding simple games is great.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for beginners wishing to learn programming 10 Dec 2010
By Splossy
This book is very good at delivering to the target audience - people looking to learn programming in Python. Incidentally, Python is a very good language to learn for beginners as it's relatively easy to understand whilst being pretty powerful too.

The book is never boring and the teaches the concepts by example. Using games to teach programming keeps this reader far more interested than the usual boring programs.

Just because it's for beginners doesn't mean you don't learn how to program well.

Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very clear and easy to follow
Published 23 hours ago by davey999
2.0 out of 5 stars Try Codecademy instead.
Not a terrible book, but not half as great as the ratings on here suggest.

Most of it was easy to understand, but some of the programs were extremely long and complex. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Randy Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
This is good. Very readable. And nice tone to the book as a whole .
Published 8 days ago by A. W. O. Jenkins
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Lots to work through
Published 15 days ago by Cari B
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
So far so good.
Published 27 days ago by Mr P Jepson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Pleased with
Published 1 month ago by Sharna Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for beginners.
I am a professional Java developer and I bought this as a gift for a family member who had expressed an interested in to learning program. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DexterLlew
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, not sure about Absolute Beginner though...
As an absolute beginner I was excited to take my first step into the world of Python. This is a good book, but I started to struggle a bit once I hit chapter 3, mainly the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by tooneytr
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and well paced.
This is a good book. The pace is just right and makes learning to code fun.
I chose Python because it is used in Blender and Reaper for scripting and is supposed to be a good... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Greg
3.0 out of 5 stars link provided doesnt even work...
The link that was provided doesnt even work...
Published 2 months ago by harold sadca
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