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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 May 2014
This is totally different from other programming books. Firstly you're not introduced to terms, instead you're drilled in "how to code". So if you're scared of coding - this is an amazingly fast way to learn.

If you use Windows, you'll be made to code in notepad++ and the windows powershell terminal.
It forces you to code by hand - and to run the program from the terminal.

Exercise 3 introduces numbers and maths. The trick to understanding the code here is to know BODMAS - the order of precedence. Python does Brackets first, Orders next, Division third, Multiply fourth, then Add and Subtract. This is stuff you learnt at school.. but he makes you revisit it and puzzle it out all over again.

The book is like an army drill sergeant... which is a great way to learn. No waffle allowed, by order of the boss.
The exercises are clear, precise and a dramatic improvement on other coding books, which are a bit of a nightmare to be honest.

I'll be buying more books from Zed, it's rare to find an author that can teach coding with ease. You'll achieve coding with this book, even if you've failed several times before.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2015
Not great really, firstly I personally found that the guy has a very "acquired taste" and I found myself getting quite frustrated with his attitude at times. Secondly, as a complete beginner in Python, I would rather somebody hold my hand until I start to "get it". The problem is, the first few exercises are fine, I understood them, but the moment you don't, and something makes no sense, he just tells you to "Google it" which lets be honest, you could get any old person telling you one thing, and any old person telling you another thing, (and I found that to be the case) when your starting out the Python documentation doesn't help explain things either.

At the end of the day the book is called "Learn Python the Hard Way" and he certainly made it far to hard for me, I'm going to go look for a book that will actually explain "why this does this, and that does that"! I don't recommend it, unless you want to get a head for some of the more basic stuff, and how to set up python etc on your computer. But if thats the case just go look at the online version of the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2015
this book is an absolute must for beginner python programmers. Its gets you to code straight away and keeps you on your toes. Its different to some of the other books I have read in that it doesn't go through the theory in depth, its a much more practical approach and makes learning fun. I hope the author writes one for Java because I want to learn that next. I noticed a review below where someone says the author talks to you like your an idiot (the author sounds a bit like an army general in the book), I think this is unfair because Zed Shaw does explain this at the beginning and explicitly say this tone is because the book is aimed for absolute beginners who have no programming knowledge. The author also makes you go away and research a lot of things online, I like this approach because I have been told this is how programmers are trained. Whenever I ask questions on programming forums like stackoverflow I am told to go and read the python documentation, so thats the nature of the game. I think the author tries to embed this habit in the reader from the beginning. I am about half way through and really enjoying it!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2014
Very approachable, if not a touch patronising in places. I think if you ignore that and consider its intended audience, its brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2014
I am half way through this book and so far so good. I previously completed 2 internet courses, but the stuff didn't really stick. This time around I am getting there (touch wood).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2014
This book is really good and worth getting. The chapters are well paced where you can do one a day ( or rather my 11 year old son did). About half way through he suddenly he throws open ended projects and says to take a week doing it. This almost put the brakes on his progress and he would have completely stopped had I not been mentoring him. What I am trying to say is that some of the later projects could be more defined so that the target audience knows when they are finished or how much they have to do.

I would also say that some of the lists he says to memorise by rote are better off being understood. Eg. bolean expressions: ( true and true = true, true and false = false....)

There is method to his teaching madness in most places (such as asking you to build a program and then explains what it does afterwards)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2014
If you are thinking of learning python, then this book it ideal. As the title says, it teaches you the best way, by actually typing code in, You feel a sense of achievement each time you finish each section. I am currently half way through, and already I feel if I have learned some much already.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2015
Make sure you intend to use Python 2 before purchase good if you intend to use Python 2
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on 1 February 2015
Fast delivery. Although I was originally looking for Python 3 version (this is v2) to go with the course I am doing think it will help. The first thing you have to get to grips with is using Command line interface(just to get started) and even though it doesn't seem relevant it is well worth persevering with. Like they say practice, practice and practice again. Although I haven't finished the whole book I have picked up a few more tips which have come in useful. Would definitely recommend just understand if you will only be working with v3 this might not be that helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2015
May well be a good book on Python 2. However I am learning Pythin 3, and nothing in the product description descibed which version it covered.
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