Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
A modern version of the book I learned to program with
on 12 October 2010
I bought this book to see if I could interest my children in programming.
I'm a professional programmer and I use Python extensively in my work, so I read the book first to see if it was up to the job.
The first thing that was obvious was that this book uses Python3. The python eco-system is very gradually migrating from Python2. On reflection I think this was an excellent choice and will stop the book aging.
This book very deliberately doesn't attempt to teach the whole of Python, it sticks to an easy to comprehend subset. It doesn't attempt object oriented programming and doesn't introduce any datatypes except for lists and dictionaries.
The author uses excellent programming style given those limitations, and doesn't abuse global variables. A slight nit-pick is the use of thisKindOfVariable which isn't the python standard which is this_kind_of_variable.
The author encourages the student to type in the programs listed, but to use the website to check that they have been typed in correctly. Typing the programs in is an excellent way of really learning the language, and hopefully the website will stop the frustration of the program not working. It remains to be seen how well this works in practice with my children though!
This book reminded me very much of the book that I learnt to program with, which was the BASIC manual which came with the Sinclar ZX80, and I think the author has done a really good job of attempting to produce a modern version. The author has thought carefully about exactly what to introduce and what not to introduce and to try hard not to over-complicate things.
I'm looking forward to trying this book out with my children.