Hot Best Seller

Learn Python the Hard Way: A Very Simple Introduction to the Terrifyingly Beautiful World of Computers and Code (Zed Shaw's Hard Way Series)

Availability: Ready to download

Master Python and become a programmer -- even if you never thought you could! This breakthrough book and CD can help practically anyone get started in programming. It's called "The Hard Way," but it's really quite simple. What's "hard" is this: it requires discipline, practice, and persistence. Zed A. Shaw teaches the Python programming language through a series of 52 bril Master Python and become a programmer -- even if you never thought you could! This breakthrough book and CD can help practically anyone get started in programming. It's called "The Hard Way," but it's really quite simple. What's "hard" is this: it requires discipline, practice, and persistence. Zed A. Shaw teaches the Python programming language through a series of 52 brilliantly-crafted exercises -- all formatted consistently, and none longer than two pages (including "extra credit"). Just read each exercise, type in its sample code precisely (no copy-and-paste!), and make the programs run. As you read, type, fix your mistakes, and watch the results, you'll learn how software works, how programming works, what good programs look like, and how to read, write, and see code. You'll discover how to spot crucial differences that fundamentally affect program behavior, and you'll learn everything you need to know about Python logic, input/output, variables, and functions. Above all, you'll learn the attention to detail that is indispensable to successful programming (and so much else in life). At first, yes, it can be difficult. But it gets easier. And Shaw offers plenty of extra guidance and insight through 5+ full hours of teaching video on the accompanying CD. As Shaw's thousands of online readers and fans will attest, the moment will come when you just "get it" -- and that moment feels great. Nothing important comes without discipline, practice, and persistence. But, with Learn Python the Hard Way, readers who bring those qualities to programming will master it -- and they will reap the rewards, both personally and in their careers.


Compare

Master Python and become a programmer -- even if you never thought you could! This breakthrough book and CD can help practically anyone get started in programming. It's called "The Hard Way," but it's really quite simple. What's "hard" is this: it requires discipline, practice, and persistence. Zed A. Shaw teaches the Python programming language through a series of 52 bril Master Python and become a programmer -- even if you never thought you could! This breakthrough book and CD can help practically anyone get started in programming. It's called "The Hard Way," but it's really quite simple. What's "hard" is this: it requires discipline, practice, and persistence. Zed A. Shaw teaches the Python programming language through a series of 52 brilliantly-crafted exercises -- all formatted consistently, and none longer than two pages (including "extra credit"). Just read each exercise, type in its sample code precisely (no copy-and-paste!), and make the programs run. As you read, type, fix your mistakes, and watch the results, you'll learn how software works, how programming works, what good programs look like, and how to read, write, and see code. You'll discover how to spot crucial differences that fundamentally affect program behavior, and you'll learn everything you need to know about Python logic, input/output, variables, and functions. Above all, you'll learn the attention to detail that is indispensable to successful programming (and so much else in life). At first, yes, it can be difficult. But it gets easier. And Shaw offers plenty of extra guidance and insight through 5+ full hours of teaching video on the accompanying CD. As Shaw's thousands of online readers and fans will attest, the moment will come when you just "get it" -- and that moment feels great. Nothing important comes without discipline, practice, and persistence. But, with Learn Python the Hard Way, readers who bring those qualities to programming will master it -- and they will reap the rewards, both personally and in their careers.

30 review for Learn Python the Hard Way: A Very Simple Introduction to the Terrifyingly Beautiful World of Computers and Code (Zed Shaw's Hard Way Series)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Considering I'm a software developer by profession and already know enough Python to be dangerous, I'm definitely not the target audience for this book. I still bought it for 2 reasons: (1) I like Zed's writing and also read his blog. (2) I also teach programming courses and thought this book might give me some good ideas on how to teach certain concepts to our students. I wasn't disappointed, this book is an excellent introduction to programming, the methodology is refreshingly different from a Considering I'm a software developer by profession and already know enough Python to be dangerous, I'm definitely not the target audience for this book. I still bought it for 2 reasons: (1) I like Zed's writing and also read his blog. (2) I also teach programming courses and thought this book might give me some good ideas on how to teach certain concepts to our students. I wasn't disappointed, this book is an excellent introduction to programming, the methodology is refreshingly different from all the dreadful "Learn X in 21 days" books in that it actually stresses how tedious and annoying writing code can be and if you are a new software developer and use it like it's intended, you'll definitely learn a lot. I for one will recommend this in the future!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mission Blue

    I used this book to remember some of the basic things I had studied before. It was kinda okay up until the object oriented programming concept. the author basically throws in some code and expects you to understand it! if you can't, then it's your own problem. google it, freak! The book should have been called "Learn to google the hard way with a twist"!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kory

    It's a decent book to learn Python, but it's really lacking. It starts off strong learning the simple concepts, but when he gets to classes, everything falls apart and he really slacks off in explaining certain details. Plus he throws you off the deep end before giving any actual exercise using tuples, saying here's the test code go write the program that works with it. I would make sense if he actually had explained things and given examples.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris C

    I think this quote sums it up: the author basically throws in some code and expects you to understand it! if you can't, then it's your own problem. google it, freak! I don't like Zed's approach to teaching. Other learning resources are much more pedagogical and make learning fun and rewarding instead of frustrating. If you're a total beginner I'd recommend starting here and getting some practice with the basics before moving on to books. It'll make things more fun to be hands-on initially. I think this quote sums it up: the author basically throws in some code and expects you to understand it! if you can't, then it's your own problem. google it, freak! I don't like Zed's approach to teaching. Other learning resources are much more pedagogical and make learning fun and rewarding instead of frustrating. If you're a total beginner I'd recommend starting here and getting some practice with the basics before moving on to books. It'll make things more fun to be hands-on initially.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Berg

    Not a fan of Zed's tone, particularly in the early chapters, which made me set this book aside to read a different book in order to learn Python for a bit (Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming by Eric Matthes) - especially since I already know how to program in several other languages. That said, I'm glad I came back to this book for the later chapters, particularly about organizing game code since I love to write Interactive Fiction (IF) games and that kind Not a fan of Zed's tone, particularly in the early chapters, which made me set this book aside to read a different book in order to learn Python for a bit (Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming by Eric Matthes) - especially since I already know how to program in several other languages. That said, I'm glad I came back to this book for the later chapters, particularly about organizing game code since I love to write Interactive Fiction (IF) games and that kind of game is the example used through the entire second part of this book. I was also interested in the section for making it so your game could be played from a webpage.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Opensource.com

    Python is a great language choice for someone beginning to learn computer programming. Learning Python means you can hack on your Raspberry Pi, contribute to OpenStack, or do just about anything else in between. Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed A. Shaw is an excellent learning resource for the beginning Python programmer. Don't be turned off by the "hard way" bit; the book's exercises are well thought out and pedagogically sound. In fact, doing things the "hard way" will actually make you a bett Python is a great language choice for someone beginning to learn computer programming. Learning Python means you can hack on your Raspberry Pi, contribute to OpenStack, or do just about anything else in between. Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed A. Shaw is an excellent learning resource for the beginning Python programmer. Don't be turned off by the "hard way" bit; the book's exercises are well thought out and pedagogically sound. In fact, doing things the "hard way" will actually make you a better programmer in the end. Read the full review at Opensource.com Learn Python The Hard Way by Zed Shaw is one of the books on the Opensource.com 2014 Annual Reading List. Visit our site for details on how you can win a free copy of the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David

    Worst programming book ever. The author is condescending, the examples are tedious and that attitude of "do things this way because is the good one and all the others suck" or "type this and shut up" is stupid. There are a lot of good resources about Python out there. This book isn't one of them.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Soham Chakraborty

    I am surprised this has such a low rating. I mean, yes, when I went to #python on irc.freenode.net and asked guys, I need a basic beginners python book, the immediate response was haven't you seen LPTHW. Zed, you sir, are an awesome teacher. I mean, yes, awesome teacher. I love the line, "Remember, paying attention to details is necessary. make the code exactly as mine and run". Well, I did run it, sir. One guy in my office, who is also in python-devel list and a seriously good python guy, also re I am surprised this has such a low rating. I mean, yes, when I went to #python on irc.freenode.net and asked guys, I need a basic beginners python book, the immediate response was haven't you seen LPTHW. Zed, you sir, are an awesome teacher. I mean, yes, awesome teacher. I love the line, "Remember, paying attention to details is necessary. make the code exactly as mine and run". Well, I did run it, sir. One guy in my office, who is also in python-devel list and a seriously good python guy, also recommended this book first in his lecture when he gave a brief introduction of the language. Yeah, I have this book open in my tab most of the time. BTW, this is not for professional python guys who are executing .py all the time, this is meant to get a grip on the language and then further explore it. Even, Zed told that a number of times. If you are interested in learning python, give this a try.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tomas

    I find text based games really boring and I didn't like the style the book is written in, nor the whole idea of typing all the code first and then getting an explanation after that. I'd suggest to take a free Coursera course "An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python" instead. No need to install anything (everything runs in a browser), much better explanations of things, clear, fun and doable mini projects (a few card games, pong, asteroids with graphics and sounds!), community, etc.

  10. 4 out of 5

    P

    Four stars because it's damn good instruction manual, but it's not like it's All the Kings Men or anything.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marielle

    This is my go to book recommendation for anyone who wants to learn either programming period, or wants to learn Python coming from a basic level in other languages. Some of the other complaints are that there isn't enough explanation in this book - this is exactly what I love about it! Explanations never worked for me when I started learning programming. Repetition builds intuitive understanding, that's what this book is all about.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sergei Shneider

    I have to agree with all other reviewers. Shaw isnt a great teacher. The book starts out with Shaw spending entirely too long explaining the most basic concepts and then once we get to the harder concepts he stops providing any kind of explanation and tells you to look it up on the internet. And he's right. Dont waste your time on this book when there are so many free resources available online. Oh and this book is 90% Shaw's poems and short stories incorporated in the code. For every line of co I have to agree with all other reviewers. Shaw isnt a great teacher. The book starts out with Shaw spending entirely too long explaining the most basic concepts and then once we get to the harder concepts he stops providing any kind of explanation and tells you to look it up on the internet. And he's right. Dont waste your time on this book when there are so many free resources available online. Oh and this book is 90% Shaw's poems and short stories incorporated in the code. For every line of code there are like 5 lines of nonsense.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Se Jin

    When first picking up this book, I was expecting to see an anatomy of the Python on the first few pages of the book. However, I ended up finding the ABCs of the programming language named “Python.” 

I am currently in High School level, who never had any prior education on coding or computer science. I was looking through the piles of books trying to find the easiest book I could start with because I was about to start a little programming organization named the Online Student Programmers’ Organ When first picking up this book, I was expecting to see an anatomy of the Python on the first few pages of the book. However, I ended up finding the ABCs of the programming language named “Python.” 

I am currently in High School level, who never had any prior education on coding or computer science. I was looking through the piles of books trying to find the easiest book I could start with because I was about to start a little programming organization named the Online Student Programmers’ Organization. This book simply instructs the readers to follow through the exercises first, and then teaches you the concepts of the code. Thus, this book is centred towards “hands-on” exercises rather than plain old “read and consume info.” Zed A. Shaw has incorporated numerous graphic images to allow the readers to comprehend the steps listed within each exercises. Finally, this book provides a little “appendix” section for all the sudo codes you can perform on consoles for the Windows, Mac, and Linux. Overall, this book is great because it starts with the basics of Python; I would highly recommend this book to new coders as this book is easy to comprehend and follow through.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Pages

    Read the whole book overnight. Was hoping for some really hardcore chapters, but went through it like a knife through the butter. On the other hand — I'm a professional programmer. Nonetheless, I learned how to >>> read and write python source code >>> do simple test driven programming (though I seek for more details in «Test-Driven Development in Python by Jason Diamond») The downside of it was really misleading title. That was not the hard way, there were some extremely important details missing, Read the whole book overnight. Was hoping for some really hardcore chapters, but went through it like a knife through the butter. On the other hand — I'm a professional programmer. Nonetheless, I learned how to >>> read and write python source code >>> do simple test driven programming (though I seek for more details in «Test-Driven Development in Python by Jason Diamond») The downside of it was really misleading title. That was not the hard way, there were some extremely important details missing, but all in all it was OK, so two stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Neal Aggarwal

    An excellent intro to Python programming. I use this to teach my students intro programming to lead onto my other courses in hardware design. Those courses are built on top of Nisan and Shocken's program that requires minimal programming skills in order to make the leap into building a computer from scratch. One of the most important things LPTHW teaches is that just as you cannot learn to ride a bike by reading about it, you cannot learn to program without actually keying in the programs and se An excellent intro to Python programming. I use this to teach my students intro programming to lead onto my other courses in hardware design. Those courses are built on top of Nisan and Shocken's program that requires minimal programming skills in order to make the leap into building a computer from scratch. One of the most important things LPTHW teaches is that just as you cannot learn to ride a bike by reading about it, you cannot learn to program without actually keying in the programs and seeing them work.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Simon Cowan

    Finished is a bit inaccurate here as I'll be returning to this book again and again. Not only is it a great learning tool it's also an excellent reference when I get stuck. Yes when, not if. Also, I didn't manage to get further than the beginning of classes and such but that has more to do with my ability with Python than the book so doesn't impact my rating. I have, though, got a lot further with this than any other resource I've tried so hats off to the author. A definite add to favourites.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chenglu Jin

    Yes, it is a good book for a program beginner. And the author is quite humors. But sometimes, he will leave you some questions without answers. You need to search it online. Although we can learn more from online materials, I still think it is waste of time sometimes. Maybe I just dislike this teaching style.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allyn

    Not so much a book about Python as it is a book about learning to program. I often point new programmers to this book. It's not complete, but Zed wrote this knowing that the Internet is a thing and people that want to be programmers should utilize it (because StackOverflow will be your friend forever). This book gives you homework.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Author had a condescending attitude. Outside of that turnoff, the sections on testing were unusable later in the book. Nose2 is not compatible with Nose. Nose (1) did not install on my rather vanilla Macbook Pro. I did figure out how to use Nose2 for some of the unit tests but it was a bit frustrating.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Douglas O'laughlin

    Same thing everyone says, it’s good until OOP and it’s just trash from there. I switched to crash course for python after that. He even shits on inheritance pretty hardcore, and it seems dubious at best. The first section is 10/10, and is really good at learning fast. It’s real effect there, so would be 3.5 stars but I guess I do grade inflation.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tharindu Dissanayake

    This is an excellent guide for a complete beginner, not just to Python, but to programming in general. Downside is, it is of very little help if you are already familiar with the language. Also, the book is based on Python 2, so for someone just starting, there might be difference in opinions whether or not Python 2 is the way to go. But once passed that, the book is very helpful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Danila Sentyabov

    I think this is the best way to learn programming without any prior knowledge of it. I wouldn't recommend it to experienced non-Python programmers learning Python, though. The book is really aimed at making the learner grasp programming for the first time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ntinos

    A really great book in order to get started with programming. You use editors, UNIX commands and learn how to type symbols by using them when you type code.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clinton

    The videos/book combination are the best way to digest this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Oleg

    Did not expect such a basic book to be so helpful.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Hey, it's basically free, and it get's the job done even if it's not great.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maja

    I think this book is a great introduction to programming in general. It showed me useful methods in how to go about learning a programming language as a beginner. Now I do know the basics of Python and will go on learning more about it. I also learned many key-words in the "programming dictionary" that are necessary for reading up on any kind of documentation about any programming language. That being said, the last few chapters are not the best. They suddenly introduce HTML5 and CSS3 and Flask a I think this book is a great introduction to programming in general. It showed me useful methods in how to go about learning a programming language as a beginner. Now I do know the basics of Python and will go on learning more about it. I also learned many key-words in the "programming dictionary" that are necessary for reading up on any kind of documentation about any programming language. That being said, the last few chapters are not the best. They suddenly introduce HTML5 and CSS3 and Flask and Django, etc. I mean, I'm still a beginner, and I can't just 'read up on that' to learn it. It will take more than an hour to get those new things. Overall, I would recommend this book to beginners.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cici Yang

    I am just a beginner in python programming studying. This is the first book I started to read. From my reading experience, this book indeed owns some advantages over books of other types: This book shows us the code so it seems that it is not very difficult at the first glance. However, when I read the last exercises , the difficulty level is raised rapidly and it is hard to understand,implement and finish all the study drills. Especially, when I do my final exam, I simply can not understand some I am just a beginner in python programming studying. This is the first book I started to read. From my reading experience, this book indeed owns some advantages over books of other types: This book shows us the code so it seems that it is not very difficult at the first glance. However, when I read the last exercises , the difficulty level is raised rapidly and it is hard to understand,implement and finish all the study drills. Especially, when I do my final exam, I simply can not understand some content, and find it hard to implement and finish exercises. Maybe I need someone who has also finished reading and finished ex52 to help me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Henry Le

    My first book on the Learning Python topic. I understand Zed tries to use a tone that intends to be informal for easier knowledge digestion of a seeming challenging methodology. It works. For the first parts. Then when it comes to the hard stuffs in the later chapters. I think Zed fails to convey a comprehensive understanding of the problem. Or maybe I am not that clever. Later on I have found some clearer and easy-to-digest information on Youtube and Reddit to continue my study. Anyway, I will give My first book on the Learning Python topic. I understand Zed tries to use a tone that intends to be informal for easier knowledge digestion of a seeming challenging methodology. It works. For the first parts. Then when it comes to the hard stuffs in the later chapters. I think Zed fails to convey a comprehensive understanding of the problem. Or maybe I am not that clever. Later on I have found some clearer and easy-to-digest information on Youtube and Reddit to continue my study. Anyway, I will give the book a fair rating and would recommend this as a quick-read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kaido

    I liked Zed new look how to teach programming. The first part contained simple 20 row length basic coding examples that cleared the point and teached you the concept. Also you felt accomplishment after every exercise. The second part where he started to teach OOP fall apart. Seemed like the page limit was already over to this book and he wanted fastly sum all the things up. In overall, nice book to start learning.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.