Learning Python, 5th Edition


Get a comprehensive, in-depth introduction to the core Python language with this hands-on book. Based on author Mark Lutz’s popular training course, this updated fifth edition will help you quickly write efficient, high-quality code with Python. It’s an ideal way to begin, whether you’re new to programming or a professional developer versed in other languages.Complete with quizzes, exercises, and helpful illustrations, this easy-to-follow, self-paced tutorial gets you started with both Pytho…

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Top rated programming books on Reddit rank no. 44

Those of you who posted here as beginners, where are you now?(r/learnprogramming)

Sure, like most people, I started with Python. I didn’t start on codeacademy though, I started on program arcade games.

By the way, I should mention that at the time, I was a night manager at a Hostel so I got LOADS of free time to myself, and then when I got home I had even more free time so there was lots of time to practice. In the first 3-4 months I learnt the basics of functions and classes and how to use them. After that time had passed, I dug deeper and bought Learning Python and read that a lot. I learnt pretty quickly about the cool things about Python like list comprehensions, anonymous functions (Lambdas), operator overloading, all that stuff. By the way, that book is not a beginner’s book, it’s a book on pretty much everything about Python

I kept programming in my spare time, I made a lot of crappy things and gradually my code got cleaner and easier to maintain. I made things that interested me, like a MIDI parser, a reddit bot that converts images to ascii Python C#, a bruteforce directory scanner and some other stuff. As you can see, I was pretty busy. This is what’s important. By all means, do Project Euler and participate in Daily Programmer but don’t expect it to nail you a job. That stuff is useful, but a lot of those are just algorithms, not programs that will impress the person interviewing you (who might not be technical in the first place).

Eventually I just sort of ‘got’ Python, and decided to learn other languages that interested me. For some reason, that was C. Choosing to learn C was a really good choice but at the time I found it too difficult so I gravitated towards slightly newer languages like C#.

When I started to think my programs had some sort of quality to them I applied for jobs. I looked at job listings and if I saw a requirement that I didn’t have i.e. (Version Control) then I’d learn it. The caveat with learning Python at the time, was that it left me pretty useless (bare in mind I live in Wales in the UK, not uber-progressive,technology wise). The majority of the listings wanted PHP, or VB.NET (yes you read right)

Eventually I got my lucky break with a duo of awful businessmen, they didn’t know what they wanted and I didn’t know how to deliver, but I tried and I learnt a butt-load as I tried to make their product. Their product was an entire website (frontend, backend and DB) that was to start off small and grow internationally, and they wanted it in 10 weeks… Needless to say, they didn’t keep me on (surprise surprise) but with that experience I managed to nail a decent job with other developers using a similar set of skills. By the way that job with businessmen was in VB.NET, not an awful language but why not C#?

The new job is good, I create backends for websites, create frontends from photoshop files that are handled by our designer and I also create plugins for an in-house CMS (Think Joomla and similar stuff). This current position is in PHP, it has it’s quirks – naming standards vary wildly, the $, foreach loop is backwards in syntax, -> instead of ., and a bunch of other stuff, but it’s easy to use.

As it stands currently, I’m working on trying out different architectural patterns. The good thing about the position I’m in is that it’s lots of small projects so I can do something new with each new project. Maybe I’ll try a different design pattern, maybe I’ll go MVP over MVC, I’m pretty much free to learn and do as I want since there is no codebase (well there is a codebase, but I can still try out new methods) for a module that doesn’t exist.


  • First 3-4 Months learnt basics (functions, classes, loops)
  • 5 Months onwards – Read ‘Learning Python’ and made programs
  • 6 months onwards – Tried out new languages
  • 8 Months on – basic SQL queries and commandline stuff
  • 12 months on – Applied for jobs, a lot.
  • 16 months on – Got first job with bad businessmen

  • 19 months on – Got second full time permanent position and it’s fun

Hopefully I answered what you wanted

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Mark Lutz

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O’Reilly Media

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Learning Python, 5th Edition

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Those of you who posted here as beginners, where are you now?

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