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Learn Python The Hard Way

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  370 ratings  ·  43 reviews
This simple book is meant to give you a first start in programming.

The title says it is the hard way to learn to write
code but it’s actually not. It’s the “hard” way only in that it’s the way people used to teach things. In this book you
will do something incredibly simple that all programmers actually do to learn a language:

1. Go through each exercise.
2. Type in each sa
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 2010)
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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 ...more
Mar 24, 2012 Kory rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kory by: Jay Zawrotny
Shelves: programming
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.
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 ...more
Soham Chakraborty
I am surprised this has such a low rating. I mean, yes, when I went to #python on 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
Jvaughn Duggan
This book won't teach you Python 3. The authors opted not to teach the latest version, claiming that the Python programming community won't be using this for another 10 years.

Well, it's 2014, 95% of the PyPl packages support Python3, and most developers recommend newcomers to go straight to 3. The Python community seems to have embraced it.

It's a shame too, because the txtbook is really well written and provides heaps of good exercises. I guess if you wanna stick to Python 2, this book is like a
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 importan
Michael Fogleman
I just finished a couple of months of going in and out of the pair of "Learn Code the Hard Way" books (Python and Ruby, reading each chapter in turn). I finally reached the last set of ten or so chapters, and decided to go full out skimming them, just to be done with the book/s. A few reasons:

* I'm lazy. Zed expects you to spend as much as it takes to solve any exercise, and I do not have the time or interest to do that right now.
* Zed's right that skill repetition is necessary, from basic entry
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Thomas Wasser
It’s a very good book and should get entry level programmers with Python or any other language off the ground and running. The author has a rather condescending attitude and would be well served to remember that there are those of us that want to learn new programming languages for fun or hobby, and that were programming before he was born. But you can ignore some of his comments and get to the code pretty quickly. Things are explained well and there are plenty of examples. The Q/A at the end of ...more
This is honestly the first Python book I have read.
It is focused on the basics and I think anyone who doesn't know programming can follow this book.

Zed is always excellent in his advice:

"Programming as a profession is only moderately interesting. It can be a good job, but you could make about the same money and be happier running a fast food joint. You’re much better off using code as your secret weapon in another profession.

People who can code in the world of technology companies are a dime a
J Pulickal
es, it is a simple book to start for a beginner like me. I had some installation issues to begin with. Zed maybe busy to check mails. Any way I installed Python and started using the Python Shell and the Python IDLE (I think that is what it is called). This window opens with File-New selection from Python shell. Went smooth until exercise 14 but 14 and after didn’t work. So, I am stuck at exercise 14. I am getting error that reads like listed below.

“Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:/Py
Milad Khajavi
اگه عادت دارین زبان‌های برنامه‌نویسی رو با مثال و تمرین یاد بگیرید. برای شروع پایتون، کتاب خیلی خوب و روانی‌ست که در قالب ۵۲ درس یا مثال، پایتون رو برای شروع آموزش میده.
وقت خوندن خود متن کتاب رو هم نداشتم، یکی یکی مثال‌ها رو تمرین می‌کردم اگه مشکلی پیدا می‌کردم بعد خود کتاب رو می‌خوندم.
چند مثال آخر کتاب رو هم عبور کردم، که آنچنان جالب توجه نبود.
آخرین نکته‌ای که در مورد این کتاب به ذهن‌ام می‌رسه، سؤال‌ها و تمرین‌هایی هست که در پایان هر درس مطرح شده. این سؤال‌ها و تمرین‌ها رو اگه فرصت داشته باشین
Very good starting book to python development. Lots of good examples (a bit dated now). There are some syntax errors in the examples, but there are lots of internet resources to correct them.
Gary Boland
good first python book, should be followed by something more conceptual like 'Think Pythoon'h
Denis Piazentin
A good book for beginners in python and programming in general
Did not expect such a basic book to be so helpful.
Laurens Bosscher
Interesting, rewarding and very challenging!
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 ...more
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.
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.
It's a pretty good glimpse at the world of Python, but it wasn't quite enough for me to stay focused. I've had difficulty learning programming regardless of the book or guide I follow, so I don't think that this one is any worse, if anything, it's better. I learned more from it than any other Python guide.
Michael Economy
Solid, entry level programming book.

The only drawback is that it's rather short, and doesn't teach you that much about python besides the basics, which i suppose is the authors intent. Great for new programmers. Not great for people who already know how to code and want to learn a new language.
Amlan Saha
Fantastic book for every beginner of programing :)
It is NOT a book tailored for very beginners, although the code itself suffices to explain what's going on based on Zed's clear understanding. Yet it cannot be denied that Zed's warning is rather sensible and the best way to coding is grind hard until you get the sense.
It's quiet interesting and it actually can be quiet hard if you do as they say.
Xiaofei Guo
This book is a very good starting point for learning python. As a medium level C programmer, I find this book very easy to follow. The examples in this book are very useful in terms of understand the syntax and concept.
George Tsoukatos
It gets you started , without explaining much. You learn by doing from the start. Not much theory but lot of exercises to work on.
In my opinion it's a good start for a beginner in Python language..
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Win a free copy of Learn Python the Hard Way 1 7 Jun 27, 2014 10:53AM  
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