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Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  2,160 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Python Crash Course is a fast-paced, thorough introduction to programming with Python that will have you writing programs, solving problems, and making things that work in no time.

In the first half of the book, you'll learn about basic programming concepts, such as lists, dictionaries, classes, and loops, and practice writing clean and readable code with exercises for each
Paperback, 560 pages
Published December 3rd 2015 by No Starch Press (first published February 25th 2015)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  2,160 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book for absolute beginners. The author holds your hand and walks you through every step, so it is easy to understand and nearly impossible to get lost. I worked through the entire book and felt like I acquired a good foundation in Python programming.

I did have two minor issues with the book, though. First, the problem sets usually just have you redo examples worked through in the text with only cosmetic changes like using a longer list or calculating cubes instead of squares. While this a
Maru Kun
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
This book is a rank up on most of the Python project books that I have seen aimed at a beginner or low intermediate programmer.

It includes a selection of projects that are genuinely interesting and aimed at just the right level for a first go at data visualization, web applications and working with APIs. The web application section on Django was particularly helpful and quite inspiring in showing how to build a simple but professional looking web app. My ambition to plot Japanese ukiyoe series s
Duncan Anderson
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
This book is a game changer.

I worked on it every morning for about a month and a half and can confidently say I'm decent with Python now.

The book is structured in a way that increases in difficulty as you go along, but Matthes does a superb job of making sure the necessary material has been covered before introducing new topics.

What helped cement the concepts I was learning the most while making my way through this book were the practice exercises. Also, if you're ever stuck on anything, ther
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Excellent book if you want to learn to program and you want to learn Python. Best book, I've come across for beginners. I enjoyed the exercises at the end of each chapter which helped to reinforce the content. ...more
Antoine Savine
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: programming
As a professional programmer who has tried almost every book, app or web site to get my three kids interested in programming, mostly in vain, I am recommending this book, the only one that kept them interested, working hard and produced a visible progress.
Python programming is easy, so Python is an ideal language for beginners, but the installation can be a nightmare. I installed Python for the kids with Anaconda on Windows and it took my an hour to get it right with the correct version of Pytho
Joe Pickert
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent resource for any beginners wishing to learn Python! The first half of the book walks the user through the various fundamentals of programming (looping, lists, functions, classes, etc) before moving on to specific projects in the second half. The book's usefulness is really dependent on the reader though, as completing the exercises in each chapter is crucial to internalizing the skills it means to teach.

My only complaint with this book is the paucity of explanation given for much of
MaDiha HouRi
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: بايثون
The best tutorial after finishing "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners By Al Sweigart ". Nice & Necessary 100%. Now I can create a simple game using Pygame, Make a nice & attractive data Visualization using Pygal, Matplotlib...etc; and building Web Applications with Django. It was a great journey.

أفضل برنامج تعليمي بعد الانتهاء من "أتمتة الأشياء المملة باستخدام بايثون: البرمجة العملية للمبتدئين بواسطة آل سواغر". أنيقٌ وضروري 100٪. الآن يمكنني إنشاء لع
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Probably the best introduction to the Python programming language right now.
What was interesting to me was that data structures like lists and tuples were shown before logic operators and statements. I thought this was very nice because lists take some getting used to by beginners.
The "Classes" section was also very concise and easy to follow, which is not always the case.
The "Projects" part of the book was fun to go trough and could be used as a reference for future projects.
Alie Eldeen
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book is awesome for learning the basics of python , you will be enjoyed by learning it, at the end there are some applications you have to try to do it but there are some errors in coding so when you try to do as the writer some will not work. so my advice is to do the applications by watching videos on youtube.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my goals for this year is learning something new. So I started with books about Python. I chose Python from my research on what programming language would fit me best. This was one of the two.
It is extremely comprehensive to a completely programming-illiterate person. I tried typing in everything that is given as an example, so to get a hang of typing code in general. To me writing down everything is the best way to learn, so this book was really helpful.

The projects at the end of the bo
Feb 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A pretty perfect intro to Python or programming in general. The projects were interesting enough and when I got bored of them, I felt knowledgeable enough to start on my own little scripts like a script to interact with the YouTube API based off of the basics I learned in the first section of the book alone.

Yes, not every single line or function from a library is explained in-depth, but that's not the point of the book. It's an overview more or less. Reading documentation is where you'll find th
Dia' Abujaber
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book, everything is explained in an easy, simple way. I appreciated the try-it-yourself challenges, it ensures you understand each point represented in the book. However, I wish that the author focused in only one python framework instead of giving a brief introduction for a three, so I finish the book with a confident skill in python, that might be good in some cases for some people. after all, I recommend this book for everyone who is looking for a kick-start in p ...more
ZhongXuan Liu
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished the first part of it in only 2 days, without the part of projects.
The publishing of the 2nd Edition is timely since Python 2 will be dead soon lol.
A very nice Python Programming book for those don't have experience in programming! As for experienced coder, IMO this seems a little bit easy for them.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After two false starts using other material to learn Python, it was this book that got me actually writing useful scripts and enjoying the process. Can't do better than "it just works". Clear examples, good exercises, straightforward writing. ...more
Mihkel Häkkinen
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great resource for beginners to become accustomed to Python programming language. Acts as an excellent springboard to delve onwards into more complicated topics.
Aug 20, 2022 rated it really liked it
This is an all-round excellent introduction to programming in Python. Beginning with the usual stuff (teaching you the syntax and much of the standard library), this book then moves onto three projects: the first using Pygame to make a Space Invaders-style game, the second concerning data visualisation and the third introducing the reader to Django. None of these projects go super-deep, but they are complex enough to get the reader thinking in a project-focused way.

And, to be honest, it is these
William Schram
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"Python Crash Course" is a book introducing Python concepts. Python is a programming language, but I assume you know that already. Eric Matthes is the author, and he divided the book into two parts. The first part introduces basic programming precepts. The second half has projects for you to make meaningful programs.

The first half builds into the second, granting you the skills necessary to make a game, for example.
Brock Bank
Feb 09, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would highly recommend to anyone who is trying to learn the basics of Python. I had nearly no knowledge and found this book extremely approachable.

I would say the projects at the end felt the least valuable as an actual learning tool as the book holds your hand almost completely through them, but were still extremely useful for showing what is possible with even basic knowledge.
Aug 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great introduction to python for beginners. It’s split into two parts, the first half is teaching the basics and the second half is to have a go at building some real projects like a game or a website. Whilst parts were outdated that’s to be expected in the tech world, I thought it gave me a really good understanding anyway.
Dina A.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book for anyone who wants to learn Python or Programing in general. The book is very clear and simple, it’s an amazing intro to programming. The projects are also really fun and cool.
Rubayet Alam
Jul 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book for beginners. In the 9th chapter Functional programming was missing, pure functions/impure functions, side effects weren't available. In the 10th chapter, I wished there were more concepts like- Polymorphism, Encapsulation, Abstraction. It's not a math-based book after all. I mean the examples/exercises are not related to solving math problems. If you never wrote a line in python this book is for you. ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Not a work of art or anything
Joe Flynn
Dec 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The book for coding beginners like me.

Step by step, yet explained with context and a depth that sticks.

Great examples, resources and projects.
Aug 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very clear and thorough book! It totally walks you through learning Python step by step with demonstration of OOP concepts. definitely recommended!
Jun 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The only thing you'll need when reading this book is a computer and the ability to read and follow instructions.

Before this book, my experience with programming has been limited to a very elementary course on HTML and CSS back in 8th grade. Later, I went on to pursue a major in business. Because of that, it was a daunting task to learn how to code without a proper curriculum. Fortunately, this book makes sure that learning is accessible, understandable, and most importantly, interactive and fun.
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming


Python Crash Course is a beginner friendly programming book and as the name suggests it will take you into the weeds of Python programming.


The author goes by the name Eric Matthes. To quote his own words:

“I teach high school math and science at a small school in southeast Alaska. I wrote Python Crash Course, which is available through No Starch Press and Amazon. I previously blogged at peak 5390.
Jan 29, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A pleasure to read. Book is well written and has great practical tasks and project to apply acquired knowledge. A really good book for beginners
Grant Keegan
Aug 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
The book is a fantastic way not only to learn Python but also fundamental skills that are essential in the learning journey for every programmer. I highly recommend this book as a starting point for people that want to learn programming and computer science. Sure, there are a lot of concepts one has to keep track of, but Python Crash Course is neatly divided into sections that the reader can go back to if previous concepts have to be revisited.

In the beginning, Matthes goes through the basic con
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: programming
I got tired of the exercises after two chapters because they were so repetitive. A lot of the commands were not well described and I had to look up the documentation myself half of the time.
The data visualization project felt like a manual for some statistics software. I looked up YouTube tutorials on the same subject they were much more useful and interesting. The web project was alright overall. Admittedly, I skipped the video game project, but I probably didn't miss out on a lot. I had proble
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was the best beginner book for Python that I had ever tried. I have been through a few before this, and they didn't help me to understand the concepts nearly as much as this one did. Except for the data visualization projects, which I did not enjoy, the projects were interesting and fun and informative. My favourite was the Django web-based project. It is the first book that adequately explained Django to me, in terms that I understood. The key to getting the most out of this ...more
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