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Head First Python: A Brain-Friendly Guide

(Head First Series)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  42 reviews

Want to learn the Python language without slogging your way through how-to manuals? With Head First Python, you’ll quickly grasp Python’s fundamentals, working with the built-in data structures and functions. Then you’ll move on to building your very own webapp, exploring database management, exception handling, and data wrangling. If you’re intrigued by what you can do

Kindle Edition, 624 pages
Published November 21st 2016 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2010)
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Kees Dijk
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book review: Head First Python by Paul Barry

I just finished reading "Head First Python" and had great fun doing so.

I Think that this is a great book for the beginning Python developer. But unlike a lot of other books that aim for beginners, good practices aren't ignored for the sake of simplicity. The practices are explained and used.

The head first series can take some getting used to. Whenever I talk to someone about the head first books I advice them to borrow a copy before buying or take a
boring, Totally inappropriate examples, poor unlike other headfirst books
Mar 08, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oooo I hate the style of this book. About halfway through, one of my bosses realized that I wasn't learning anything from it and gave me a different Python book to read. It is probably a very good book for some people as it tries to make everything interesting and fun. I just can't stand having jokes everywhere and ridiculous activities to do. It definitely isn't my learning style.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: python, programming
Ugh. I hate the cutesy style of this book. Tossing it into the "Sell to Half Price" box. There are so many better books on the market. (Ones that don't waste space on useless graphics and hand-holding baby-talk.)
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is NOT definitely the best book to begin with Python. For the following reasons:

1. First 100 pages (almost) of this book and the primary focus was "List", which is basically one of four data structures in Python. I understand the importance of it and why it needs a thorough elucidation but I got utterly bored when they kept explaining the same thing in different ways. Could've made a better and concise explanation.

2. Impractical exercises. They will just give you a string and ask you
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid intro to Python. I think. lol. But who knows? Haven't read many of these.
Anyway, liked how you worked through real-world problems and coded along with the author. Seemed like a pretty natural way to learn. The book helped ground me in the Python universe; from storing data by Pickle, to SQLite and Google App Engine, defining functions, Android apps and CGI scripts. There is a lot here but so much more to learn.
I do have a much better feel for the landscape of Python.
Phil Simon
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
When faced with a bunch of different Python books, this one looked like the most engaging. I opted for the Kindle edition, as I assumed that the search function would be essential.

To be sure, HFP gets you right into coding. Before you know it, you're writing programs. I also revisited some SQL statements and learned some Mac Terminal commands along the way. I found Homebrew and MariaDB far easier to navigate than MySQL.

I was able to follow along and endure the inevitable bumps. (One minor pet
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used this book as a quick review before getting back to work with Python. I'm not a developer so most of the time i just ready-to-import packages. This book provides interesting explanations to many little stuff that I'm used to using but never got to see the reasoning behind it. For example, he gave quite detailed and well-designed exercises about context manager and decorator. I do appreciate topics like these.

Overall, the topic selection is a little hard to understand as the author
Vio Stix
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I stopped halfway through. It elaborated way too much on things that seemed unnecessary but did the opposite with more complex things. It continued with the same lines of code throughout the chapters, that changed slightly with new stuff, which can be easier to understand for people but for me it was extremely boring and unchallenging. Some links weren't working, so that should definitely be updated. However there were some informative things in there that most books don't include, which is the ...more
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
IMO, the Head First series is great for learning languages.
Going through the other reviews made me acknowledge that the 'visual & activity learning strategies' (fridge magnet games and the like) can get dull - the opposite of their intended purpose, and overall slow down your progress. But the book does give you a pretty good context and grounding in the basics - from data structures, the context management protocol, list comprehensions, and even generators. The icing was the appendix on
Feb 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible presentation. No one wanting to become a professional programmer should touch this. The authors think they are some sort of graphic design geniuses (and they say so), but it's an uncoordinated mess. Other graphics-oriented titles (Visual QuickStart, Manga Guides, etc) pull this off, but not these people. Do not waste your time or money.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book is surely not for those who want to start learning python.
It concentrates on Flask (a web framework) and use this application throw the whole book (more or less).
Covers object oriented programming in a very shallow way.

I recommend it if you know some Python and want to try Flask and some Python mainlines.
Easy for begginers. Not as good as design patterns but still good for people want to start programming. And python is good too for that purpose.
Hamza Mohammad  Khan
It is an ok book not the best not the worst.
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the flask part extra, deviates from proper python programming subject a bit.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the use of real-world examples was helpful, but it wasn't direct enough for me.
Dan Carey
This proved to be quite efficient and enjoyable. The examples are clear and the exercises are challenging but not daunting.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read and to follow. I feel like I can quickly write something useful in Python for home or office. Don't skip the appendices though - there's so much out there!
Miguel Vargas
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. I undoubtedly recommend to read it. It would be awesome if this has more about object oriented programming.
Moses Wong
Not very useful.
Annika Brock
This wasn't nearly as helpful as the other Head First book I read; a lot of time in this was dedicated to functionality that I didn't actually want to learn yet (i.e. sharing stuff online).
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read the previous version. They are a lot different IMO. I like both versions. But I like this second version more as there are several important topics I find it is important to learn.
This was my first "Head First" book I actually tried reading. The concept seems to work well, although I did most of the exercises in my head and skimmed through places which I knew or wasn't interested in our did not have time for (library deadline was approaching). I think it's a good book for a beginner developer who knows at least one programming language. I doubt it will work for an absolute beginner as an introduction into programming. I felt like I am not really a target audience of this ...more
Headsink headsink
This book is GREAT, like all Head First series you will have graphical summary of what you will get from the book in the 'What you will learn from this book' before the content section. If you just hate too much words and prefer books with pictures which go straight to the point, this is for you!

This book will give you a hands-on step-by-step guide covering the theory and program example you can just test after you installed the compiler and IDE(Installation guide also included).

You will learn
Ibrahim Salah
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a very good starting point for those who are familiar with programming and don't know anything about Python. It starts with the very basics and along the way the reader will learn very useful tips and tricks.

The examples are really good and like all Head First books you have to try them yourself to take full advantage of the learning process.

Chapters like (Web Development, Mobile Development and Scaling Your App) cover topics so broad that each one of them can be covered in a
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
Really hard to apply the examples to real-world needs, which isn't the case in other Head First books I've used. Also the Monty Python references became irritating by the end of the introduction. Not bad otherwise, I like the way it uses petition and practice to really teach the ideas, not just explain them.
Chitrank Dixit
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer-science
One of the best book for the beginners in python programming and for those who like comics and get engaged better with comic captions and storyline, it does not explains each and every feature of python in depth but quite enough to get you started with python and make your python modules and publish them to pypi.
Will Johnson
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth the read if you're new to Python. I skipped the Android / Mobile sections since it took forever to even load the Android emulators. The book builds on itself so you do have to follow it linearly.
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of the book was great, but some of the tools that were used lated in the book are now outdated. I will be the first in line for the updated version of this book. It's time for another one.

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“code is read more than it’s written. This” 0 likes
“One such usage is the turtle module (which is also part of the standard library). To quote the Python docs: Turtle graphics is a popular way for introducing programming to kids. It was part of the original Logo programming language developed by Wally Feurzig and Seymour Papert in 1966. Programmers” 0 likes
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