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Head First Python

(Head First Series)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Ever wished you could learn Python from a book? Head First Python is a complete learning experience for Python that helps you learn the language through a unique method that goes beyond syntax and how-to manuals, helping you understand how to be a great Python programmer. You'll quickly learn the language's fundamentals, then move onto persistence, exception handling, web ...more
Paperback, 494 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  452 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Kees Dijk
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 lo
Tharindu Dissanayake
This is my very first book on Python, and on programming as well. Picked it up after seeing several web sites recommending this book as a good beginner book. When I was going through the introductory part of the book, I was a bit worried as it stated that a bit of knowledge in programming is expected, but it turned out not to be the case.

The content is very clear and prepared in a manner that is understood by all. I also loved the style of the book as well (since this is my first 'Head First') a
Mar 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
boring, Totally inappropriate examples, poor unlike other headfirst books
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 t
Apr 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: programming, python
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.) ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
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.
Erik Molnar
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
great book, but the sql commands do not work anymore. You will have to install an older version of mysql in order to follow along with this book. each chapter builds on the previous chapter, so you need this to work. i spent a ton of time trying to just get mysql working. be prepared to troubleshoot.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
the use of real-world examples was helpful, but it wasn't direct enough for me. ...more
Annika Brock
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
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). ...more
Moses Wong
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not very useful.
Hamza Mohammad  Khan
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
It is an ok book not the best not the worst.
Phil Simon
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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 basical
Vio Stix
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 deployi
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. ...more
Mik Vargas
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. I undoubtedly recommend to read it. It would be awesome if this has more about object oriented programming.
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! ...more
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found the flask part extra, deviates from proper python programming subject a bit.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Tianyao Chen
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech-books
Excellent Python book. It's not intended for absolute beginners. All the sections except the Flask part are worth reading:) ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really love head first python. It explains each concept of python in the simplest form possible. Paul Barry did a good job putting the book together.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 21, 2016 added it
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
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