Learning Python by Mark Lutz

One of the most complete books for learning how to program in Python.

learning python book mark lutz

The following is a review of the book Learning Python, 5th Edition by Mark Lutz.

Review of Learning Python:

Learning Python is an easy to follow and practical book that will teach anyone with basic programming knowledge all the main concepts of Python. Full of quizzes and exercises, this self-paced book will get you writing efficient and high-quality python code.

It is an extensive book, with more than 1600 pages, however, it covers everything you need to know about python: from its philosophy, virtues and data structures to Object oriented programming and exception handling. It also details many of the more advanced features of the language that can take your Python programming skills from average to master.

It also explains all the curiosities ans insights behind the syntax, detailing its origin, the way Python works, and what it does and how it works when it executes your code. It is also a wonderful text to have close by to freshen concepts or solve doubts. The contents of the book are described in the next section.

Contents of Learning Python:

mark lutz learning python free pdf

Part I. Getting Started:

  • Chapter 1: Python Q&A Session: this chapter introduces the Python programming language with its main features and characteristics, what Python is used for, and its main strengths.
  • Chapter 2: How Python Runs Programs: this chapter explains how Python is executed, discussing how the Python Interpreter works.
  • Chapter 3: How you run programs: how to use the command prompt to execute .py programs, libraries and modules, IDEs and other frameworks surrounding the language.
  • Chapter 4: Introducing Python Object types: Numbers with their different types, strings, lists, dictionaries, tuples, files, and other core types Python supports.
  • Chapter 5: Numeric types: In depth chapter about the different types of numeric variables that can be created in python, along with the different available operations.
  • Chapter 6: The Dynamic Typing Interlude.
  • Chapter 7: String Fundamentals.
  • Chapter 8: Lists and Dictionaries.
  • Chapter 9: Tuples, Files and Everything else.

This ends Part I, which is the most relevant for beginners. Part II is called Statements and Syntax, and it talks about loops, conditionals, iterations and comprehensions, functions and even generators and scopes. Everything you need to know to get your programs organised and running.

Part III speaks about the different modules and packages: what they are, how to import them, etc…

Part IV exploits the Object Oriented programming Python interfaces. It introduces POO, classes, and gives some cool examples and tips on how to do this to obtain the best results.

Part V introduces the reader to exceptions and tools, what they are used for and how to manage them.

Lastly, some advanced topics like decorators, metaclasses, and different encodings are covered.

You can find all the different chapters here:

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920028154.do

Summary of Learning Python:

It is a very extensive book that can serve beginners and experts alike, and that is why we recommend it to anybody who wants to get up and running in this programming language that is so relevant in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

The best things about this book are:

  • There are clear examples and the author goes in depth in all of them.
  • It is so full of information that I feel I learn more than expected.
  • Excellent to use as a reference as well.
  • It is one of the best sources to learn how things really work in python, not a tutorial, not a simple guide, but an in-depth killer book.
  • It has a good set of quiz questions and exercises.
  • It contains an insanely great value for your money.

The only bad thing we can say is that it is a really big book; from our point of view it could have been divided into two different tomes, but oh well, you get everything you need to be an expert in Python in a big block of pages.

After reading a book like this, you will be ready to tackle Machine Learning books and courses. Check them out here!

Learning Python by Mark Lutz

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Learning Python, 5th Edition
  • O'Reilly Media
  • Lutz, Mark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1648 Pages - 07/16/2013 (Publication Date) - O'Reilly Media (Publisher)

For more Python material check out our categories on Python books and Python Online Courses.

Additional online resources to learn elegant and awesome Python are:

Thanks for reading How to Learn Machine Learning and have a wonderful day!

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