ISBN: 9781565924642
Buy on O'Reilly
Found in 7 comments on Hacker News
mirceaulinic · 2018-08-18 · Original thread
I had prior experience with other programming / scripting languages, and picking Python up felt very natural.

I started with Mark Lutz's Learning Python ( about 10 years ago. In the meanwhile I've been an active contributor to large Python-based open source projects, e.g., Salt ( which not only that it helped me get feedback from people with a tremendous experience, but also reading through the code taught me good practices and many good ways to solve various problems. A few months ago I started reading Luciano Ramalho's Fluent Python ( which is just beautifully written and with a wide variety of topics for a deeper look inside Python internals.

CyberFonic · 2018-08-05 · Original thread
Python is an excellent first language to learn. Many universities around the world now use it as the language by which to introducing programming both for CS and non-CS students.

Depending on how you learn best, the following are 3 effective ways to learn:

From a book - one of the best books is Learning Python (

From videos - you could search YouTube for a trainer who communicates in a way that resonates for you.

By playing (and writing) games - PyGame is an excellent resource (

Well written Python programs are like structured English, so they are not that hard to read. Personally I would suggest PyGame as the most effectively way to learn, but it really is a personal taste and preferences thing.

Anyone have experience with either of these books

Programming Python


Learning Python

Not sure where I fall with these books in terms of skill and knowledge. Looking through the table of contents for Learning Python I recognize everything and know what they are, but don't have a great masterful grasp of most of the stuff but I am afraid too much of it will be stuff I already know. On the flip side, Programming Python might be too advanced for me.

EDIT Seems Programming Python is mainly geared towards Python 3.x but I'm still using 2.6.

mapleoin · 2012-02-01 · Original thread
I don't think that's a reasonable excuse. Mark Lutz's Learning Python does a very good comparison of a lot the features in the language as they are implemented in both python 2.6 and 3.x. That book was released in September 2009:

Edit: Actually, while reading one of the sample chapters it becomes apparent that this book is more of a general introduction to programming than a book about learning Python. I also noticed that there are a few notes sprinkled here and there about changes in python 3.0. So I withdraw my previous criticism.

Also: kudos for getting the SouthPark reference about the rectal probe in there :)

kroger · 2010-07-01 · Original thread
The (small) kindle reads PDF files, but usually the font is too small to read comfortably. With the new firmware upgrade one can resize pdfs, but I'm not sure if I want to read a programming book this way.

I think the best way is to convert the PDF to the Mobi format with the free mobipocket creator:

The conversion works pretty well and if you have patience you can even generate things like table of contents and proper metadata.

Edit: you may also know that oreilly sells an ebook "package" with books in the following formats: Android, Mobi, PDF, ePub. For example:

(I'm not affiliated with oreilly in any way)

icey · 2009-05-28 · Original thread
I would recommend Python as a first language. There are tons of users (which is very nice when you run into problems), and it's useful for all sorts of problem domains. is a good place to start.

(Or, if you aren't going to start learning in the immediate future, this is looking pretty promising: )

O'Reilly's "Learning Python" seems pretty decent too:

olifante · 2008-11-27 · Original thread
I used an older edition of O'Reilly's Learning Python and found it to be very accessible and well written -- I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned before:

O'Reilly's Programming Python is not bad, but it's not a great book, either for beginners or journeymen.

Python in a Nutshell is more suitable as reference book, although I suppose you could use it to learn Python. For a Python reference book, I found David Beazley's Python Essential Reference to be more informative and better organized:

As other people have mentioned, Guido's online tutorial is pretty good, and you don't really much else to start programming in Python:

I'm always puzzled by people recommending Mark Pilgrim's Dive into Python. I don't find it a good choice for Python beginners.

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.