A Noteworthy Book for Learning Python 3.X – #bookreview

Python Crash Course

A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming

Eric Matthes

No Starch Press

Python has long been considered a programming language for beginners, a gentle steppingstone to other, more challenging languages such as JavaScript, Java or C++.

But, in 2018, a Stack Overflow survey found that Python apparently has become the world’s fastest-growing programming language in popularity. Some surveys have even ranked it in the top five, and up to number two, behind JavaScript. (You are free to question the accuracy of the various surveys, but Python has become a lot more popular in the past few years.)

Why? The rapid growth of data science has much to do with it. Many college students studying data science now must learn how to work with Python. Meanwhile, numerous companies employ data scientists to extract, analyze, interpret, and display data, using Python and statistical and machine learning techniques. Python is an important tool in some web development projects. And, author Eric Matthes points out, “Python is also used heavily in scientific fields for academic research and applied work.”

If you are wanting to learn Python, definitely check out Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition . Matthes’s updated book (released in May 2019) is a well-written, well-structured how-to guide, significantly revised in its latest release to focus on Python 3,X. (Python 3.7.2 is used in the code examples.)

The book is organized into two main parts: the basics and projects. In part one, the author provides extensive coverage of basic programming concepts using Python, including how to test code. Using numerous code examples, he dwells at helpful length on lists, if statements, dictionaries, user input, while loops, functions, classes, files, exceptions, plus other topics. In part two, the reader is offered three different programming projects, including a video game, a data visualization project, and a Web application that uses the Django framework.

Given Python’s burgeoning popularity, Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition is a good book to have on hand even if you already work with other programming languages.

Si Dunn


  • Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, photojournalist, and book reviewer. His published books include: DARK SIGNALS, a Vietnam War memoir; ERWIN'S LAW, a private-detective novel; and JUMP, a novella about a combat veteran suffering from PTSD and alienation while trying to work for newspapers as a journalist. Several of his feature screenplays recently were under option to movie producers. He spent nearly 15 years working as a technical writer and software tester in the telecommunications industry. His current programming interests include Go, JavaScript, Python, R, Angular, and other languages and frameworks. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of North Texas.

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