Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner Reviews

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3 comments

  1. 9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Easy to follow, but not so great for Mac Users, 15 April 2013
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    This review is from: Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner (Paperback)
    I have only gone through the first few chapters, but the book seems well written and easy to follow for people who don't know much about computers.

    However there are some problems with it. One major one is specific to Mac users. This book is written for people using a PC and using Python version 3. The biggest problem with this is that Macs come with Python version 2 built in and some of the commands used differ between versions. As an example this caused an error in the very first practice exercise, which lead to me having to trawl the net for solutions (not so simple for a beginner). There are also some apparent differences in how python programs are run between pcs and Macs and this is not really covered. It could be made clearer for buyers what operating system this book is geared towards.

    The second problem is that the online supplementary material (e.g. code for the different practice programs), advertised on the front cover, is apparently no longer available, at least using the link given in the book.

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  2. 51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great for a beginner, 1 Sept. 2011
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    This review is from: Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner (Paperback)
    I bought this book knowing absolutely nothing about programming. It begins at the very start, with the basics and explains the concept of everything you learn. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it has been great. It does have a website paired with it, that I thought was a little tricky to navigate, but that is only necissary in downloading python. Even then, you can also go to the python website as well(Which the book clearly explains). It has lots of entertaining programs to write, and includes the code in the book. For example, you start with the simple 'Game Over' program, and go on to Hangman, The Useless Trivia Program and even the three-year-old simulator! There is code for these on the website, but I find it more enjoyable to type it into the computer from the book. Like this you can see how it works, and add or change bits if you want. At the end of each chapter is a set of challenges which you can undertake. They vary, but usually include skills from the chapter. I have noticed that it seems to have a focus on game design and programming.

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  3. 64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    GCSE Computing, 26 May 2012
    By 
    Nico (Spain) -

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    This review is from: Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner (Paperback)
    This is an excellent book!

    I am a teacher with some programming experience and am in the process of setting up a new course, for my school, OCR GCSE Computing. I needed a computer language that was easy for teenagers to learn, cross-plaform (so it can run on Macs & Windows PCs), modern with the ability to introduce object orientated programming and to lead on to other languages such as Java. I have taught Java via the excellent BlueJ IDE and the wonderful book, "Objects First with Java: A Practical Introduction Using BlueJ", but this is a bit advanced for 14 / 15 year olds. I did consider using "Greenfoot" with another great book - "Introduction to Programming with Greenfoot: Object-Oriented Programming in Java with Games and Simulations (Alternative Etext Formats), but the OCR course needs more basic introduction to loops, if statements, and arrays and doesn't strictly need objects. As for Visual Basic - well too much fiddling with interface objects, not enough "pure" programming and besides not cross- platform. So I chose Python.

    Next step was to choose a tutorial style textbook, with lots of worked examples, exercises to test the students, a fun learning curve, basics and fundamental concepts explained, practically based and with lots of code to play with. I chose "Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner." I chose well, very well!

    This book does everything I wanted it to do. Chapters 1 to 7 cover all the programming requirements of the course. The teaching method of building up programming via coding simple games is great. The end of chapter challenges are just about right and some are quite challenging! Any bright and motivated students can easily move on to the rest of the book which introduces Object Orientated Programming. With this book under their belt they will be very good programmers. If they need or want to switch to Java, no problem - The concepts are very similar.

    I did have trouble, initially, trying to download the code examples from the publisher, but went straight to author's site - [...] - and no problem.

    So if you want to learn Python yourself, as an absolute beginner, and / or teach Python to absolute beginners this is the book for you and your students. Do not hesitate - buy it. (Oh do get the most recent edition - mine is the 3rd edition - as it is written for Python 3 which is the most up to date version of Python.)

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