Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming

by: Eric Matthes (0)

The best-selling Python book in the world, with over 1 million copies sold!  
A fast-paced, no-nonsense, updated guide to programming in Python.


If you've been thinking about learning how to code or picking up Python, this internationally bestselling guide to the most popular programming language is your quickest, easiest way to get started and go! Even if you have no experience whatsoever,
Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition, will have you writing programs, solving problems, building computer games, and creating data visualizations in no time.

You’ll begin with basic concepts like variables, lists, classes, and loops—with the help of fun skill-strengthening exercises for every topic—then move on to making interactive programs and best practices for testing your code. Later chapters put your new knowledge into play with three cool projects: a 2D Space Invaders-style arcade game, a set of responsive data visualizations you’ll build with Python's handy libraries (Pygame, Matplotlib, Plotly, Django), and a customized web app you can deploy online.

Why wait any longer? Start your engine and code!

The Quotes

The pop() method removes the last item in a list, but it lets you work with that item after removing it.

In Python, square brackets ([]) indicate a list, and individual elements in the list are separated by commas.

If you only know the value of the item you want to remove, you can use the remove() method.

The Reviews

Have had this for one day and the cover is already coming off. Nothing a little glue won’t fix, and that’s the downside of paperbacks that you have to put weight on to keep closed, in my opinion.BUT the inner content is well worth it. I’ve been wanting to learn programming for years but have often gone away discouraged because the tutorials and teachers randomly start throwing complicated problems at you out of nowhere.Not so with this book. It eases you into each topic, breaks it down very clearly, and has exercises throughout that you can follow along with. Make sure you follow along! There are specific exercises throughout, but I highly recommend typing out the example code and playing around with it/experimenting on your own as well. Then by the time you get to the exercises you’ll have a good idea about how to approach it.STICK WITH IT! I decided I wanted to learn to program 10 years ago! I would start for a week and then quit when it got too complicated and felt overwhelming. Then I’d come back to it a few years later, and same thing. Then it hit me one day, “If I had pushed through the first time and been patient, I’d have 10 years of experience as a programmer right now. Do I want to look back in another 10 years and feel that way again? Or do I want to push through this time so in 10 years I’ll actually have the experience under my belt!?”Easy answer!Stick with it. Be patient with yourself if things get too complicated or you “feel too dumb” to get it. If you hit a block, go back a few pages and go through it again. Everyone is selling “learn ____ quick!” books these days. It’s a good way to get random chunks of knowledge but a terrible way to master it. So be patient!And get this book. :). It makes things very simple to understand and really holds your hand through everything.

Just finished the book and followed the code all way, even did some of the "Try this yourself" exercises. Very well organized. 6 stars on that. Code in the book was accurate and worked as expected. I didn't just try the code from the resource web site. I actually typed in every line from the book and made it all the way to deployment. (Quite an accomplishment, I say. :-)).Only one gripe - see pictures attached. After 3 weeks of ownership, the book lost its clothing. :-(I wonder if Mr Matthes will send me an autographed copy to replace my sad, broken, copy? :-)

Let me preface this review by saying that I have zero programming experience. I'm only four chapters into the book and I gotta say - Python is finally making sense to me! I've tried reading "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python" and I have no doubt that it's a good book. However, for me, it was not a good starting point and I found myself lost trying to read through the first few chapters - maybe I'll re-read "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python" afterwards after I finish "Python Crash Course". I'll do a follow-up review of this book when I'm done, but that won't be for a while; I'm going at my own pace and ensuring that I understand each topic and lesson. This book is worth the money if you want to learn Python!

What is good about it? It teaches you the basics of Python But it does not have any advanced materials inside. Evey little example is well explained. It has a lot of examples are presented. It also asked readers to do exercises after concept.However, I wish it comes with an answer for those after chapter exercises. Otherwise, it becomes meaningless because you won't know if you got it or not. Overall, well explained but somewhat too much explanation. Thus, this might be good for people who do not have any programming skill. Also, words are simple and straightforward.Update: Thanks to the author reply, there are solutions online. But I still think it explained things too much. Thus, costed too much reading for a simple concept.

For all who want to compare the 1st to the 2nd edition, here the Preface to the Second Edition.

I have taken many online course for python, however, as a beginner in the software development, I could not comprehend. This book guided me step by step to understand and apply various python concepts. Additionally, it has some exercises that you have to do in order to solidify you understanding. All answers are available online in case you got stuck.

I was recommended this book by my computer science professor for a C++ class. I wanted to learn python on my own and I can say, it's a very easy book to follow, especially compared to C++. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn python l.

The contents of the book are better than its manufactured quality. Sadly, less than a week after receiving it, the cover came free of the rest of the book. It was apparently only held on by two narrow strips of glue on the first and last pages, and no glue holding it to the actual spine!The book contents itself are pretty good, but it does stay fairly simple. I bought the book because of the format of the examples, with code, point by point descriptions of the code elements, and then the output. Some of the examples don't go very deep. I was looking at loop iterations, and the book really only covered using them with a print statement, though I was hoping for how to set variables and perform calculations according to current list value.

Should put FULL cost $200 plus Canadian and tell people it is a piss poor Product ! Received call on Feb8 from Company;Aplogized for condition,told me I was overcharged by Shipper-Fed-EX rebated me $100 and sending a new Product!! I cannot believe the Service and I did NOT need the rebate ;however,they were giong to rebate me .I received the rebate the next day and my new leveller is enroute .That is beyond Customer Service

Best value I found, item was missing long nut and bolt when delivered. Company couriered out part immediately. Highly recommend

Has a weak point where the handle threads in, broke first time I used it.

My goto jacket that's kept me cycling through record breaking low temps in Massachusetts. Cut well so when you're moving about the jacket isn't riding up or needing adjustment. I wear a thermal long sleeve shirt underneath and that's all That's needed for temps down to 20f. Stands up to 3 hours in sub zero temps.

I was sceptical when I purchased this jacket because I DON'T cycle, I jog outside..... THIS JACKET kept me warm in 36 degree temps, philadelphia is having a COLD SPELL !! This jacket works... Keeps the body warm & I did'nt feel the COLD WIND !!!

Nice jacket but have to return because it is too small. I have a 44" chest and 37 waist, and although my stomach sticks out a bit, I'm by no means fat; 5'10 and 197 lbs. I normally wear an XL shirt/jacket. I looked at all the info provided and saw the details indicated order 1 - 2 sizes larger. The largest they had and/or make was an XXL, which says it will fit a 46+ chest. Wrong. This jacket will not fit a 44" chest and 37" waist. The XXL was uncomfortably tight in the chest and shoulders and so small at the bottom/waist that it was very difficult to zip. If you normally wear an XL, order a different brand because the XXL will still be way too small.

Exactly what I was looking for. Fits snugly as it should for cycling. Good chest and neck wind protection with breathable arms. Front and rear pockets nice to have. Great price.SIZING ADVICE —I’m 5’11”, 177 lbs, 34” waist. XL was a custom fit for my frame with a base layer. Arm length just a little short. See photo

These jackets definitely run small. I'm 5'8, 165lbs with a 34 inch waist and the XL fit me like a Medium. The sleeves are a little long on me and bunch up at the wrist but overall a good fit and durable material that seems like it will last.

It can be quite confusing sizing garments from the far east. On many occasions you are told to take at least one size larger than your normal. However, in this case I did not and ordered a medium (I am 5'10" and 155lbs) and apart from a slighly tight waist band it fits perfectly. Any larger and it would have been very loose at the neck. My only concern was that the garment had a small stain on the right chest on arrival hence the reason for only 4 stars. As I liked the garment I simply removed the stain (delicately) and I am happy with it's performance to date

Just got it in! I'll update when I have worn it at varying temperatures, including any layering that I used underneath it, since I do a bike work commute 5 days a week. But for now, it has a nice strong feel to it, and the color (orange) is INCREDIBLE. It looks so nice! And it'll make it easier for drivers to see me when biking at night. The biggest thing I like is how the majority of it is windproof and warm.A lot of "winter" cycling jackets have huge areas of the jacket that is not thermal/windproof, mainly the back area. I understand the reasoning for it, so the sweat has a place to go but when you're cycling in truly winter temperatures, meaning single digits and even less with windchill, that huge back panel is going to make you feel so cold, and I'm trying to avoid wearing my big chunky coat since it tends to make me overheat and sweat more than what I should.I would like to just wear windproof thermal jacket (with 2 layers underneath not including the baselayer) with a relatively lite windbreaker jacket over for those single digit commutes and I'm hoping this jacket will be that third layer. I do wish the arm areas had less breathable area but considered the other thermal jersey and jacket are the opposite I'm sure it'll work out.I'm also really glad I ordered a size up. Normally I'm a medium, for one of the cycling brands I'm actually a small, but for this one, ordering a size up is perfect as it allows me to layer underneath. Like I said, I'll update this some more as I try it at varying temperatures!UPDATE: I've now used this in 16 degree temperatures Fahrenheit, not factoring in windchill and it worked wonders! The first time around I wore a thermal baselayer, a jersey, a jacket, this jacket, and my windbreaker. Obviously it was too much and I overheated. (I'm new to winter cycling so I'm learning as I go.) The second time, which was tonight, I wore the thermal baselayer, jersey, this jacket, and the windbreaker and it did great!I probably could have not wore the windbreaker and just stuck with the three layers as this jacket is just incredible. I also get a lot of compliments walking into work with this on and putting it on as I'm leaving. It really is a beautiful looking jacket! Well worth the money.LAST UPDATE: I've worn a thermal baselayer, a thermal jersery, and this jacket in 22F weather and it was ideal. When I got to work, I was barely sweating which is what you want. The neck hole is pretty large but when temperatures reach the teens and singles, I use a decently thick balaclava hood, so it works out. Definitely recommend wearing a scarf or something to make it look less odd and to prevent cold air from seeping in. I really love this jacket.

Just finished the book and followed the code all way, even did some of the "Try this yourself" exercises. Very well organized. 6 stars on that. Code in the book was accurate and worked as expected. I didn't just try the code from the resource web site. I actually typed in every line from the book and made it all the way to deployment. (Quite an accomplishment, I say. :-)).Only one gripe - see pictures attached. After 3 weeks of ownership, the book lost its clothing. :-(I wonder if Mr Matthes will send me an autographed copy to replace my sad, broken, copy? :-)

For all who want to compare the 1st to the 2nd edition, here the Preface to the Second Edition.

For context: I'm a web developer and programmer with ~15 years of experience reading this book to get up-to-speed on Python. So my brain might be filling in some things that other people miss. However this book seems very straightforward and easy-to-read with lots of examples and written descriptions which explain what the code does and why. I'm about halfway through so far, and covering topics that I'm familiar with in other languages.

I have read about 150 pages so far and am very pleased with "Python Crash Course". Organization is great in that subjects are introduced in a logical order. Instructions are clear and explanations are concise. The exercises are peppered throughout and allow you to practice what you've just read. At first I thought they were too repetitive but soon realized repetition is advantageous to imprinting new procedures on my brain.

all you need is this book and a computer and you will be on your way to learning Python code. it’s up to date AND totally worth the investment considering what Python code can earn you.

This book was great. We used it for a 1 semester intro to programming course with high school students.The only issue was that I tried to cram both the main content and one of the extra projects at the end all into one semester, which was too much.There are a couple chapters that cover more than one topic that really should be broken up into individual weeks.We're still going to use the book, but do it over an entire year, and use some supplemental No Starch Press Python books to fill the extra weeks.NOTE: The one area that this book doesn't cover is creating GUI interfaces. So we will use other sources for that at the end of this book in the future.ALSO: Student all had VERY strong praise for this book. Well written and well designed.

I think this book is a decent read for those who are starting out as programmers and this is their first language. But for someone like me who has taken a few programming courses, I did not enjoy it as it is a lengthy read. I would have been fine with doing a quick online course. I think I would have preferred, "Automate the Boring Stuff With Python," rather than this one.

Layout is great and I really liked the online helps .I would like to see the book supplemented with a searchable digital copy also.Maybe it has one and I just missed it in the resource page .Author has a great view of the world and how to use Python !!!!

This is a great introductory programming book that starts with the basics and teaches about variables, lists, dictionaries, classes, and many other topics. The author explains each concept thoroughly which makes it very easy to understand. After introducing a concept, the book has exercises that test your understanding to ensure that you fully understand the content. Unlike some other books, the author provides solutions to all the exercises on his website. After teaching the basics, you work through a game, data visualization, and designing a website. In essence, this is a great and affordable book for those with little to no experience to learn how to program in python.

Heard a lot of good things about this book, finally decided to buy it! Came fast and I’m great condition.

This is a super comfortable show that gives a small lift but not enough to cause you to be off balance. It has room at the toes where I find a lot of Converse are uncomfortable at the toes and I was worried with the little lift it would pinch toes but it doesn’t. They are wearing quite well, and like other Chuck Taylors I own, the white trim clean super easy so it looks pretty new with very little cleaning.

Love the sneakers, but they run 1/2 size larger. Got the replacement smaller size and they’re amazing!!! I bought another pair before they sell out!

Love these!!! The only thing is the rubber sole gets dirty quickly. I clean them after every use.

Perfect fit. My daughter loves them and they look good 👍

Fit Great. Been wanting these for a while and with the good price of amazon goods and having prime I was able to get these quick and efficiently.

Fits great & they're comfortable. Even got a free baby

I love love LOVE these so much

My daughter loves them

The bad first; I had to get a replacement book. NOT because of shipping issues, because the back cover was smaller than the pages. The pages overlapped the back cover and the pages were getting hit on every surface I sat the book on. The replacement came in and it's beat up as well, which could have been shipping. At least the pages are fine. Since that's not the content I can't take away stars for a quality assurance issue.The good; the book starts out as if you have no prior programming experience. Intermediate programmers this may not be the primer you're seeking. It's very high level, no real granularity to get you in the ground programming.The odd; the author pushes the use of Sublime Text and then bounces from terminal to editor. The editor isn't an issue, but it's not free, it just contains an untimed trial. A license is $99(that's USD) which isn't worth it for a hobbyist. I'm not going to push off an editor or IDE, but there are dare I say better alternatives.The WTH; I had seen reviews talking about politics 🙄 the two hyperlinks given at the beginning of the book are the authors github and the publishers website. Can't we grow up, if someone has a different view than you does that change the content? We can have different opinions and still like each other. The content is fine.TL;DR: be careful book may arrive damaged. The content is great for the ABSOLUTE BEGINNER. I have yet to see the political views that some people are leaving poor reviews for.

The programming concepts are very clear. Which are illustrated with good examples.Also, the projects are very useful and practical. A good starting point for any programmer.I use this book to teacher intro computer science.

Easy to understand and it has great projects!

Easy to assemble and looks cute

Very easy to assemble but not as sturdy

This book opens the door for many to learn and understand Python programing. I am a self-taught basic, C, and a few other programming languages and now Python. Love it.

I haven't had time to sit down with this book other than a precursory glance through the chapters. Looks to be a decent reference and textbook.

So far I've only made it to "for loops" chapter 4; but I think this is a really good book. I had an online class from a local University and this book has covered somethings that the class did not. Not that what the book covered and the class didn't has been major; but is interesting that only having reached chapter 4 in the book that there are things the class left out. So far the biggest change between this book and the class I took is that the book does a much better job of explaining for loops. I even watched a video on Youtube to teach you Python with no experience and even that did not do as good a job of explaining why a for loop is written the way it is. Being that the class I took was online and was one of those classes done in half the time (warp speed) I didn't bother to ask why a for loop is written the way it is I just wrote it and followed the class examples (and yes I passed the class with an A but Python is not my first programming language). I feel way more confident in learning Python after the book did such a good job of explaining for loops that as I continue with the book I believe it will explain things better then the class I took or the video I watched. On a side note the class I took, as all college classes I have taken do, required a book and that book just didn't do a good job of explaining for loops (go figure). You might be wondering why am I using this book if I took an online class and the answer is it has been awhile since I took that class so I need a refresher. Also the college that I took that class from doesn't offer another a following Python class to take unless you sign up for a degree program (and I already have a degree I just want to become proficient in Python). I would recommend that if you want to learn Python to use in a job to take at least one class from a college or another way to get proof that you learned Python other than studying it on your own. Also another reason to learn from a book with no class attached to it is you can learn at your own pace. Now I could learn from the book that I bought for the college course since the class only went so far into the book; but I just didn't find that book to be very well written and full of information one doesn't really need to learn how to program with Python. I feel like a "college" course book has a lot of bloat while a book like this one is more straight forward. A book like this one survives and sells or not because it is good etc while a college course book is chosen by the teacher or school regardless of the reviews it got. So after this extremely long review I would recommend this book; but I think one does need something (a class, certificate etc) to show proof that one has at least some Python knowledge outside of ones own studying.

I used this to learn Python and I had great success. Sometimes you need to search online to expand your knowledge about a specific topic but overall a great well written book.

Bought this book (actual paper copy and no I didn't have any issues with the binding) in July to prepare for an intro to python course for school that started in Aug. I got through the book in about 6 weeks (balancing work and personal life) and it is totally do-able. This book prepared me for the basics that were covered in class and allowed me to think outside the box when it came to discussions. The book truly gave me the confidence that I believe I would have not had otherwise. You do not need to know any fancy terminology or have ANY idea on how to create a programming environment. The book guides you through the entire process (creating a programming environment, downloading packages, etc) and you can find the solutions to the problems online, the author gives you the URL to the github site so you can check your work. There is an online Python subreddit that the author checks and will respond to your PCC questions as well.$20 or so dollars, totally worth it!

Brand new

Clear explanations. Excellent TOC and Index. Go to more specialized books for GUI interfaces or panda.

I got this book to compliment a class that I was taking and it was a great companion. It’s easy to follow for somebody with little to zero coding experience and it offers easy to follow exercises along the way to help you catch on to the fundamentals. I would recommend this to anybody starting out in Python. I plan on getting more from the series.

Excellent product. No complaints. Even able to hold my Moto G Plus.

I am as beginner level as you can be and this book has propelled me in my Python journey.

Terrific start in learning python. Many concepts are easy to understand with no need of previous knowlege needed. Only knock on it is that some explanations didn’t go into too much detail so I had to search it up on google to understand. Other than that great book!

I really like this book and it's nice vs learning everything through online tutorials.

I like it thx

I learned a lot about python from this book. The author clearly explained each topic, followed by real-life examples.

I’ve approached python several times, with varying levels of commitment. This is the first text I’ve encountered that threads the needle between being comprehensive and approachable. I’ve been completely absorbed for over a week, and am getting excited about testing out what I’ve learned with some more advanced books in the No Starch series. Highly recommended!

I like the simplicity of the text and explanation of the author to understand easily. The other free sources like pdf, cheat sheet and much more resources which were provided in the website are very useful.

I have already done some learning on python through some online courses, and this book is an amazing supplement that even went into better detail then my online class! Can’t recommend it enough. This book will really help you. It is very easy and simple to follow.

I only finished the first section so far, but I love this book enough to leave a five star review. It explains all concepts simply, but with just enough details to not overload you. Hope im not missing out on much by purchasing the 2nd edition and not the 3rd.

This book gave me functional Python3 knowledge after about a month of studying and following along. I’ve not yet finished the projects but look forward to doing so. The author is great at explaining concepts and does it in a very well thought out order. The practice problems are just independent enough to be challenging and it does not at all feel like your hand is being held the whole time. Be advised, there is a 3rd edition of this book out now. Not much of a difference but this is not the latest edition anymore.

I have a background in coding and when I started this book it frustrated me because I had to re-learn everything. However, my child started learning Python and quickly started to create graphics and learn coding, in some ways surpassing me.When I had questions the author responded to my emails (I am fairly certain its annoying to get them) and the author has always been civil. He isn't rude nor does he put me down. Most of the time he simply answers my quetions or points me to some sort of forum or website that has the information I need. (Thank you Eric)This book is clearly written by a teacher who wants to teach. Trust the process and keep at it, you will find yourself suddenly halfway through the book and trying to decide what project to do for the rest of the book. This is not a book for people who don't want to think, every step is clearly laid out and if you need to look back the answers are fairly simple to find. But remember, its not a funny ha ha book, its written to teach you and to do so throughly.Highly recommed as a 5 star book because the process works and the author is willing to reply to emails.

works well

Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming
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