Friday, July 5, 2013

[book review] Learning Python 5th Edition

This is a book review for Learning Python 5th Edition.

"Learning Python" was one of the books that helped me get started in Python and it continues the superb quality of books that OReilly 'Learning' series produces. It gives detail and clear explanation of different aspects of the language plus many bite size examples, with interactive prompt whenever possible. A notable difference from previous edition is that it spends considerable amount of pages comparing 2.x and 3.x, which is necessary for moving people into the Python 3.x space for sure. 

As someone who doesn't code for food and just using the language as an enabler, I frequently encounter colleagues and peers who wants recommendation as the first book for getting into the language. As a personal preference, this is 'not' the book I would recommend, perhaps the second or third book. Dont get me wrong, it is a good investment of your time, but if you are brand new to the language, you cant just read the first few chapters and start using the language. At 1600 pages, it doesn't get into Python statements (if/else, while) until almost 400 pages into the book. By comparison, the third edition was 752 pages and the latest edition of 'Learning Perl' was 390 pages. I appreciate nesting, duck typing, and Polymorphism as much as the next guy, but perhaps a bit top heavy for people similar to my background to begin with. 

Other than my small complain, this is a good overall value for your time and money. Cheers. 

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