Chapter List

Chapter 1: Introducing Python

Chapter 2: Getting your Hands on the Keyboard—Using Help, Interactive Mode, and

Chapter 3: Basic Elements and Syntax Chapter 4: Grand Tour of the Python Language Chapter 5: Working Like a Programmer

The 5th Wave By Rich Tennant

"The engineers lived on Jolt and cheese sticks putting this products together, but if you wanted to just 'cola and cheese sticks' in the Users Documentation, that's okay too. We're pretty loose around here."

You get an overview of the Python programming language, an introduction to its interactive and developer environment, and a walkthrough of the building blocks that make up Python programs.


Chapter 1 describes the history of Python and all the exciting things it's being used for today. You find out why computers are both the fastest and dumbest things around. Best of all, you discover why it's called Python anyway.

Chapter 2 lets you talk to Python via its interactive mode and IDLE environment. You write a few basic programs and find out how to get Python to carry out commands for you, how to get Python to tell you things, and how to import tools that let you do even more.

Chapter 3 introduces you to Python's data types and code blocks, the chunks you use to build programs.

Chapter 4 shows you a working program. You see how all the chunks of a Python program talk to each other, and you find out something about the design philosophies behind Python programs.

Chapter 5 lets you try on a programmer's hat to understand how programmers work and why they make the design decisions they do. (Unfortunately, it doesn't explain the relevance of caffeinated sodas to this process—you'll have to figure that out for yourself.) There's also a very useful section on strategies for debugging programs, which is a huge part of every programmer's job.

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