Introduction to Python
By Jessica McKellar
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2014
Run time: 3 hours 27 minutes

Intrigued by Python? Learn how to get started with this popular language, whether you’re new to programming or just new to Python. This engaging video course teaches you Python’s core concepts and data types through hands-on exercises, and delivers fun and useful projects so you can put everything together.

With an emphasis on code readability, Python enables programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than you can with many other languages. Open source developer Jessica McKellar helps you discover what’s possible with Python and provides the foundation you need to begin writing programs of your own.

  • Set up a development environment with Python and a text editor
  • Explore basic data types such as integers, strings, lists, and dictionaries
  • Learn how looping lets you do lots of work with a little bit of code
  • Gain access to more functionality in Python with modules
  • Practice reading, writing, and running your first Python programs
  • Navigate the command line for writing larger programs
  • Write your own functions for encapsulating useful work
  • Use classes to group, name, and reuse functions and variables
  • Practice what you’ve learned with the state capitals quizzer and Scrabble cheater projects

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, take the next step with Steve Holden’s Intermediate Python video course.

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oreillyIntroduction to Python
 
5.0

(based on 8 reviews)

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  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (8)
  • Accurate (6)
  • Concise (6)
  • Helpful examples (6)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (8)
    • Student (6)
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      • Developer (5), Sys admin (4)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    5.0

    Neat introduction to core concepts

    By Uche

    from Milton Keynes, UK

    About Me Educator, Sys Admin

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

      A great series of videos, presented clearly and concisely, covering Python 3 programming basics. Would recommend to anyone learning how to program for the first time.

       
      5.0

      Good explanation about python basics

      By Alejandro Méndez

      from Zacatecas, México

      About Me Developer, Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

        Its all you need to start to learn Python. Good explanation and good examples for novices.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Jessica's speaking style is perfect!

        By LinuxHermit

        from Nashville, TN

        About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

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          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

          I really enjoyed watching this collection of videos, because Jessica does a great job of making everything seem so accessible. I also like that she focused on the language and not all the surrounding things (editors, terminals, etc) that many new programmers can get a bit lost on. The pacing of the videos felt perfect to follow along with.

           
          5.0

          Perfect for learning python

          By Geekcomputers

          from Essex, England

          About Me Sys Admin

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

            Personally I found this tutorial very useful, there are 19 individual videos. Each video is one chapter so to speak and they all teach a different section. They start at the very beginning by explaining what can be done with Python right up to example program that use all the basic programming concepts, loops, conditional statements, functions, reading/writing to files , etc.

            They are mostly around 15-20 in length so you can easily fit them in at some point and they are a good length so you concentrate through the whole video and not get easily distracted.

            I felt the pace of the videos were just about right, the explanation of the topics were perfect for an introduction video, and I found I had enough time to type of some examples while she was going through them.

             
            5.0

            Great Stuff!!!

            By Scott

            from New Zealand

            About Me Designer, Maker, Sys Admin

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

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              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

              I wanted to learn Python to use my new RaspberryPi and BeagleBone. I tried starting a project and using Google to bash my way through it but decided to get the basics sorted first.
              This course is very thorough and works through the language in a very logical way. Jessica is an excellent teacher and there was enough time for me to write the code at the same time without having to pause the video. Well done!!

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent Introduction to Python

              By Jon Guenther

              from Albuquerque, NM

              About Me Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

                WOWSER! Only way I can describe this video series. This is actually the first video series I've reviewed for O'Reilly and I'm glad for it. First, if you're looking for a solid introduction to Python and you have even a little programming experience, this would be the place to start. Not only does Miss McKellar have an easy, straightforward presentation style, she's put together an agenda that presents Python fundamentals in a natural order.

                The series begins with a gentle introduction to Python, what will be covered and environment setup, and then moves straight into the fundamentals of the language. Miss McKellar begins by discussing the data types in Python, showing each capability while emphasizing the aspects of Python's loose typing and the ability to reassign values to a data type.

                Next comes conditional logic with using for, if/elif/else statements, smartly followed by lists and looping, and wrapping up collections with a pretty slick little discussion of dictionaries. The videos are also tailored to move you toward building not one or two but FIVE separate applications that really do something.

                As to cons, I felt the supporting online materials were a bit on the spare side and I didn't think the coverage of modules did nearly enough justice to the topic, particularly when there were so many good uses to modules if looking at Python as a true OOP. The series could have also discussed the more useful functions in the Python language. For example, instead of all the extra code to remove an item from a list by referencing its index, or using only append to put an item into the end of a list, why not simply demonstrate the code by introducing functions like mylist.pop(2) to remove the third item, or mylist.insert(0, 'a-widget') to add an item to the beginning of the list. A few missed opportunities that I don't think would have been too advanced for beginners.

                All said, I cannot in good conscience give this anything less than my highest stamp of approval. Undoubtedly, a lot of thought went into getting viewers excited and I found myself digging into the language like no book has really yet been able to make me do. Absolutely a positive experience with this series and I look forward to perhaps reviewing more of O'Reilly's video series down the line. Happy coding!

                Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this video series in exchange for my review. However, my opinions and views about its content are based solely on my extensive experience as a professional programmer.

                 
                5.0

                Straightforward and easy to follow

                By Roxam

                from San Francisco, CA

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                Pros

                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice

                  Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

                  I loved this tutorial! After trying several, this one was the one that really got me going with Python. Jessica's style is fast-paced, but easy to follow and the exercises were perfect building blocks for each step.

                  As someone who is transitioning from another language to Python, this was the right speed for me (I did skip a few things). Not sure how a complete novice would do, but I'm guessing it would be good.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  An excellent intro to Python

                  By Simon Cropper

                  from Melbourne Australia

                  About Me Developer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Concise
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Presented Well

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Novice
                    • Student

                    Comments about oreilly Introduction to Python:

                    The video series 'Introduction to Python' by Jessica McKellar (published by O'Reilly Media Inc) is a well-paced course on basic Python constructs and on how to create simple command line programs using Python.

                    I felt the timing and flow of the content was quite good and very easy to follow in this introductory series. The presenter, Jessica McKellar, regularly re-enforces earlier topics and allows enough time for the reader to evaluate what has been said before proceeding -- you can tell she regularly tutors people new to Python and programming.

                    I would feel quite comfortable in recommending this excellent video series to anyone interested in learning to program with Python. As this matches the presumed targeted audience (based on the title) I have no problem scoring this resource 5 out of 5.

                    A point worth mentioning for people considering purchasing this series is that the videos, at present, only come in MP4 format. I found that I could watch the videos on my desktop (Ubuntu 13.10) and phone (Android 4.4.2) but not on my tablet (Android 4.0.4). If you only have one device available then you may wish to download the first few videos that are provided for free to see if your software can read the files. Hopefully O'Reilly will consider providing videos in multiple formats in the future (like they do with the eBooks) to avoid excluding potential viewers. I did also note that in some videos the audio went out of sync in a number of spots depending on which program you viewed the video with (and presumably the codecs they rely on).

                    Although not detracting from the content it is worth noting that the videos contain a few silly errors or typos. They are listed here for thoroughness but really do not have any significant impact on the course except to give the impression that the videos were not reviewed by a copy-editor before publication.

                    >>> The slide introducing Chapter 4 misspelt the word 'compound'
                    >>> The presenter refers to the three chevrons used to represent the Python prompt as carets
                    >>> Code presented and run in Chapter 16 on 'Word Play' (time stamp 11:28 minutes) should not run as the return command is not indented correctly but does run. When the presenter returns to the program file after reviewing the output the error has been miraculously corrected.
                    >>> In Chapter 17 when creating a casino program using classes, the presenter creates a list of potential playing cards -- her deck contains both a Number 1 card and an Ace (Time Stamp 18:04 minutes). I imagine the Gaming Commission would have something to say about a 56 card pack!

                    My only other comment is related more to presentation style. The video series shows the presenter quite often throughout the series. I quite like this approach but found Jessica tended to review her notes quite regularly while on camera meaning she was looking down rather than at the viewer, which significantly reduced the impact of the face-to-face one-to-one experience that I think the video series has going for it.

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