Intermediate Python
Practical Techniques for Deeper Skill Development
By Steve Holden
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2014
Run time: 6 hours 26 minutes

Go beyond Python basics and learn the coding techniques you need to take your applications to the next level. In this instructive video course, Python expert Steve Holden takes you deeper into the language’s idiosyncrasies, as well as data access and storage, libraries for scientific computing, IDEs, and many other useful tools.

Picking up where Jessica McKellar’s Introduction to Python video course leaves off, Intermediate Python starts by introducing you to IPython Notebook, the web-based interactive computational environment that serves as a key tool throughout this presentation. You’ll then dive into an array of topics, including:

  • Functions: return values, arguments, decorators, and the function API
  • Comprehensions, generator functions, and generator expressions
  • Understanding the import system and namespace relationships
  • Using the Python DB API to query and maintain relational data, and JSON to extract data from the Web
  • The NumPy, SciPy, and Matplotlib libraries for numerical and analytical computing
  • An introduction to unit testing with unit test
  • Deeper understanding of Unicode, with explanations of encoding and decoding techniques and the relationship between byte strings and text
  • An introduction to textual analysis using regular expressions
  • Information sources for documentation, further research, and coding style considerations
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oreillyIntermediate Python
 
2.3

(based on 3 reviews)

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1.0

Cannot follow.

By brianlg

from Ohio

Pros

    Cons

    • Difficult to understand
    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

      Comments about oreilly Intermediate Python:

      what is this man talking about?
      Terrible job introducing the class..
      Why not walk us through installing/setting up ipython notebooks?

      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      For Visual Learners

      By Eric Chou

      from Seattle, WA

      About Me Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Intermediate Python:

        I think people would agree that nothing beats practice when it comes to learning. This is especially true for learning how to code. If you are a visual learner who wants to move beyond the basics of Python, this product could be a good choice for you. I used this as a supplement to the already rich learning contents on Python.

        Personally, I feel the best part about the series is that you can follow along with visual learning with the IPython notebook file the author made available. This provides an interactive experience that you can take offline. The video will show you would expect to see, and the ready-made notebook will eliminate some of the common mistakes you might make if you were to just type out the code yourself.

        Bottom line is nothing beats practice, and if you are a visual learner this would be a good resource for you.

        (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        lessons lack context and connectivity

        By Simon Cropper

        from Melbourne Australia

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Lacks Context
          • Repetitive

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly Intermediate Python:

            This is the second installment in the video series on Python programming released by O'Reilly Media. The course 'Intermediate Python - Practical Techniques for Deeper Skill Development' is presented by Steve Holden, an experienced programmer with 20+ years experience in Python programming. The course is aimed at programmers that "know some Python but not too much" and who "want to increase" their "level of competence and broaden the range of tasks" that they "can undertake" (cf. Video 2).

            Unlike the previous video series by Jessica McKellar, there is no thread between lessons. None of the topics explored in the 32 videos/chapters are connected except in that they are topics relating to Python. The series consists of 25 core videos, 2 introductory videos, 1 video dedicated to closing the course, 1 video on how to use the Internet to search for Python-related code or help files; and 3 extraneous videos (1 about a poem, 1 on a cartoon series and the other on the import-this module).

            Of the 25 core videos I felt only 11 were satisfactory; most were poorly presented and repetitive. In my opinion the entire video series would have been better presented as a book with explanatory text. Using videos to work through a list of examples of how certain functions or methods work is both ineffective and tedious. The series would have done better to show how these functions and methods could be used in a number of simple programs, providing context and connectivity between lessons.

            In summary, I do not believe that the video series achieves it's stated objective of broadening the "range of tasks" the reader would be able to undertake. The video series is just a random set of facts and techniques presented out of context. If you don't understand when particular techniques should be used you will not get much from the overviews provided. I am finding it hard to justify more than 2 out of 5 for this video series and would not recommend it to a friend.

            Some technical points worth noting are listed here for thoroughness:

            > Chapter 2 introduces iPython as Steve's preferred console but neglects to explain to the viewer how to get the HTML console installed and working on their machine. Steve also discusses the GitHub repository for the course's notebooks but again neglects to explain to the user how this repository can be cloned. Considering the skill level of the target audience this information should be provided.

            > In Chapter 12, Steve when discussing sqlite's use of SQL states that it "leaves a little bit to be desired" but is "perfectly good for practice" (cf. 3:14). I personally have a problem with such derogatory statements that are not supported by suitably authoritative evidence.

            > In Chapter 20 the video stops before Steve has finished speaking.

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