Intermediate Python Programming
Tools and Tips for Developers
By Jessica McKellar
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2015
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
 
3.0

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

57%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (4), Sys admin (3)

Reviewed by 7 customers

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1.0

Not Up To O'Reilly's standards

By Brian

from Boston MA

About Me Developer, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly Intermediate Python:

        There is no coverage of the course requirements or expectations. You'll quickly find yourself having to stop and research the installation, configuration and usage of ipython and nbviewer - items that are relevant to the instructor's presentation, but hardly germane to the Python programming language at any level.

        The instructor's segue between topics leaves a bit to be desired. It is a bit like thumbing thru a dictionary.

        In my opinion, I think they should have let Jessica McKellar do the follow up to the excellent Intro to Python.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        A very good reference guide

        By Marc

        from London

        About Me Designer, Developer

        Pros

        • Accurate

        Cons

        • Difficult to understand

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Intermediate Python:

        I bought this series after using python only for 2 months. At the time it was far too abstract. In all honesty, I wasn't ready for it. I wouldn't recommend using this straight after Jessica's introduction. Practice for at least another 200-300 hours.

        This is not a cookbook or a how to guide. It discusses concepts but doesn't show where they should be implemented. This is why I recommend getting a few projects behind yourself first, then watch these videos. The 'aha' moments will come. The pace is pretty fast so I recommend watching at 50% speed.

        Some of the topics Steve covers can only be explained properly in hours, not 20 minutes. If you treat it as a basic introduction, then expand upon it with further research, you'll be fine.

        In conclusion, I think the topics Steve has chosen are excellent. If you treat them as an intro only. I just wish there was a video on OOP structure.

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        About the language

        By t-student

        from NJ

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly Intermediate Python:

          I have no experience with python, I looked at the intro video , and found it too basic.

          This is fascinating description of different internals of the language. It will not teach you theory of programming, but it will tell you the secrets of the language/ interpreter and what is even more valuable, how to get that secret information.

          I found it very refreshing and entertaining.

          Looking at it I am thinking how could I get the same info about internals of perl interpreter, for example.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great reference but not really a course

          By Uche

          from Milton Keynes, UK

          About Me Educator, Maker, Sys Admin

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • A Little Disjointed
          • Lacks continuity

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Reference
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Intermediate Python:

          This video series doesn't strike me as a structured "course" per se, being more akin to the popular recipe book format or library reference. In this regard, I think it works very well and certainly complements self study from separate written materials perfectly. Each video is self contained, well presented and gets to the heart of its core subject matter quickly and clearly.

          If you are looking for a structured course similar to Jessica McKeller's fantastic "Introduction to Python", this probably isn't it! However, if you need an accessible, high quality reference to intermediate topics in Python 3, this collection of videos is invaluable.

          (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          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.

                (15 of 18 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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