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  • Writer's pictureNicky

A sneaky preview of my book

I am beyond excited, my book has been sent off to the printers and is ready for worldwide distribution, yes you read that correctly, WORLDWIDE! My goodness, how has this happened?

Python by Example: Learning to Program in 150 Challenges

A few of my followers will know that last summer I had to remove my original set of 150 Python challenges suddenly from sale and the reason for that is I had signed a book deal with the lovely people at Cambridge University Press. They wanted to publish my challenges and with a few tweaks here and there and a bit of polishing, it is finally ready.

They gave me free-reign in how to format the book and think they were a little surprised at the direction I took it, but I love how it looks. I mean, who doesn’t admire a horse in a dinner jacket or a lion in a sombrero?

Read my introduction, to see why my book is so different to the other programming guides on the market.


If you have ever picked up a programming manual and felt your forehead go clammy and your eyes cross as you attempt to make sense of the long-winded explanations, this is the guide for you.

I have been in your position, attempting to learn how to program and having to rely on the traditional style of guides. I know from painful experience how quickly I glaze over and my brain solidifies; after only a few pages the tedium leaves me blindly reading words without any real notion of what they mean any more. Inevitably I give up and the whole process makes me feel like a limp failure, gasping for breath after I surface from drowning in technical jargon.

I hated having to read through pointless drivel and then be presented with a short program telling me exactly what to type in and then spend the next 20 pages reading about what I have just done and the 101 ways I could run it. I hated having no control over trying things out for myself and I hated the way these guides would only contain one or two challenges at the end of a chapter of theory.

I knew there had to be a better way, and thankfully there is. I wrote it and you are presently reading it, so aren’t you lucky? This guide is refreshingly different and helps you learn how to program with Python by using practical examples rather than self-important explanations.

stag in eveneing wear

Many programmers learn through experimentation, looking at others’ code and working out what method is best for a given situation. This book is a hands-on approach to learning programming. After minimal reading you are set a number of challenges to create the programs. You can explore and experiment with the programming language and look at the example solutions to learn how to think like a programmer. There are no chapters entitled “the architecture of a computer”, “the theory of programming” or any other gobbledy-gook other authors like to waste time with. I don’t want to baffle you with theory or blind you with overbearing explanations that suck out your enthusiasm for learning to program.

Hopefully, you want to get stuck into creating programs, solving problems and enjoying the sense of accomplishment that you get as you proudly look over your lines of code, knowing that you created something that works. That is great, your eagerness is to be applauded and I salute those who are reading this while already sitting at their computers, fingers poised and ready to get going. If that is the case, that you already have Python open on your screen and are itching to get going, then away you go and I’ll see you in the first chapter called “The Basics” on page 11.

For everyone who is still with us and is feeling a little more timid, there are just a few more things to tell you about before you take the plunge.




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