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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
You'd think there would be tons of programming books for absolute beginners, but there are far fewer good ones than you'd expect. In response, long-time programmer Alan Gauld began his own super-easy Web tutorial -- and it "just growed" into a super-easy book.
Gauld chose Python as his teaching language due to its relatively simple syntax, powerful features, support for diverse programming styles, and availability on every platform from Windows and Mac to Linux. (Oh, yeah, and it's free.) But his real interest is in teaching the mindset and techniques that apply to any programming language.
To that end, he starts by introducing the universal "raw materials of programming" -- variables, data types, strings, and so forth. Gauld shows how to make programs "look" intelligent with loops and IF statements, and how to get input from users. Next, he introduces high-level ideas of modularity that are indispensable to any programmer who wants to build quality code.
From there, it's on to more advanced stuff: recursion, namespaces, simple object-oriented and event-driven programming, regular expressions, and (thankfully) debugging. There's a very short but wonderful chapter on planning software projects, followed by two detailed case studies. If you're an utter novice, this is your book.(Bill Camarda)
Bill Camarda is a consultant and writer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.