So at my office there is a lot of buzz around Ruby and Python. Both have their pros/cons, but I ended up choosing python to tackle first. I wouldn’t classify myself as a developer, but I am familiar with writing code and the concepts behind best practices. A vacillated between Python 2 or 3 and did a lot of reading and the consensus was if “you” know python 3 it is easy to go backwards, but learning concepts from 2 and going to three you have to unlearn and is more difficult.. I can attest this is the case.
Anyways, I choose Python 3 and not being at all familiar with Python other than it is a scripting language I wanted to test the waters with an easy technical guide to get some foundational concepts and just start using it (that is the best way..right :] ).
Well I have used had headfirst books before in the past and hadn’t really found them overlly useful (albeit it may have been because I was already familiar with those technologies), but a colleague suggested Head First Python, by Paul Barry and I gave it a look and seemed to have everything I was looking for and some.
I can’t say enough positives about it. Within minutes of reading I was already coding. The explanations and depth fit perfectly with what we were doing. Like I mentioned above, I am familiar with coding so I didn’t need to spend a lot of time on learning the fundamentals, but Paul does a good job of pointing out areas of where to learn more and keeps moving so you don’t get bogged down in the minutia of computer science (which is cool to, but not at a first pass). The examples all worked and I learned a lot!
I would recommend to follow what Paul says as far as following along all the way throughout the book; I was tempted several times to skip ahead, but at the end of the day I was glad I took my time and went through the examples even though I already knew how to do stuff.