[Edu-sig] Teaching Python to Programmers

Kirby Urner urnerk at qwest.net
Sun Nov 21 00:07:56 CET 2004

> What should I use for a textbook? Learning Python is an obvious choice.
> I didn't really like Dive into Python so I don't think I will use that.
> Does anyone recommend Practical Python? I haven't read it and I'm
> wondering if I should get a copy.

I recommend John Zelle's book, Python Programming, an Introduction to
Computer Science -- at least as a source of ideas for the teacher, if not a
required purchase for students.  http://mcsp.wartburg.edu/zelle/python/  I
like his graphics.py as a wrapper for Tkinter.

On the other hand, if your students are really experienced, then I don't
think the text book you're looking for really exists yet, and may never,
given the breadth of possible interests.  

I'd do a handout with a list of titles, including that one about using Java
class libraries from within Python (a Jython book).  You should probably
also get into IronPython (for .NET) and event-driven programming with
wxPython (another library for GUIs).

The Python Cookbook is also good.  I think 'Learning Python' is too basic
for experienced programmers.

The computer courses I took at Princeton didn't come with a text book.  The
teacher assembled materials from a variety of sources.  To me, this is
usually one of the hallmarks of an advanced course.  Textbooks are for
sissies :-D.


More information about the Edu-sig mailing list