Teaching Python

harrismh777 harrismh777 at charter.net
Wed Apr 20 00:46:47 EDT 2011

Passiday wrote:
> I am planning to teach Python to a group of high school students, who have in-depth interest in programming, hacking etc.
> I am looking for some good material, what I could use as a basic guide when preparing the classes plan for the course - website or book, what would roll out the topic methodologically gradually. The target audience is someone who knows most basics of the programming, but doesn't mind being reminded about them now and then.

You can tell the corporate types... hacking might be a bad thing...

I am now and forever will be a joyful hacker...   :)

In all seriousness here, I recommend the following book at least for the 
instructor, and perhaps for the students as well... although it is a 
little pricey and it is massive -- 1150 pages !

The very ~cool thing about this particular book is that it covers 2.6 
and 3.x between the same covers in an integrated way!  ... believe me, 
you will appreciate this... because more has changed than most Python 
biggots are willing to admit... a lot more.

Lutz, Mark, "Learning Python: Powerful Object Oriented Programming,"
     4th Edition, (Sebastopol: O'Reilly, 2009).

     1150 pages

This book has a follow-on manual (same author) of another ~1600 pages 
called "Programming Python". Its 4th edition *does not* cover Python2.x/
Also, it is not intended as a tutorial, and Lutz expects the "Learning 
Python" book to be a pre-req.

The 2nd edition of Summerfield's "Programming Python 3" is also 
excellent material, but again, only covers Python3.x with nothing to say 
about 2.x/

But, having said all of that... if these kids are brand new to Python, 
then I would take them into Summerfield's book right from the get-go and 
never look back. Python3 is the future of this language, and there 
really isn't any reason to learn Python2 unless you're going to expect 
these kids to have to maintain old code... get them on the new wave...

Summerfield, Mark, "Programming in Python 3: A Complete Introduction
     to the Python Language," 2nd Edition, (New York: Addison-Wesley,

     630 pages

(a word about hacking, this is free...)

I used to be an IBM'er. Every two years whether we liked it or not we 
had to attend a diversity training session and see the "hacker" movie 
about lawlessness and threats to intellectual property... and other B.S. 
   (uh, that's B as in B and S as in S)

<sorry, I digressed again>

I am now and forever will be a joyful hacker... a recovering corporate 
slave whose intellectual property has been sucked out (picture aliens 
sucking your brains out here, with a galactic teflon straw, kinda like 
the remake of War of the Worlds)... for about 25 years until the light 
of freedom dawned and I broke free and clear from the neo-Orwellian 

<sorry, did it again.... rats>

kind regards,
m harris

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