Ten Essays on Fizz Buzz
Ten Essays on Fizz Buzz
Meditations on Python, mathematics, science, engineering, and design
About the Book
"This book is so good. I wish I'd written it."  Tim Hopper (@tdhopper)
"Highly recommended: a grand tour of computer science theory and practical software engineering, explored through the lens of 10 Fizz Buzz solutions in Python. Outstanding."  Paco Nathan (@pacoid)
"I'd never have thought a book about Fizz Buzz would make me a better programmer, but I was wrong. Joel in the course of 10 chapters does a broad survey of core Python concepts, software design and testing, mathematics, and more (including deep learning) using Fizz Buzz as the guiding example. It's that rare technical book that remains engaging, entertaining, and accessible."  Binal Patel (@binalkp91)
More real Python tips than any "Python tricks" book! From a Python beginner to an experienced ML practitioner, you're bound to learn something about the language and its application to a progressive level of algorithmic applications. Recommended for the anyone looking to "level up" their Python or problem solving skills!  Tom Marthaler (@tmarthal)
Fizz Buzz is the following (simple) problem:
Print the numbers from 1 to 100, except that if the number is divisible by 3, instead print "fizz"; if the number is divisible by 5, instead print "buzz"; and if the number is divisible by 15, instead print "fizzbuzz".
It originated as a children's game, but has since taken on a new life as a lowestcommondenominator litmus test for assessing computer programmers.
If you are an experienced programmer, it is an extremely easy problem to solve. Because of this, it has taken on a third life as the prototypical bad interview problem. Everyone knows that it's the question you ask people to make sure that they're not completely incompetent as programmers. Accordingly, if your interviewer asks you to solve it, he's suggesting he thinks it possible that you're completely incompetent as a programmer. You would not be wrong to feel insulted!
My association with this problem began in 2016, when I wrote a blog post called Fizz Buzz in Tensorflow, the (possibly fictional) story of one such insulted programmer who decided to show up his interviewer by approaching Fizz Buzz as a deep learning problem. This post went modestly viral, and ever since then I have been seen as a thought leader in the Fizz Buzz space.
Accordingly, over the years I have come up with and/or collected various other stupid and/or clever ways of solving Fizz Buzz. I have not blogged about them, as I am not the sort of person who beats a joke to death, but occasionally I will tweet about them, and recently in response someone suggested that I write a book on "100 Ways of Writing Fizz Buzz in Python."
Now, I could probably come up with 100 ways of solving Fizz Buzz, but most of them would not be very interesting. Luckily for you, I was able to come up with 10 that are interesting in various ways, each of which turned out to be a good launchingoff point for (sometimes meandering) discussions of various aspects of coding, Python, Fizz Buzz, mathematics, software design, technical interviewing, and various other topics.
Hence "Ten Essays on Fizz Buzz".
In many ways this is a strange book. Its goal is not to teach you a specific field or a specific technology. I hope you will learn a lot from reading it, but it's not really a book that you'd read in order to learn anything in particular. Most technical books are about specific technical topics; this one sort of isn't.
Nonetheless, it is a technical book. Each essay contains code that implements a different solution of Fizz Buzz. Each essay uses code to illustrate its ideas. Each essay represents my current best thinking about how to solve problems using code. If you have a coding job, you should feel no reluctance to expense this book to your employer.
As I primarily code in Python, all of these solutions will be in Python. Some of them will use features that were only introduced in Python 3.6, and some of them will demonstrate concepts and techniques that are mostly specific to Python. On some level this is deeply a Python book. However, my goal was to write a book that would be interesting and enlightening even if you are not a Python programmer. I'll leave it to you to judge how successful I was.
Table of Contents
 Introduction

1. 100 Print Statements
 Algorithm and Abstraction
 Reusability and Changeability
 Testability and Fizz Buzz
 Testability Beyond Fizz Buzz

Generating the
print
Statements

2. if / elif / elif / else
 Mind the Order
 Divisibility and Modulus
 “We’re Adders, We Need Logs to Multiply”
 Some Other Checks
 Some WellKnown Tricks

Eliminating
elif

3. The Cycle of 15
 Equivalence Classes

None
as a Sentinel  Truthiness and Logic

dict.get

4. Euclid’s Solution
 Prime Numbers
 Performance Optimization
 Factorization
 What Prime Factorization Has to Do with Fizz Buzz
 Greatest Common Divisors and Least Common Multiples
 gcd and Fizz Buzz
 Euclid’s Algorithm

5. Trigonometry
 Sin and Cos

int
 Pi and Tau
 Operator Overload

6. A Big Number
 Decimal, Binary, and Hexadecimal
 A Secret Encoding
 Prefix Codes
 Huffman Coding
 Data Modeling
 Our Data Model
 Constructing the Code
 Digression: Mutable Default Values

Digression:
heapq
 Decoding
 “Accidentally Quadratic”
 Regular Expressions

7. Infinite Iterables
 Iterables, Iterators, and Lazy Infinite Sequences

itertools

zip
vsmap
 Putting It All Together
 Bonus: PowerFizz

8. Random Guessing

random
 Pseudorandomness and the Seed
 Creating a Pseudorandom Generator
 Advances in the Same Iterator
 Values and References
 Argument Unpacking
 The Cycle of 15, Redux
 Where did 23_977_775 come from?
 Putting it all together


9. Matrix Multiplication
 nDimensional Arrays
 Digression: Recursion, Iteration, and Tail Recursion
 NumPy
 Working With Arrays
 Fizz Buzz as a Matrix Multiplication Problem
 How Did I Choose Those Weights?

10. Fizz Buzz in Tensorflow
 Machine Learning
 Fizz Buzz as a Machine Learning Problem
 Learning and Generalization
 Feature Engineering
 Deep Learning
 Validation
 How Does It Work?
 About the Author
 Acknowledgements
 Notes
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