Python 101 (1st Edition)


This book is no longer available for sale.

Python 101 (1st Edition)

About the Book

Note: This book has been replaced with a new edition.

Learn how to program with Python 3 from beginning to end. Python 101 starts off with the fundamentals of Python and then builds onto what you've learned from there. The audience of this book is primarily people who have programmed in the past but want to learn Python. This book covers a fair amount of intermediate level material in addition to the beginner material.

To cover all this information, the book is split into five parts. 

Part One

The first part is the beginner section. In it you will learn all the basics of Python. From Python types (strings, lists, dictionaries) to conditional statements to loops. You will also learn about comprehensions, functions and classes and everything in between! 

Part Two

This section will be a curated tour of the Python Standard Library. The intent isn't to cover everything in it, but instead it is to show the reader that you can do a lot with Python right out of the box. We'll be covering the modules I find the most useful in day-to-day programming tasks, such as os, sys, logging, threads, and more.

Part Three

An all intermediate section covering lambda, decorators, properties, debugging, testing and profiling.

Part Four

Now things get really interesting! In part four, we will be learning how to install 3rd party libraries (i.e. packages) from the Python Package Index and other locations. We will cover easy_install and pip. This section will also be a series of tutorials where you will learn how to use the packages you download. For example, you will learn how to download a file, parse XML, use an Object Relational Mapper to work with a database, etc.

Part Five

The last section of the book will cover how to share your code with your friends and the world! You will learn how to package it up and share it on the Python Package Index (i.e. how to create an egg or wheel). You will also learn how to create executables using py2exe, bb_freeze, cx_freeze and PyInstaller. Finally you will learn how to create an installer using Inno Setup.

About the Author

Michael Driscoll
Michael Driscoll

Michael has been programming with Python since 2006. He is the author of the popular Python blog, The Mouse Vs. the Python. Michael has been a technical reviewer for Packt Publishing and No Starch Press.  He is also a contributor on Real Python.

He also co-authored The Essential Core Python Cheat Sheet for DZone.

Michael released his first book, Python 101, June 3rd, 2014. He wrote the follow up, Python 201: Intermediate Python and published it in the summer of 2016. He is also the author of wxPython Cookbook from Apress as well as Python Interviews from Packt Publishing.

Michael is currently working on some new books as well.

Reader Testimonials

Nick Russo
Nick Russo

Network Consulting Engineer (CCDE/CCIEx2)

Python programming is quickly becoming a critical skill for network engineers and architects. As a former-coder-turned-networker, I found this book to be refreshingly easy to read with succinct examples. I follow along step-by-step with Mike to code his examples and see the outputs for myself, which builds confidence. This is among the best resources for network engineers who need to brush up on their Python skills or learn Python for the first time. I highly recommend this book!

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • A Brief History of Python
    • About the Author
    • Conventions
    • Requirements
    • Reader Feedback
    • Errata
    • Code Examples
  • Part I - Learning the Basics
  • Chapter 1 - IDLE Programming
    • Using IDLE
    • Other Tips
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 2 - All About Strings
    • How to Create a String
    • String Concatenation
    • String Methods
    • String Slicing
    • String Formatting
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 3 - Lists, Tuples and Dictionaries
    • Lists
    • Tuples
    • Dictionaries
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 4 - Conditional Statements
    • The if statement
    • Boolean Operations
    • Checking for Nothing
    • Special Characters
    • if __name__ == “__main__”
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 5 - Loops
    • The for Loop
    • The while Loop
    • What else is for in loops
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 6 - Python Comprehensions
    • List Comprehensions
    • Dictionary Comprehensions
    • Set Comprehensions
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 7 - Exception Handling
    • Common Exceptions
    • How to Handle Exceptions
    • The finally Statement
    • try, except, or else!
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 8 - Working with Files
    • How to Read a File
    • How To Read Files Piece by Piece
    • How to Read a Binary File
    • Writing Files in Python
    • Using the with Operator
    • Catching Errors
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 9 - Importing
    • import this
    • Using from to import
    • Importing Everything!
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 10 - Functions
    • An Empty Function (the stub)
    • Passing Arguments to a Function
    • Keyword Arguments
    • *args and **kwargs
    • A Note on Scope and Globals
    • Coding Tips
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 11 - Classes
    • Creating a Class
    • What is self?
    • Subclasses
    • Wrapping Up
  • Part II - Learning from the Library
  • Chapter 12 - Introspection
    • The Python Type
    • The Python Dir
    • Python Help!
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 13 - The csv Module
    • Reading a CSV File
    • Writing a CSV File
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 14 - configparser
    • Creating a Config File
    • How to Read, Update and Delete Options
    • How to Use Interpolation
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 15 - Logging
    • Creating a Simple Logger
    • How to log From Multiple Modules (and Formatting too!)
    • Configuring Logs for Work and Pleasure
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 16 - The os Module
    • os.environ, os.getenv() and os.putenv()
    • os.chdir() and os.getcwd()
    • os.mkdir() and os.makedirs()
    • os.remove() and os.rmdir()
    • os.rename(src, dst)
    • os.startfile()
    • os.walk()
    • os.path
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 17 - The email / smtplib Module
    • Email Basics - How to Send an Email with smtplib
    • Sending Multiple Emails at Once
    • Send email using the TO, CC and BCC lines
    • Add an attachment / body using the email module
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 18 - The sqlite Module
    • How to Create a Database and INSERT Some Data
    • Updating and Deleting Records
    • Basic SQLite Queries
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 19 - The subprocess Module
    • The call function
    • The Popen Class
    • Learning to Communicate
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 20 - The sys Module
    • sys.argv
    • sys.executable
    • sys.exit
    • sys.path
    • sys.platform
    • sys.stdin / stdout / stderr
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 21 - The threading module
    • Using Threads
    • Writing a Threaded Downloader
    • Using Queues
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 22 - Working with Dates and Time
    • The datetime Module
    • datetime.datetime
    • datetime.timedelta
    • The time Module
    • time.ctime
    • time.sleep
    • time.strftime
    • time.time
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 23 - The xml module
    • Working with minidom
    • Parsing with ElementTree
    • How to Create XML with ElementTree
    • How to Edit XML with ElementTree
    • How to Parse XML with ElementTree
    • Wrapping Up
  • Part III - Intermediate Odds and Ends
  • Chapter 24 - The Python Debugger
    • How to Start the Debugger
    • Stepping Through the Code
    • Setting breakpoints
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 25 - Decorators
    • A Simple Function
    • Creating a Logging Decorator
    • Built-in Decorators
    • @classmethod and @staticmethod
    • Python Properties
    • Replacing Setters and Getters with a Python property
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 26 - The lambda
    • Tkinter + lambda
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 27 - Code Profiling
    • Profiling Your Code with cProfile
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 28 - An Intro to Testing
    • Testing with doctest
    • Running doctest via the Terminal
    • Running doctest Inside a Module
    • Running doctest From a Separate File
    • Test Driven Development with unittest
    • The First Test
    • The Second Test
    • The Third (and Final) Test
    • Other Notes
    • Wrapping Up
  • Part IV - Tips, Tricks and Tutorials
  • Chapter 29 - Installing Packages
    • Installing from Source
    • Using easy_install
    • Using pip
    • A Note on Dependencies
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 30 - ConfigObj
    • Getting Started
    • Using a configspec
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 31 - Parsing XML with lxml
    • Parsing XML with lxml
    • Parsing the Book Example
    • Parsing XML with lxml.objectify
    • Creating XML with lxml.objectify
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 32 - Python Code Analysis
    • Getting Started with pylint
    • Analyzing Your Code
    • Getting Started with pyflakes
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 33 - The requests package
    • Using requests
    • How to Submit a Web Form
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 34 - SQLAlchemy
    • How to Create a Database
    • How to Insert / Add Data to Your Tables
    • How to Modify Records with SQLAlchemy
    • How to Delete Records in SQLAlchemy
    • The Basic SQL Queries of SQLAlchemy
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 35 - virtualenv
    • Installation
    • Creating a Virtual Environment
    • Wrapping Up
  • Part V - Packaging and Distribution
  • Chapter 36 - Creating Modules and Packages
    • How to Create a Python Module
    • How to Create a Python Package
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 37 - How to Add Your Code to PyPI
    • Creating a File
    • Registering Packages
    • Uploading Packages to PyPI
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 38 - The Python egg
    • Creating an egg
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 39 - Python wheels
    • Getting Started
    • Creating a wheel
    • Installing a Python wheel
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 40 - py2exe
    • Creating a Simple GUI
    • The py2exe file
    • Creating an Advanced File
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 41 - bbfreeze
    • Getting Started with bbfreeze
    • Using bbfreeze’s Advanced Configuration
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 42 - cx_Freeze
    • Getting Started with cx_Freeze
    • Advanced cx_Freeze - Using a File
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 43 - PyInstaller
    • Getting Started with PyInstaller
    • PyInstaller and wxPython
    • Wrapping Up
  • Chapter 44 - Creating an Installer
    • Getting Started with GUI2Exe
    • Let’s Make an Installer!
    • Wrapping Up
  • Appendix A: Putting It All Together
    • The Background
    • The Specification
    • Breaking the Specification Down
    • Turning Chapters Into a Book
    • Reading the Customer CSV File
    • Emailing the PDF
    • Putting it all Together
    • Wrapping Up

The Leanpub 60 Day 100% Happiness Guarantee

Within 60 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks.

Now, this is technically risky for us, since you'll have the book or course files either way. But we're so confident in our products and services, and in our authors and readers, that we're happy to offer a full money back guarantee for everything we sell.

You can only find out how good something is by trying it, and because of our 100% money back guarantee there's literally no risk to do so!

So, there's no reason not to click the Add to Cart button, is there?

See full terms...

80% Royalties. Earn $16 on a $20 book.

We pay 80% royalties. That's not a typo: you earn $16 on a $20 sale. If we sell 5000 non-refunded copies of your book or course for $20, you'll earn $80,000.

(Yes, some authors have already earned much more than that on Leanpub.)

In fact, authors have earnedover $13 millionwriting, publishing and selling on Leanpub.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub

Free Updates. DRM Free.

If you buy a Leanpub book, you get free updates for as long as the author updates the book! Many authors use Leanpub to publish their books in-progress, while they are writing them. All readers get free updates, regardless of when they bought the book or how much they paid (including free).

Most Leanpub books are available in PDF (for computers) and EPUB (for phones, tablets and Kindle). The formats that a book includes are shown at the top right corner of this page.

Finally, Leanpub books don't have any DRM copy-protection nonsense, so you can easily read them on any supported device.

Learn more about Leanpub's ebook formats and where to read them

Write and Publish on Leanpub

You can use Leanpub to easily write, publish and sell in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses!

Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors, combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks.

Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. (Or, if you are producing your ebook your own way, you can even upload your own PDF and/or EPUB files and then publish with one click!) It really is that easy.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub