Effective Python: 59 Specific Ways to Write Better Python (Effective Software Development Series)

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9780134034287: Effective Python: 59 Specific Ways to Write Better Python (Effective Software Development Series)
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It's easy to start writing code with Python: that's why the language is so immensely popular. However, Python has unique strengths, charms, and expressivity that can be hard to grasp at first -- as well as hidden pitfalls that can easily trip you up if you aren't aware of them. Effective Python will help you harness the full power of Python to write exceptionally robust, efficient, maintainable, and well-performing code. Utilizing the concise, scenario-driven style pioneered in Scott Meyers's best-selling Effective C++, Brett Slatkin brings together 59 Python best practices, tips, shortcuts, and realistic code examples from expert programmers.

Through realistic examples, Slatkin uncovers little-known Python quirks, intricacies, and idioms that powerfully impact code behavior and performance. You'll learn how to choose the most efficient and effective way to accomplish key tasks when multiple options exist, and how to write code that's easier to understand, maintain, and improve.

Drawing on his deep understanding of Python's capabilities, Slatkin offers practical advice for each major area of development with both Python 3.x and Python 2.x. Coverage includes:

  • Algorithms
  • Objects
  • Concurrency
  • Collaboration
  • Built-in modules
  • Production techniques
  • And more
Each section contains specific, actionable guidelines organized into items, each with carefully worded advice supported by detailed technical arguments and illuminating examples. Using Effective Python, you can systematically improve all the Python code you write: not by blindly following rules or mimicking incomprehensible idioms, but by gaining a deep understanding of the technical reasons why they make sense.

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About the Author:

Brett Slatkin is a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google. He is the engineering lead and co-founder of Google Consumer Surveys. He formerly worked on Google App Engine's Python infrastructure. He is the co-creator of the PubSubHubbub protocol. 9 years ago he cut his teeth using Python to manage Google's enormous fleet of servers. Outside of his day job, he works on open source tools and writes about software, bicycles, and other topics on his personal website. He earned his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York. He lives in San Francisco.

Review:

“I’ve been programming in Python for years and thought I knew it pretty well. Thanks to this treasure trove of tips and techniques, I realize there’s so much more I could be doing with my Python code to make it faster (e.g., using built-in data structures), easier to read (e.g., enforcing keyword-only arguments), and much more Pythonic (e.g., using zip to iterate over lists in parallel).”

–Pamela Fox, educationeer, Khan Academy

 

“If I had this book when I first switched from Java to Python, it would have saved me many months of repeated code rewrites, which happened each time I realized I was doing particular things ‘non-Pythonically.’ This book collects the vast majority of basic Python ‘must-knows’ into one place, eliminating the need to stumble upon them one-by-one over the course of months or years. The scope of the book is impressive, starting with the importance of PEP8 as well as that of major Python idioms, then reaching through function, method and class design, effective standard library use, quality API design, testing, and performance measurement–this book really has it all. A fantastic introduction to what it really means to be a Python programmer for both the novice and the experienced developer.”

–Mike Bayer, creator of SQLAlchemy

 

Effective Python will take your Python skills to the next level with clear guidelines for improving Python code style and function.”

–Leah Culver, developer advocate, Dropbox

 

“This book is an exceptionally great resource for seasoned developers in other languages who are looking to quickly pick up Python and move beyond the basic language constructs into more Pythonic code. The organization of the book is clear, concise, and easy to digest, and each item and chapter can stand on its own as a meditation on a particular topic. The book covers the breadth of language constructs in pure Python without confusing the reader with the complexities of the broader Python ecosystem. For more seasoned developers the book provides in-depth examples of language constructs they may not have previously encountered, and provides examples of less commonly used language features. It is clear that the author is exceptionally facile with Python, and he uses his professional experience to alert the reader to common subtle bugs and common failure modes. Furthermore, the book does an excellent job of pointing out subtleties between Python 2.X and Python 3.X and could serve as a refresher course as one transitions between variants of Python.”

–Katherine Scott, software lead, Tempo Automation

 

“This is a great book for both novice and experienced programmers. The code examples and explanations are well thought out and explained concisely and thoroughly.”

–C. Titus Brown, associate professor, UC Davis

 

“This is an immensely useful resource for advanced Python usage and building cleaner, more maintainable software. Anyone looking to take their Python skills to the next level would benefit from putting the book’s advice into practice.”

–Wes McKinney, creator of pandas; author of Python for Data Analysis; and software engineer at Cloudera

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