V. Anton Spraul's Think Like a Programmer, Python Edition

What is programming? Sure, it consists of syntax and the assembly of code, but it is essentially a means to solve problems. To study programming, then, is to study the art of problem solving, and a new book from V. Anton Spraul, Think Like a Programmer, Python Edition, is a guide to sharpening skills in both spheres. Subtitled A Beginner's Guide to Programming and Problem Solving, Spraul's book helps transition programmers in training from reading programs to writing them in Python.

No prior programming experience required! Rather than simply point out solutions to problems, Spraul gets readers thinking by illustrating techniques that instruct how to self-solve programming problems. Each chapter covers a single programming concept, such as data types, control flow, code reuse, recursion and classes, topped off by a series of Python-based exercises that put readers' skills to the test.

In Think Like a Programmer, Python Edition, readers break big problems down into simple, manageable steps to build into solutions, write custom functions to solve new problems, use a debugger to examine each line of a running program in order to understand fully how it works and tackle problems strategically by turning each new concept into a problem-solving tool. Additional chapters are included on early programming topics, such as variables, decisions and looping.

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James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal.