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

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9780134034287: Effective Python: 59 Specific Ways to Write Better Python (Effective Software Development)
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“Each item in Slatkin’s Effective Python teaches a self-contained lesson with its own source code. This makes the book random-access: Items are easy to browse and study in whatever order the reader needs. I will be recommending Effective Python to students as an admirably compact source of mainstream advice on a very broad range of topics for the intermediate Python programmer.”

—Brandon Rhodes, software engineer at Dropbox and chair of PyCon 2016-2017

 

It’s easy to start coding with Python, which is why the language is so popular. However, Python’s unique strengths, charms, and expressiveness can be hard to grasp, and there are hidden pitfalls that can easily trip you up.

 

Effective Python will help you master a truly “Pythonic” approach to programming, harnessing Python’s full power to write exceptionally robust and well-performing code. Using the concise, scenario-driven style pioneered in Scott Meyers’ best-selling Effective C++, Brett Slatkin brings together 59 Python best practices, tips, and shortcuts, and explains them with realistic code examples.

 

Drawing on years of experience building Python infrastructure at Google, Slatkin uncovers little-known quirks and idioms that powerfully impact code behavior and performance. You’ll learn the best way to accomplish key tasks, so you can write code that’s easier to understand, maintain, and improve.

 

Key features include

  • Actionable guidelines for all major areas of Python 3.x and 2.x development, with detailed explanations and examples
  • Best practices for writing functions that clarify intention, promote reuse, and avoid bugs
  • Coverage of how to accurately express behaviors with classes and objects
  • Guidance on how to avoid pitfalls with metaclasses and dynamic attributes
  • More efficient approaches to concurrency and parallelism
  • Better techniques and idioms for using Python’s built-in modules
  • Tools and best practices for collaborative development
  • Solutions for debugging, testing, and optimization in order to improve quality and performance

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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

About the Author:

Brett Slatkin, senior staff software engineer at Google, is engineering lead and co-founder of Google Consumer Surveys. He previously worked on Google App Engine’s Python infrastructure, leveraged Python to manage Google’s enormous server fleet, and used Python to implement Google's system for PubSubHubbub, a protocol he co-created. Slatkin holds a B.S. in computer engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York. He lives in San Francisco.

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