I’ve been coding in Python for 16 years now, far longer than in any other language I’ve ever used. I’ve used Python for system administration, for web applications, for database management, and for data analysis over those years, but most important, I’ve come to use Python just to help myself think about a problem more clearly.
Based on my earlier experience, I would have expected that by now I would have been lured away by some other language that was faster, cooler, sexier, whatever. I think there are two reasons that didn’t happen. First, while other languages have come along, none has helped me do what I needed to do quite as effectively as Python. Even after all these years, the more I use Python and the more I understand it, the more I feel the quality of my programming improve and mature.
The second reason I’m still around is the Python community. It’s one of the most welcoming, inclusive, active, and friendly communities I’ve seen, embracing scientists, quants, web developers, systems people, and data scientists on every continent. It’s been a joy and honor to work with members of this community, and I encourage everyone to join in.
Writing this book has been a bit of a journey. While we’re still on Python 3, today’s Python 3 has evolved considerably from 3.1, and the ways people are using Python have also evolved. Although my goal has always been to keep the best bits of the previous edition, there have been a fair number of additions, deletions, and reorganizations that I hope make this edition both useful and timely. I’ve tried to keep the style clear and low-key without being stuffy.
For me, the aim of this book is to share the positive experiences I’ve gotten from coding in Python by introducing people to Python 3, the latest and, in my opinion, the greatest version of Python to date. May your journey be as satisfying as mine has been.
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