The best books for the Python and non-Python developers

Jaime Buelta Author Of Python Automation Cookbook
By Jaime Buelta

Who am I?

Since I was a kid, I’ve been passionate about technology and had a clear vocation to work with computers. I’ve been a developer for more than 20 years now, spending half of them mainly in the Python environment, and I’ve always been interested in improving my skills. While it’s true that software development is a field that changes constantly and technology evolves at great speed, there are some elements that remain relatively unchanged and can be used to compound knowledge and ability. In particular, the elements that are closer to the human element, teamwork, coordination, etc. are quite stable over time.

I wrote...

Python Automation Cookbook

By Jaime Buelta,

Book cover of Python Automation Cookbook

What is my book about?

Python Automation Cookbook is a collection of recipes that aim to present the power of the Python programming language as a way of making a computer do the heavy lifting in a lot of repetitive tasks. Some examples present in the book include dealing with files, creating graphs, working with emails, web scrapping, sending SMSs, or marketing examples.

Python is a great language because is easy to learn and to use, and at the same time is powerful and extensive, having a great community. While a bit of knowledge of Python is assumed, the book is aimed at non-experts and casual users that can learn how to automate their own tasks.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

Why did I love this book?

A true classic about software development, and incredibly as relevant today as the time of the examples described in the book, in the 60s and 70s, when software development was still in its infancy. Because the book talks about the process of creating software and how teams work while doing it, any developer will see themselves reflected in their day-to-day. It’s great to understand naïve problems (in hindsight) and avoid them. A lot of common phrases used in software development originate from this book.

By Frederick P. Brooks Jr,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Mythical Man-Month as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.

The added chapters…

Book cover of Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought (Pragmatic Programmers)

Why did I love this book?

A very personal recommendation, as it is about Vim, a very particular text editor that can be difficult to learn at first, but this is the best technical book that I’ve ever read. I use Vim as my main editor and this book makes an astonishing job in clearly explaining why it works the way it works. This book gets you into the proper mindset to use Vim, making it click internally and from there on, to feel way more natural and powerful. Even if you don’t want to use Vim as your main editor, it’s ubiquitous and it’s available by default on a huge amount of computers, making being comfortable with its usage a really powerful tool in a lot of situations. 

By Drew Neil,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Practical Vim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vim is a fast and efficient text editor that will make you a faster and more efficient developer. It's available on almost every OS--if you master the techniques in this book, you'll never need another text editor. Practical Vim shows you 120 vim recipes so you can quickly learn the editor's core functionality and tackle your trickiest editing and writing tasks. Vim, like its classic ancestor vi, is a serious tool for programmers, web developers, and sysadmins. No other text editor comes close to Vim for speed and efficiency; it runs on almost every system imaginable and supports most coding…

Book cover of Python Testing with Pytest: Simple, Rapid, Effective, and Scalable

Why did I love this book?

While this is a Python-specific book, it’s a fantastic description of all the possibilities for testing with a powerful module like Pytest offers. Testing is one of the basic experiences for a programmer, as it should be included as a core part of the development process. Understanding all the different options available like mark groups of tests, parametric tests, building your own extensions, or test coverage, to name only a few details, expands the understanding of how to design better tests and run them more efficiently.

By Brian Okken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Python Testing with Pytest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do less work when testing your Python code, but be just as expressive, just as elegant, and just as readable. The pytest testing framework helps you write tests quickly and keep them readable and maintainable - with no boilerplate code. Using a robust yet simple fixture model, it's just as easy to write small tests with pytest as it is to scale up to complex functional testing for applications, packages, and libraries. This book shows you how. For Python-based projects, pytest is the undeniable choice to test your code if you're looking for a full-featured, API-independent, flexible, and extensible testing…

Book cover of The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery

Why did I love this book?

A full collection of self-reflecting ideas about how to approach coding from a strategic point of view. While some of it can be a bit obvious for the experienced developer, it can be invaluable for the newcomer and it’s always great to solidify knowledge in a more consistent way. The kind of book that you can read again after a few years and keep learning.

By David Thomas, Andrew Hunt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Pragmatic Programmer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"One of the most significant books in my life." -Obie Fernandez, Author, The Rails Way

"Twenty years ago, the first edition of The Pragmatic Programmer completely changed the trajectory of my career. This new edition could do the same for yours." -Mike Cohn, Author of Succeeding with Agile , Agile Estimating and Planning , and User Stories Applied

". . . filled with practical advice, both technical and professional, that will serve you and your projects well for years to come." -Andrea Goulet, CEO, Corgibytes, Founder, LegacyCode.Rocks

". . . lightning does strike twice, and this book is proof." -VM…

Book cover of Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager

Why did I love this book?

Michael Lopp, or Rands, as he is commonly known online, has been sharing his knowledge as a software manager for years, mainly through his blog. He is one of the most insightful voices about the art of management in a software environment, and even if you are not a manager yourself (and don’t want to become one), will make you understand and better collaborate with your own manager, and be ready when you need to lead a team or understand how it is to work with other humans.

By Michael Lopp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Managing Humans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Managing Humans is a selection of the best essays from Michael Lopp's popular website Rands in Repose( Lopp is one of the most sought-after IT managers in Silicon Valley, and draws on his experiences at Apple, Netscape, Symantec, and Borland. This book reveals a variety of different approaches for creating innovative, happy development teams. It covers handling conflict, managing wildly differing personality types, infusing innovation into insane product schedules, and figuring out how to build lasting and useful engineering culture. The essays are biting, hilarious, and always informative.

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