Building Skills in Programming

How do you learn to solve your own programs by writing programs? By doing a series of exercises, each of which builds up a part of the skill set we call “computer programming”.

You’ll need to read this book when you have the following three things happening at the same time:

  • You have a problem to solve that involves data and processing.
  • You know that the common desktop tools (word processors, spread sheets, databases, organizers, graphics) won’t really help. You’ve found that they require too much manual pointing and clicking, or they don’t do the right kinds of processing on your data.
  • You’re ready to invest some of your own time to learn the Python language to solve your problem.

Or, perhaps you are tinkerer who likes to know how things really work. For many people, a computer is just an appliance. You may not find this satisfactory, and you want to know more. People who tinker with computers are called hackers, and you are about to join their ranks.

Our objective is to get you, a non-programming newbie, up and running. When you’re done with this book, you’ll be ready to move on to a more advanced Python book. For example, a book about the Python libraries. You can use these libraries can help you build high-quality software with a minimum of work.

This book has 20 chapters that will help you build basic programming skills. Each chapter introduces just a few new concepts and includes a series of exercises to make those skills concrete.

The 3.2 edition iBook is a substantial rewrite of the previous 2.6 version.


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Building Skills in Programming 2.6 Edition

This is out of date.

Chunked HTML – the book broken down into parts and chapters.

Complete PDF – the entire book in a single PDF file. Size of 2.8M

Programming for Non-Programmers

Comments – Changes – Additional Information

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About the Author

Steven F. Lott is a consultant, teacher, author and software developer with over 30 years of experience building software of every kind, from specialized control systems for military hardware to large data warehouses.


About the License

These works are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works License. You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the following conditions:

  • Attribution.
    You must give the original author, Steven F. Lott, credit. Please contact me via s_lott at yahoo dot com for permission.
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    You may not use this work for commercial purposes. Contact the author to make arrangements to use this book for commercial purposes.
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revised:Apr 13, 2017