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The 5 Best Books for Python Developers

Are you a beginning Python developer who’s looking to deepen your knowledge? We’ve got 5 books that will take your Python coding skills to the next level!

The breadth and depth of software products and applications that use Python have been increasing tremendously. You can observe Python’s dominance across many domains such as artificial intelligence, data science, machine learning, web development, and mobile game development.

As a natural result of this dominance, the demand for Python developers skyrocketed. In simple terms, a Python developer is a person who creates, develops, and maintains software tools and products using Python. Once you are skilled in Python, there is a promising career awaiting you; check out what Python jobs you can get in 2023.

So You Want to Really Learn Python …

To learn a programming language or any other software tool, you need resources. Python is an open-source programming language with a huge and active community that helps you get the support you need when you need it. Hence, there is no shortage of resources to learn Python.

However, if not approached wisely, this rich selection of resources might turn into a disadvantage. Randomly selecting and consuming resources is not an effective way to learn Python; you’re more likely to get discouraged and give up rather than pick up a useful skill.

The best Python learning resources are structured around a carefully designed curriculum. Interactive online courses created by professionals are very helpful in this regard. They help you practice while learning, which is essential to mastering any programming language.

If you are a newcomer to coding, the Python Basics track is an ideal place to start your learning journey. It consists of 3 interactive courses and a total of 229 coding challenges. At the time of writing this article, Python Basics: Part 1 is totally free.

Books on programming languages are generally also very good learning resources. They’re written by subject matter experts who have used the language for many years. Hence, you have the chance to learn not only the terms and concepts but also the experience of using the language in real-life projects.

However, books should not be the only resource you use while learning Python; they usually lack interactivity. Once you learn about a subject, the best way to have a comprehensive understanding of it is to solve examples or coding challenges. Such an experience is best offered by interactive online courses.

A big advantage of using books is that they cover some terms and concepts in more depth than online courses. You might say books are better at teaching theory, while online courses are better at teaching you how to code. Therefore, think of books as a supplementary learning material for online courses.

So far, three articles about the best Python books have been published on the blog:

In this article, we will review the 5 best books for Python developers with some experience. I’ve made my selections based on my own experience and what I have learned from the Python community.

The Best Books for Advancing Python Developers

Each book title is linked to its Amazon page so that you can find it easily. It is important to note that Amazon has had no impact on the selection, nor do we receive any compensation from linking to the Amazon listings.

1.   Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin


The 5 Best Books for Python Developers

Whatever programming language you use, writing clean code is crucially important. As a Python developer, most of your time will be spent reading other people’s code. Your code will be read by your colleagues and other developers as well. If code is messy, reading and understanding it could become a nuisance.

The book mentions that every year, countless hours and significant resources are lost because of poorly written code – definitely a serious issue. This book will teach you Agile methodology as well as the principles, patterns, and practices of writing clean code.

You will learn how to apply these principles in the following areas:

  • Meaningful names
  • Functions
  • Comments
  • Formatting
  • Objects and data structures

Error handling

2.   Python Cookbook by David Beazley and Brian Jones

The 5 Best Books for Python Developers

This book is packed with practical recipes for solving various Python-related problems. It contains more than a dozen recipes that cover core elements of Python as well as domain-specific topics. Each recipe comes with code samples, so you will have the chance to test it for yourself.

Each recipe can be considered as a practical solution to a common problem. Code samples along with their explanations help you implement real-life projects. Besides, you can always build on these code samples.

The recipes are organized into chapters on data structures and algorithms; iterators and generators; functions; classes and objects; modules and packages; concurrency, and several other areas.

This book is not an introduction to Python; it’s for people who already have some Python experience. It will help you in your journey to become a proficient Python developer.

3.   Python Testing with pytest by Brian Okken

The 5 Best Books for Python Developers

Testing is an essential part of any software product. Whether you create a simple script or a large program with several modules, you need a testing process to write robust and maintainable code. One of the most commonly used tools for testing Python code is pytest, a testing framework that helps you write tests quickly and efficiently.

This book will teach you how to best use the pytest framework with easy-to-understand and simple instructions. It will guide you in writing, organizing, and executing tests. It starts with simple tests and gradually increases the complexity to cover the more advanced features of the pytest framework.

By completing this book and going through the code samples it contains, you will learn how to leverage pytest to test your code, detect issues, and fix bugs quickly. The end result will be higher-quality, deployment-ready code.


The 5 Best Books for Python Developers

As its name suggests, this book is for increasing the performance of your Python code. Performance may not be an issue when you are writing short scripts for completing simple tasks. However, for programs with high volumes of data, performance can quickly become an issue. In such cases, you need to focus on not only completing the task but also doing it as efficiently as possible.

The book teaches intermediate and advanced Python developers how to optimize their code for performance. It starts with identifying and explaining issues in the code that cause poor performance. Then it introduces different ways and techniques to increase performance, such as the efficient use of built-in data structures, vectorized computations, parallel and concurrent programming, and memory usage.

4.   Python Algorithms: Mastering Basic Algorithms in the Python Language by Magnus Lie Hetland

The 5 Best Books for Python Developers

A computer program is simply a set of instructions organized in a certain way to complete a task. Hence, a computer program is essentially an algorithm. The way you write and organize instructions is fundamental to writing efficient programs.

Data structures and algorithms are a highly challenging part of computer science and programming. This book focuses on algorithmic theory and programming practice, demonstrating how theory is reflected in real Python programs. You will learn about well-known algorithms and data structures and how to implement them with Python.

Python Books + Python Practice = Your Path to Mastery

The 5 books we covered in this article are definitely great learning material. However, they should not be your only learning resource. Adding the in-depth theory from books to practice and hands-on experience is the best learning path.

The 5 Best Books for Python Developers provides several tracks and courses to help you with hands-on learning. Learn Programming with Python is a good way to start. With 5 interactive courses and a total of 414 coding challenges, you will learn the basics and have the chance to practice and absorb the material.

As a Python developer, you are expected to combine theory and practice and do it effectively. Read this article if you want to learn more about how to think like a Python developer.

Happy learning!