After teaching my kids to program with the great book Hello World, I was looking for something as a next step for them to practice with… and the answer is Python the Hard Way which turned out to be a great learning resource for Python 3.6.

What is it?

The ultimate “you need to practice hands-on to learn” learning experience for Python 3. You have to install python, learn to use the command line, use an editor NOT idle or an IDE, and type a LOT of code.

Who is it for?

Those that realize the value of practice in learning to code in Pythong… which should be everyone looking to code in Python!

Breadth of Instruction:

The breadth of instruction is quite good. Yes, there is a bit of a slow start if you are not-beginner yet over the course of a couple of weeks you can go from complete newbie to a newbie that knows variables, boolean logic, the basics of OO programming and design, the a bit of debugging, automated testing, backend design. His “Advise from an Old Programmer” is complete crap so feel free to ignore that.

Depth of Instruction:

The emphasis of this book/course is exposure and breadth and as such there is not a ton of depth to it. That said, if you used this book to get started and had enough imagination to invent some good next projects, you could go far.


At $29.95 this is a good not great value.


The setup is outlined in the documentation with a heavy reliance on you figuring it out yourself.


4 out of 5 stars - Yep, you should do this as your first, or perhaps second pass through learning python. And it takes at least two passes through any language to really get practice and therefore get it.