When Anthony asked me if I would write a foreword to this book, I thought, “Oh, no! Another job! I’ll just refuse.” But something urged me to at least take a look at the text, which I soon saw was sprinkled with frames from the User Friendly cartoon series (a firm favorite, I am sure, with those few surviving individuals who like me have been working with computers since the days of punched cards and tape). So I thought I would take a look at the manuscript, and found that in 12 short chapters you can learn enough about Python and some of its most popular applications to either get started programming or decide that the programmer’s life is not for you.

Even the latter conclusion would make the money invested in buying Hello! Python worthwhile—if you don’t enjoy programming in Python, you are unlikely to enjoy programming at all, in which case you might save yourself the trouble of years spent in a mismatched career.

The book is full of sound practical advice, and nowhere does it try to make pretentious and unbelievable claims. It is a solid work that will, I am sure, introduce many more people who might not currently think of themselves as programmers to the Python language.

I hope that Hello! Python will give a broad audience new insights into programming and the fascinating world of information technology. In the absence of sensible computer science education in secondary schooling (which many U.S. states appear unable to afford at present), this book is appealing enough to draw students to the subject. By the time they discern the educational purpose they will be so engaged with the text that they will digest the whole volume.

Steve Holden
President, The Open Bastion