Review: “Write Pythonic code like a seasoned developer,” by Michael Kennedy

As many of you know, one of the best podcasts related to Python is Talk Python to Me, by Michael Kennedy. If you haven’t listened to the podcast, you definitely should give it a try. I’m pretty certain you’ll find it terrific and want to subscribe.

Well, in addition to hosting the podcast, Michael Kennedy also runs a Python training program. I recently purchased one of his offerings, “Write pythonic code like a seasoned developer.” The course is aimed at intermediate-level Pythonistas — i.e., familiarity with the basic language features is expected, as this course focuses on teaching the most “Pythonic” way of doing things. The term Pythonic implies writing code and performing tasks in ways that are congruent with Python’s guiding principles. Usually, this leads to maximum efficiency with minimum effort, while also improving safety and readability.

The course covers the following broad categories:

  • Foundational concepts and style guidance from PEP 8
  • Dictionaries
  • Generators and collections
  • Methods and functions
  • Modules and packages
  • Classes and objects
  • Loops
  • Tuples
  • Python for humans

The course consists of 63 videos totaling around 4.5 hours of consecutive viewing. If you pause to test out some of the things you’re learning, it’s probably closer to 12 or 24 hours of lecture/practice. The videos are very well produced, with plenty of code examples and excellent narration. Accompanying these videos is a source-code repository available on GitHub. All this for $39.

Overall, I found the course very worthwhile.

Sometimes, video is the gentlest and/or most expedient entryway to a new topic. For some time now, I have owned Luciano Ramalho’s impressive Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming. I must have picked it up (and put it down) four times already — every time, I thought, “I’m not ready for this,” and would postpone the investment in developing my Python skills. Well, I think what I needed was this video course by Michael Kennedy. It was the perfect introduction to the advanced concepts in that book.

After having thoroughly enjoyed Michael Kennedy’s course, I think I may be ready to pick up Fluent Python again, for real this time.