postheadericon Technical Textbooks or Lack-There-Of

Once again I’m amazed by Zed Shaw’s exercises for learning Python; you can find them for free here:
http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/

It’s a surprisingly very intuitive way to learn the Python language. From start to [I’m at the half way point right now 26/50], it’s been a great progressive increase in difficulty and even coolness! However, this makes me wonder why can’t more books or courses take a page from this guy’s book? So many, in fact too many, college textbooks are not effective at all as teaching tools. That’s why I enjoy taking programming classes, especially ECE 2524, that doesn’t require buying a $150+ book which may or may not be effective and efficient. Intro To Unix definitely has its syllabus nailed because I actually enjoy doing exercises from the class’s “book”. Every other class, however, is a whole other challenge!

My advice: rent books for just the semester from places like Amazon.com and never ever buy from the on-campus bookstore without checking prices online! Also, unless you just enjoy the convenience at the end of the year, don’t sell the books back to the bookstore; once again, check online to see what retailers are offering for your edition.

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