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Episode 33: Going Beyond the Basic Stuff With Python and Al Sweigart

The Real Python Podcast

Oct 30, 2020 1h 27m

You probably have heard of the bestselling Python book, “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python.” What are the next steps after starting to dabble in the Python basics? Maybe you’ve completed some tutorials, created a few scripts, and automated repetitive tasks in your life. This week on the show, we have author Al Sweigart to talk about his new book, “Beyond the Basic Stuff with Python: Best Practices for Writing Clean Code.”

We discuss several topics covered in his new book, including using the command line, setting environment variables, formatting code, naming, and starting with version control. We talk about learning Python by creating games and highlight a couple of Python myths. I also ask Al about his earlier books, and about his idea of creating a curriculum around conference talks.


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:01:35 – Early access release of the new book
  • 00:03:20 – Other books Al has written
  • 00:09:54 – Automate the Boring Stuff as an advice book
  • 00:15:29 – Books about writing Python with games
  • 00:17:36 – Making a book less intimidating
  • 00:19:10 – Helping readers through random things a programmer needs to learn
  • 00:23:09 – Environment variables and the command line
  • 00:28:05 – Naming
  • 00:34:59 – Code formatting
  • 00:36:45 – Why do you enjoy teaching Python concepts with games?
  • 00:42:54 – Video Course Spotlight
  • 00:44:15 – Minimal amount you should know about Git
  • 00:47:08 – Jargon and being clear about terminology
  • 00:50:13 – Al’s first book diving into Object-Oriented Programming
  • 00:59:57 – Python myths covered in the book
  • 01:09:08 – What is something you thought you knew about Python, but were wrong about it?
  • 01:13:12 – What is something you are excited about in the world of Python?
  • 01:18:55 – What do you want to learn next?
  • 01:22:08 – Creating an curriculum from conference talks
  • 01:26:42 – Thanks and goodbye

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