AFTER A CONFERENCE ONE YEAR, an e-mail went around the PyLadies organizers mailing list asking, “Is anyone interested in writing a Python book?” I had kicked around the idea of a programming book for a while. After teaching for a couple years and mentoring at PyLadies and other coding meetups, I realized there was a need for a new, specifi c sort of programming book. I didn’t jump to replying to the e-mail, however. I knew that writing a book would be a big process (boy is it!) and that it would take a lot of time and effort on my part, in the way of working on the
weekends and holidays (yep, check!). I also knew that I had a full‐time job teaching programming, I was the lead organizer for my local PyLadies chapter in Atlanta, Georgia, and I had children that would soon start asking, “Are you writing this weekend?”
All of the above was true (a little more than I originally thought, actually), but I knew that the book was important. There were so many of my students asking me at the end of class, “Now that I know the basics of Python, what do I do?” My answer was always something along the lines of, “You can get involved in open‐source projects!” or “Take the advanced Python class!” But none of those answers satisfi ed them or me. The answer is, “You have to really start looking for something to work on—a problem to solve, a need that must be met.” Because, the only way to really know and understand programming and a programming language is to solve problems with said language.
But then the problem of “But I don’t have a problem that really needs to be solved” cropped up. So while I could send my students off to look at open‐source projects that do, in fact, need the help, if they didn’t understand the technology, they’d be lost and give up. Then the community loses yet another programmer who may have brought interesting things to the table. So, that’s when, after lots of talking to friends and family, I realized that this book needed to be written.