Free Programming Ebooks - How to Make Mistakes in Python

Even the best programmers make mistakes, and experienced programmer Mike Pirnat has made his share during 15+ years with Python. Some have been simple and silly; others were embarrassing and downright costly. In this O’Reilly report, he dissects some of his most memorable blunders, peeling them back layer-by-layer to reveal just what went wrong.
For example, you could install every third-party package that looks interesting and end up with a tangled mess where nothing works right. Or you could write a test that manages to break the build. Mike’s done both and so much more. By avoiding these missteps, you’ll be free to make truly significant mistakes—the ones that advance the art of programming.
  • Setup: the ills of an incautiously prepared environment
  • Silly things: trivial mistakes that waste a disproportionate amount of energy
  • Style: poor stylistic decisions that impede readability
  • Structure: assembling code in ways that make change more difficult
  • Surprises: those shocking mysteries that only time can turn from OMG to LOL
Code examples are in Python 2, but still relevant for Python 3.
Mike Pirnat is the Advisory Engineer at American Greetings, where he’s wrangled Python since 2000. He’s been deeply involved in PCI and security efforts, developer education, and all manner of web development. He is also delighted to co-chair AG’s annual Hack Day event.

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