How do you learn to program? Through a series of simple exercises that teach programming fundamentals with an easy-to-use, easy-to-learn programming language.

You'll need to read this book when you have the following three things happening at the same time:

* You have a problem to solve that involves data and processing.
* You know that the common desktop tools (word processors, spread sheets, databases, organizers, graphics) won't really help. You've found that they require too much manual pointing and clicking, or they don't do the right kinds of processing on your data.
* You're ready to invest some of your own time to learn the Python language to solve your problem.

Or, perhaps you are tinkerer who likes to know how things really work. For many people, a computer is just an appliance. You may not find this satisfactory, and you want to know more. People who tinker with computers are called hackers, and you are about to join their ranks.

Our objective is to get you, a non-programming newbie, up and running. When you're done with this book, you'll be ready to move on to a more advanced Python book. For example, a book about the Python libraries. You can use these libraries can help you build high-quality software with a minimum of work.

This book has 54 easy-to-use chapters that will help you build basic programming skills. Each chapter introduces just one new concept through a series of exercises. The exercises grow from simple identification of the parts of your computer to statistical simulations of casino games.