IN THIS CHAPTER
Performing tasks with numbers and logic
Interacting with strings
Working with dates
Packaging tasks using functions
Making decisions and repeating tasks
Managing data using sets, lists, and tuples
Accessing individual items using iterators
Making data easier to access using indexed storage
Packaging code elements using modules
Chapter 6 helps you create a Python installation that you can use for a variety of purposes, including machine learning and data science. This chapter’s focus is on providing a good overview of how Python works as a language as well as to solve machine learning problems. If you already know Python, you might be able to skip this chapter and move on to the next one. It might be best, however, to at least skim this chapter and test some of the examples, just to be sure that you have a good installation.
If you’re new to Python, you can’t use this book to learn Python from scratch — for that, you need a book such as Beginning Programming with Python For Dummies, by this book’s coauthor John Mueller (Wiley), or you need a tutorial such as the one at
https://docs.python.org/2/tutorial/. This chapter assumes that you’ve worked with other programming languages and have at least an idea of how Python works. This limitation aside, you can use this chapter for a refresher on how things work in Python, which is all that many people really need. You find out the basics of working with Python data types, coding ...