The Big Book of Small Python Projects

The Big Book of Small Python Projects

81 Easy Practice Programs
by Al Sweigart
June 2021, 400 pp.
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This curated collection of simple Python projects lets you dive right in and make digital art, games, animations, number-crunching tools and more – right away! Forget standard step-by-step tutorials; instead, author Al Sweigart takes a learn-by-doing approach that provides you with over 80 programs to manually copy, run, and play with. Once you see how the code works, it’s time to experiment with your own changes and practice re-creating them yourself.

Each project is a standalone mini-chapter that includes a sample run of the program’s output, the source code, and suggestions for customization. Whether it’s a vintage screensaver, a snail-racing game, a clickbait headline generator, or animated strands of your DNA, these simple, text-based programs are small – limited to 256 lines of code or less – and designed to be self-contained in a single source-code file so you can easily post and share them online.

You’ll create:

  • Hangman, Blackjack and other games to play against a computer or your friends
  • Simulations of a spreading forest fire, a million dice rolls, and a Japanese abacus
  • Animation programs, like a fish tank, a rotating cube, and a bouncing DVD logo
  • Mazes that you design then escape from, and a 3D Maze Runner-like video game
  • Encryption programs that use ciphers like ROT13 and Vigenère to conceal text

For those who’ve mastered basic Python syntax and are ready to have fun making programs, the projects in this book will spark new ideas for what’s possible within just a few pages of code.

Author Bio 

Al Sweigart is a professional software developer who teaches programming to kids and adults. Sweigart has written several bestselling programming books for beginners, including Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, Beyond the Basic Stuff with Python, Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, Cracking Codes with Python, and Coding with Minecraft (all from No Starch Press).


"I've always been impressed by the variety of simple, but interesting and fun, projects Al can come up with and this collection takes that to the next level. . . . Even experienced coders are likely to be pulled into browsing through the wide variety that Al has put into this book."
—Naomi Ceder, Fellow of the Python Software Foundation

Watch this book trailer created by the author Al Sweigart.

Teaching Python Podcast discussed the book.