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Advanced Python Mastery

A course by David Beazley (
Copyright (C) 2007-2023


An exercise-driven course on Advanced Python Programming that was battle-tested several hundred times on the corporate-training circuit for more than a decade. Written by David Beazley, author of the Python Cookbook, 3rd Edition (O'Reilly) and Python Distilled (Addison-Wesley). Released under a Creative Commons license. Free of ads, tracking, pop-ups, newsletters, and AI.

Target Audience

This course is for Python programmers who want to move beyond short scripts to writing more sophisticated programs. Topics focus on programming techniques that get used in popular libraries and frameworks. The primary goal is to better understand the Python language itself so that you can understand other people's code and so that you can apply your newfound knowledge to your own projects.


You already know some Python. This is not a course for beginners. For more introductory material, you might consider the Practical Python Programming course.

How to Take the Course

To take the course, you should first fork/clone the GitHub repo to your own machine.

It is assumed that you are working locally in a proper Python development environment. That means a proper installation of Python, an editor/IDE, and whatever other tools that you would normally install to work on Python. Due to the use of multiple files and module imports, the use of Notebooks is not recommended.

The PythonMastery.pdf file contains detailed presentation slides. Course exercises and suggested timings are clearly indicated. You'll want to keep this by your side (I recommend downloading and viewing it with a local PDF viewer). Start here!

The Exercises/ directory has all of the course exercises.

The Solutions/ directory has fully worked out solution code.

The Data/ directory has some datafiles used during the course.

The course was originally taught over 4-5 days in an in-person classroom setting with a mix of lecture and hands-on exercises. Successful completion of the course will likely require 30-50 hours of work. Exercises tend to build upon each other. Solutions are always provided in case you get stuck.

Supplemental Material

The Advanced Python Mastery course often suggested more in-depth tutorials on selected topics. These were presented at the PyCon conference and might be of interest:

Questions and Answers

Q: Are any videos available?

A: No. You will be able to more quickly read the presentation slides which contain technical information. However, the Python Programming Language: LiveLessons video available on O'Reilly's Safari site is closely related to the material in this course.

Q: Can I use these materials in my own course?

A: Yes. I just kindly ask that you give proper attribution.

Q: Do you accept bug reports or pull requests?

A: If you've found a bug, please report it! However, I'm not looking to expand or reorganize the course content with new topics or exercises.

Q: Are the presentation slides available in any format other than PDF?

A: No.

Q: Is there any forum/chat where the course can be discussed?

A: You can use GitHub discussions to discuss the course.

Q: Why wasn't topic/tool/library X covered?

A: The course was designed to be completed in an intense 4-day in-person format. It simply isn't possible to cover absolutely everything. As such, the course is focused primarily on the core Python language, not third party libraries or tooling.

Q: Why aren't features like typing, async, or pattern matching covered?

A: Mainly, it's an issue of calendar timing and scope. Course material was primarily developed pre-pandemic and represents Python as it was at that time. Some topics (e.g., typing or async) are sufficiently complex that they would be better covered on their own in a separate course.

Q: Why did you release the course?

A: This course was extensively taught pre-pandemic. Post-pandemic, my teaching has shifted towards projects and CS fundamentals. However, why let a good course just languish on my computer?

Q: How can I help?

A: If you like the course, the best way to support it is to tell other people about it.

>>> Advanced Python Mastery
... A course by dabeaz
... Copyright 2007-2023

. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License