Django and Books

10 Best Django Books for Beginner and Advanced Programmers

Posted in Django, Books
10 Best Django Books for Beginner and Advanced Programmers

Django is one of the most popular Python frameworks for web development. Django provides loads of libraries and solutions for common tasks, which makes it easier and faster for developers to build even complex web applications. Learning Django is essential if you are into web development and Python programming. Books and learning go hand in hand, and this article will tell you about 10 best Django books for all levels of learners. But before that, let’s do a quick recap of what Django is.

What is Django?

Django is an open-source web framework. It has been written in Python and is free. A high-level framework, it allows for faster web development with clean, practical design. With all the common features already built-in, developers can focus on business logic rather than taking care of repetitive functionality. Some interesting features of Django are :

  • Template language specifically created to cater to front-end development
  • Fast, secure, scalable and versatile
  • Takes care of site maps, RSS feeds, content administration, user authentication, etc…
  • Eliminates the need to write SQL queries by using Python objects
  • Great documentation and support community

Learning Django may take time, but once you do so, you will appreciate the enhancement it brings to your applications.

Best Django Books to read in 2020

1. Django for APIs: Build web APIs with Python & Django

Django for APIsThe author has done a job explaining how to create RESTful APIs using Django and the Django REST framework – from scratch and of different complexity levels. This is not a basic book that will teach you “What is Django”, instead this is for developers who want to write code APIs that can be reused. The book focuses more on the Django REST framework and React and how you can build APIs easily and by using best coding practices. If you are overwhelmed by the official documentation and tutorials, this book is a good relief and covers only the most important concepts. The book is written for beginners but the author also points to many useful resources if you want to get into more complicated models.

You can buy this book here.

2. Two Scoops of Django 1.11: Best Practices for the Django Web Framework

Two Scoops of Django 1.11If you have worked on a Django project before and want to properly learn the framework, this is the best book. It is written keeping in mind both beginners and advanced level professionals. It is your go-to reference guide for tips and valuable suggestions for best practices. There are plenty of funny but informative diagrams that keep you hooked on the book and the authors have maintained a friendly tone for writing as well. The best part of the book is that you can skip chapters and read them as you like. Each chapter is independent of others. You would also learn to deploy your application to the cloud (PaaS). The authors’ experience clearly shows up with the wealth of information they have shared in the form of tips, code samples, tricks, and techniques.

You can buy this book here.

3. Django for Professionals: Production websites with Python & Django

Django for ProfessionalsThis is an extension of the Django for beginners’ book. While in the basic version, you would build simple websites that are focused on the understanding of concepts, this book focuses on more complex real-life applications and projects and is written keeping that in mind. The author gives you lots of tips and techniques that you need when you build production apps. As you read each chapter, you will appreciate the choice of other tools by the author more and more. You will need a basic understanding of Python, but that is it. The author assumes you do not know any others – Bootstrap, PostgreSQL, Docker, etc… He also chooses to build a website that covers all the concepts that you will ever need to become a pro in Django. 

You can buy this book here.

4. Django for Beginners: Build websites with Python and Django

Django for BeginnersThis is the easiest starting book for your Django learning. The book is fast-paced and the author makes sure you don’t feel like you are reading a boring technical textbook. The transition of concepts from easy to difficult is smooth from chapter to chapter. You don’t have to be a pro in Python to learn Django from this book. If you are new to Python as well, with help from some online resources, you will be able to follow the concepts of this book well. The author makes you think deeply about a concept and encourages you to try on the concepts by building basic applications. As a beginner, if you buy this book, perhaps you wouldn’t need any other guide. From the simple hello world app to more complex websites, the book follows an engaging structure and leaves you seeking more. 

You can buy this book here.

5. Django 2 by Example

Django 2 by ExampleThe book is good for beginners and intermediate level learners. If you have worked with JavaScript, HTML, and Python, this book would be a great choice. It starts from building a web application from scratch and covers even the most advanced topics in-depth, including integration with other technologies like Celery and Redis. The author covers a wide range of topics and provides a lot of code examples. However, not each line of code is explained and you may want to keep the official Django documentation open to understand more about some methods and steps. This is good – because you get to learn more than you would expect and in a flow. It is also a good option to read basics about Django before you start the book, just for a heads-up – even otherwise, the author assumes you have no prior knowledge of Django.

You can buy this book here.

6. Django Design Patterns and Best Practices

Django Design PatternThe book covers some unique topics that you would not find in many other books or even online resources. Though a design patterns book, it covers a fair amount of basics about Django starting with why Django came into existence. The author discusses at length how simple and complex problems that are very common, especially when we want faster development, can be solved by making simple design changes. Knowing about various patterns can greatly reduce the coding time and enhance code performance. The author not only explains patterns but also makes sure you understand where and when to use each pattern by giving example problems and solutions. The book also covers in detail about testing and security, which are the two most important aspects of any web application development.

You can buy this book here.

7. Django Unleashed

Django UnleashedThis is a good book for beginners as well as Django programmers with about 4-5 years who would like to learn more. The book is a detailed guide and starts with scratch to build applications in Django. It explains various ways of solving the same problem and then explains which one is better too. The author takes it slowly from basics to complex topics and though some advanced topics may be a bit difficult to follow initially, once you practice them, you will appreciate the effort the author has put to explain them. Complex topics like Generic views, creating custom users and managers, security, performance, etc are explained very nicely.

You can buy this book here.

8. Beginning Django E-Commerce

Beginning Django E-CommerceThis book is not purely technical but also covers some practical aspects of the framework. The author doesn’t go too deep into the workings of the in-built libraries; rather focuses on how to use these in different projects and scenarios. This book is for beginners, who may or may not have a Django background. However, you should have a fair understanding of HTML, CSS, XML, SQL other than Python. Some topics that this book covers (like deployment, testing, performance tuning) are not covered adequately in other books. It is a step by step guide to creating an e-comm website, however, the author doesn’t spoon-feed you at most places. You have to figure out how to do what you are supposed to do. A good book to understand Django for basic projects. 

You can buy this book here.

9. Lightweight Django 1st Edition

Lightweight DjangoThis is a nice interactive book with a hands-on approach to learning Django. It starts with basics and covers a lot of topics in-depth. Both beginners and advanced developers can benefit from this book. The author takes a complex project, breaks it into smaller components and goes on to explain each component, making it easy for readers to understand the low-level details as well as the overall picture. Every line of code is explained well, there is a reasoning for everything that the author does – the detailing is just amazing. The code uses Underscore, Backbone, and jQuery, so if you have basic knowledge about this, it will be an added advantage and you can read faster. The REST framework is explained well overall, but you might need additional resources (like documentation/blogs) to completely understand why something has been done. The book lives up to its name, i.e. “lightweight approach”.

You can buy this book here.

10. Practical Django 2 and Channels 2

Practical Django 2 and Channels 2This book is for all learners. You can use it as a step by step guide, a quick reference or a refresher. The author covers a great amount of information and makes some boring topics interesting through examples. The author seems to know a developer’s mindset perfectly – while reading if you seem to have a doubt, it will be cleared as the next thing in the book! The author touches upon all the domains – e-commerce, finance, banking by giving use cases from each of these enabling developers to use the techniques and guidance in their projects. The book also explains Django channels to solve problems related to event-driven programming, using Redis, WebSocket, and bootstrap. There are some errors in the code, but debugging and correcting them is a good way to self-learn. If you are stuck, you can find the working code in GitHub, so the errors are not a big deal. It’s a great purchase for everyone who wants to keep in touch with Django.

You can buy this book here.

Bonus Django Books

The above books are quite sufficient to learn Django in-depth. However, we want to mention here a few bonus books, that focus on other tools used along with Django for a complete learning experience:

1. Test-Driven Development with Python

Test-Driven Development with PythonThis book covers a wide range of tools and topics; it starts with basics but quickly moves on to more details about test-driven development. The author’s tone is engaging and you might be just as excited as for a fiction book – the chapters on test-driven development are covered so much in detail and with no boring pages at all. It also covers Continuous Integration, Spiking, and of course to obey the testing goat!

You can buy this book here.

2. Learn Web Development with Python

Learn Web Development with PythonThis is a comprehensive book to learn Python and Django simultaneously. The book covers the basics of Python and then slowly moves to more complex features of Python. It then introduces readers to Django for building web applications and REST APIs. It also covers enough about following best practices for building production websites. If you are a non-programmer, you can take a short tutorial on the basics of Python and then start with this book.

You can buy this book here.

3. Build Your First Website with Python and Django 1st Edition

Build Your First Website with Python and DjangoThis is a fast-paced book for developers who work on Python and Django. The book covers a lot of topics in detail and explains them well, however it did not make it to the top 10 list, because it is a very basic book, and you will certainly need more resources to learn more. The book is worth mentioning as it builds a solid foundation for developers and is one of the best books to learn Python and Django together.

You can buy this book here.

 

Conclusion

Although the Django community is quite extensive and solves many problems, the official documentation is sometimes hard to follow. Rather than trying to learn Django through just documents and online tutorials, it is a good option to supplement your learning with a few books. Books like “Django for beginners” and “Django Unleashed” have been exceptionally written and can be a good starting point. More advanced users might want to learn through books like “Django Design Patterns and Best Practices”, “Two Scoops of Django 1.11” and “Django for Professionals” for writing better code and fine-tune their design. “Django by example” is an excellent book for hands-on learning when you have less time to read and more project work to do. Happy reading!

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Ramya Shankar

Ramya Shankar

A cheerful, full of life and vibrant person, I hold a lot of dreams that I want to fulfill on my own. My passion for writing started with small diary entries and travel blogs, after which I have moved on to writing well-researched technical content. I find it fascinating to blend thoughts and research and shape them into something beautiful through my writing. View all posts by the Author

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