Progress on High Performance Python book

I figured a short update was in order. Micha (@mynameisfiber, github) and I are progressing on our High Performance Python book, we have a proposed chapter outline below and hope to have a rough cut of some early chapters for January. The book should be finalised ‘earlier in 2014’ though we won’t be drawn on a date just yet.

The book is aimed at an Intermediate Pythonista audience for people who need to go beyond single core performance with CPython 2.7 and who want to use multi-cores, other compilers and clusters. It is not an HPC-Expert level book, though we hope that Python Experts will find some of the chapters to be useful.

We have a mailing list (signup here) which we use very sparingly to update our group about our progress (and soon we’ll be posting the rough-cut chapter notifications via the list). We’re posting once a month or so, you can opt out at any time.

Some people have questioned our focus on CPython 2.7. We ran a survey a few months ago and a couple of hundred people told us that they mainly use CPython 2.7 for their number crunching work, so that’s the focus of the book. Almost everything will or should run in Python 3.3+ with little or no change so we’re not worrying about the smaller differences.

Planned chapter list (this might be subject to change):
  • Understanding Performance Programming (high level introduction)
  • Profiling Python code (focusing on CPU and RAM profiling)
  • Pure Python (mainly CPython 2.7)
  • Matrix Computation with numpy
  • Disks and Network Processing
  • Calculating in Parallel (introduction)
  • Multiprocessing (multi-core on a single machine)
  • Cluster Computing (commodity clusters)
  • Just In Time Compiling
  • Static Compiling
  • Using less RAM
  • Lessons from the Field


Ian is a Chief Interim Data Scientist via his Mor Consulting. Sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London and to hear about his data science thoughts and jobs. He lives in London, is walked by his high energy Springer Spaniel and is a consumer of fine coffees.