Eric Matthes


Teacher & Hacker

I grew up in Nashua, NH. Nashua looks like a suburb of Boston, but in the late '70s and early' 80s, I could ride my bike with a friend and explore the backstreets of small towns for whole summer days. I went to college at UNH, where I studied physics because I wanted to understand how the Universe works at the most basic levels. I wanted to be a particle physicist, but I didn't want to be a student until I was 30, so I looked for something else to try. I loved my tutoring experiences with other math and science students so I tried to teach. I have found the challenges of trying to reach every student in a classroom as intellectually stimulating as the hard sciences, and even more satisfying.

I spent 7 years teaching in New York. During this time, I cycled across the United States twice in the summer, and at one point spent 13 straight months living on a bicycle. I've driven from Seattle to Maine, to Florida, California, and Alaska. Shortly after this trip, I moved to Southeast Alaska, where I have lived ever since.

My father was a software engineer and he introduced me to programming before personal computers were a thing. I loved it and was an amateur programmer for most of my life until about 10 years ago. I started giving introductory programming classes in the mid-2000s. I was not happy with the resources available to my students and other independent students, so I wrote Python Crash Course, which is released in 2015. Since then it has become the best. sell a Python book to the world.

Writing a successful technical book is not like writing a popular fiction book. Technical books require regular updates and occasional full rewrites. After 25 years of teaching, I left the classroom in 2019 to devote myself full time to writing and other programming related projects.

These days I love to run, hike, cycle and spend time with my family. I am also an active member of our local mountain rescue team.