Django 3 book - is it still worth buying

Hey, guys! My first post here.

I got into learning Django recently, and it happened that I got some Gift Vouchers for a local book store. There I found this Django 3 book which looks very interesting to me: https://www.amazon.com/Django-Example-powerful-reliable-applications/dp/1838981950
When I checked, latest Django version is 5, so my question is, if I take Django 3 book, did I waste my money (voucher)? Can it be used as a basis to Learn Django 4 and 5 (for as much as I can see, Django 4 added async stuff out of major changes etc).

Thanks in advance!

In my opinion, A book for any tech specifically for certain version’s are not worth. Any tech can be learned online nowadays and to get good understanding of any tech, One must develop as many projects as they can or any complex project which contains many complex tasks like eCommerce (which have user management, authentication, payment integration, product display, searching, sorting, etc).

There are certain other books which does not comply with a specific version and contains a lot of other stuff to learn and get good understanding over it and many of there contents can be consumed with any Django versions, like this books Boost Your Django DX or Data Structures and Algorithms in Python. There are lot of other books like these one which might help one to master a specific tech.

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Thanks you so much for you response and insights! It’s very valuable indeed.
While I agree you can get everything online now, at times I find it comfortable to move away from all kinds of screens and just get to the paper book (also to lay down and give my developers back some comfort and stretch). Of course, to learn coding you can not avoid, well, coding, but from the book you may get some concepts anyway, to think them over, so I found certain value in books too.
Btw I’d be happy if those books you mentioned were available at the book store I got vouchers for, but alas, I don’t think I happened to see the on the list.
Now, when I think it over, maybe I’ll go for the O’Reilly’s SQL Cookbok which is in the same price range, but seems more universal.

You might be better off with ebooks as they might get updated as things change with new versions.

I believe Will Vincent keeps his books updated & they offer some great information.

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Thanks! I will consider buying Kindle or similar device, once I get more financially sound.
But I am also a bit of an old school guy and simply have love for paper books :slight_smile:
Actually I really think I am gonna give up now on this Django book in favor of SQL one. Still I don’t think it would be mistake per se, but it turned out these days I might have more use of SQL one now.

I too share your appreciation for physical media. I also believe there are many circumstances where a physical book can provide more “value” than its electronic counterpart.

Having said that, what I would most caution you about now isn’t that what you read is likely to be significantly “wrong” - but just not identify what the current state-of-the-art may be. It’s less an issue of what it’s teaching you, and perhaps more an issue of what is missing.

As a very-contrived example:

An older reference may say something like "To do “X”, you need to do “a”, “b”, and “c”. "

But, because of enhancements to Django - while “a”, “b”, and “c” may still be valid, you may only need to do “a” and “d” to accomplish the same “X” - where “d” provides the same functionality as the combination of “b” and “c” before.

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Yes, it’s the magnitude of updates which I was concerned with. E.g. I would hardly buy a book for NextJs 12, knowing the changes v13 introduced (App Router, i18n etc).

For that, I would read the release notes. You could probably focus on the “top level” releases to get a good idea of what has been added or changed. (e.g., Django 4.0 release notes | Django documentation | Django, Django 4.1 release notes | Django documentation | Django, Django 4.2 release notes | Django documentation | Django, and Django 5.0 release notes | Django documentation | Django)

Also take a look at Django Deprecation Timeline | Django documentation | Django.

At some point you would probably want to read through them all, but those would cover all the “big” cases you might expect to trip you up.

One thing that Django tends to do differently from many other products is that the version numbering is “date and schedule driven” rather than “feature driven”. See Django’s release process | Django documentation | Django and Download Django | Django - particularly the calendar chart on that page.

Personally, I’m probably still more “mentally in tune” with 3.2 than anything newer, even though everything I’ve been developing for the past year runs in 4.2 or 5.0.

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I will consider buying Kindle or similar device

You don’t need a specific device for it. The books I’ve bought electronically are all available as PDF so work well on laptop/phone.

And I agree with Ken. Physical books, [almost] no matter their age will teach you things that are relevant for a long time. I’ll bet there is still content in django 2.2 and 3.2 books that we could use today. So I suppose you should bare that in mind, because I think a django 4.2 book would last you a good few years from now. If there’s 5.0 books already then that might be worth considering instead.

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