If you're an office worker, student, administrator, or just want to become more productive with your computer, programming will allow you write code that can automate tedious tasks. This course follows the popular (and free!) book, Automate the Boring Stuff with Python.
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python was written for people who want to get up to speed writing small programs that do practical tasks as soon as possible. You don't need to know sorting algorithms or object-oriented programming, so this course skips all the computer science and concentrates on writing code that gets stuff done.
This course is for complete beginners and covers the popular Python programming language. You'll learn basic concepts as well as:
- Web scraping
- Parsing PDFs and Excel spreadsheets
- Automating the keyboard and mouse
- Sending emails and texts
- And several other practical topics
By the end of this course, you'll be able to write code that not only dramatically increases your productivity, but also be able to list this fun and creative skill on your resume.
This lecture explains what programming is good for, even if you don't intend to become a software engineer. At the end of this lecture, you'll be able to download and install Python and be ready to learn to code.
The if/else statements are the basic instruction for letting your Python programs make decisions.
Loops allow your program to execute the same code over and over again.
The while loop will execute the same code over and over as long as some condition is true, but for loops allow you to execute a set number of iterations of a loop.
You don't have to write every bit of code yourself. Python comes with several functions that your program can call to leverage the code that others have written.
- No programming experience is required.
- Downloading and installing Python is covered at the start of the course.
- Basic computer skills: surfing websites, running programs, saving and opening documents, etc.
- Automate tasks on their computer by writing simple Python programs.
- Write programs that can do text pattern recognition with "regular expressions".
- Programmatically generate and update Excel spreadsheets.
- Parse PDFs and Word documents.
- Crawl web sites and pull information from online sources.
- Write programs that send out email notifications.
- Use Python's debugging tools to quickly figure out bugs in your code.
- Programmatically control the mouse and keyboard to click and type for you.
Al Sweigart is a software developer in San Francisco. He has written four Python programming books, spoken at Python conferences, and has taught both kids and adults how to program. Python is his favorite programming language, and he is the developer of several open source modules for it. He is driven to make programming knowledge available to all, and his books freely available under a Creative Commons license.