Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

Written by: Al Sweigart

A two-part programming textbook that teaches both those new to programming and seasoned coders the Python programming language. Python does not require complex knowledge of algorithms and syntax, like many other programming languages. The text is designed to get readers coding quickly. The author calls it a “practical programming guide for the rest of us.”; meaning non -computer science pros.

Al Sweigart has authored a number of Python programming texts. They are all available online for free or can be purchased on Amazon if you prefer a paper copy.

Sweigart warns readers that Automate the Boring Stuff with Python will not turn you into a computer programming professional. But, you will learn programming basics that will enable you to automate tasks like:

  • Moving and renaming thousands of files or sorting them into folders
  • Filling out online forms, no typing required
  • Downloading files or copy text from a website whenever it updates
  • Having your computer text you custom notifications
  • Updating or formatting Excel spreadsheets
  • Checking your email and sending out prewritten responses

As you can see, Automate the Boring Stuff with Python is a guide that should help automate those simple, boring tasks that many of us do on a daily basis.

Hard-core programming aficionados might notice that some of the code presented does not conform with what are considered best practices. The code is meant to be easy to understand, quick to write and disposable – making it pretty of full of cleverness is not required.

To use this book and to program in Python, you will need to download the program. It’s free and available here – just make sure you download the version that matches your computer’s operating system. (The website for this text also includes the Python link as well as a step-by-step installation guide.)

Table of Contents

Part 1 – The Basics of Python Programming
0. Introduction
1. Python Basics
2. Flow Control
3. Functions
4. Lists
5. Dictionaries and Structuring Data
6. Manipulating Strings
Part 2 – Automating Tasks
7. Pattern Matching with Regular Expressions
8. Reading and Writing Files
9. Organizing Files
10. Debugging
11. Web Scraping
12. Working with Excel Spreadsheets
13. Working with PDF and Word Documents
14. Working with CSV Files and JSON Data
15. Time, Scheduling Tasks, and Launching Programs
16. Sending Email and Text Messages
17. Manipulating Images
18. Controlling the Keyboard and Mouse with GUI Automation
Appendix A – Installing Third-Party Modules
Appendix B – Running Programs
Appendix C – Answers to Practice Questions

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Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

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