Automate the boring stuff with python

- - Python, Tutorials

Some while ago, I got myself enrolled in one of the best video lectures at Udemy. I have recently completed the lectures and would like to brief about it. The course is named Automate the boring stuff with python. Well, it is an excellent video lecture A.I Sweigart has brought up. It is good to go for people with any skill level. The video lectures gradually leaps upwards the ladder underlying the basics at the initial few videos. I would say it is a motivation to a new-comer in python.

Jumping straight onto the topics. Following is the list of topics covered in the course at Udemy which has at the time of writing this article, a 29, 500 students enrolled.

The lectures are chunked onto 16 sections.

Section 1(Installation and Introduction)

This section covers installation of python and basics including taking input from the user. More of an intro.

Section 2 (Flow Control)

The beginning of this section introduces to flowcharts, working with them, importance, etc. Basic if-else statements, looping structures- while loop and for loop. Includes topics like comparison operators, boolean operators and monkeying around them.

Section 3 (Functions)

Starts with built-in functions like print(), input(), len(). Intro to built-in modules and importing them like math which contains math related functions. Moves on to making calls to method the module has offered. Further towards the end of this section, A.I. Swiegart explains making functions and talks about local and global scoping.

Section 4 (Handling Error)

Error catching techniques in python using try/except block.

Section 5 (Writing a complete program using above learned things.)

A good point to start writing a complete program, hence the tutorial heads on to making the classic guess the number program.

Section 6 (Lists)

This section covers the lists definition, accessing items through index as well as slicing and deleting items in a list. Additionally, the lectures goes on to show the graphical representation on how the accessing of the items in the list is happening. Concatenating strings and lists are also covered. Using in operator to find the content in the list and string and passing strings on to list() method is talked about towards the end of this section. This section also covers looping over elements in a list, various built-in methods over lists and finally a comparison between list and string.

Section 7 (Dictionary)

Starts with the introduction to yet another powerful data-type in python, dictionary. Creating them, iterating over them an so on. Further, the lecture talks more about data structures and how they can model our problem set using an example program of tic-tac-toe.

Section 8 (Strings)

This section adds more knowledge about string methods and string manipulation as well as formatting strings. Great content in this section.

Section 9 (Running Programs from command line)

Sebang line is introduced in this section which I think is one of the most important thing to include in a lecture.

Section 10 (Regular Expressions)

Section 10 has 5 video lectures altogether. The lecture begins with the basics of regex advancing towards topics like greedy/nongreedy matching, findall() method, regex sub() method and verbose mode, etc. The section ends by creating a email and phone number scraper.

Section 11 (Files)

This section of the video course is designated for detailed talk on files. I think this is the most fundamental knowledge to have since it is glued in every application you build, be it a web-application or a small script. (On a long run, it helps in easily configuring paths in django and understanding exactly what is happening.) This sections covers essential things like absolute file path, relative file path, reading and writing to a plain text file, copying and moving files and folders, walking a directory tree and deleting files and folders.

Section 12 (Debugging)

Walk through debugging techniques like assert and logging, etc.

Section 13 (Web Scraping)

Intro to modules such as webbrowser, requests, BeautifulSoup, selenium. Each of the mentioned modules has dedicated video on showcasing their methods and usage. Parsing html using BeautifulSoup, controlling the browser with selenium, downloading files using requests modules and so on.

Section 14 (Working with Excel, Word and PDF files)

In this portion of the lecture, various libraries such as openpyxl, pypdf2, etc are introduced and their usage case are showcased as well. Reading and writing excel files, reading pdf files, merging them, etc are explained towards the end of this section.

Section 15 (Emails)

This section covers sending emails, checking emails, creating MIME objects and iterating over various folders in the email.

Section 16 (GUI Automation)

Introduction to pyautogui. You can read more about it’s usage on my article here. Controlling mouse, keyboard along with a delay in each click/keystroke, etc. Shows a game player designed with the use of pyautogui and assigns a task to create a bot to play 2048 game. Here is my assignment that plays a 2048 game on it’s own. https://github.com/bhishan/2048autoplay/

Concluding Words

It is an excellent video course. The name of the course however is misleading in a sense that it provides more content than it promises. Here’s is a link to the course if you’d like to enroll. https://www.udemy.com/automate

Thanks for reading guys. Share your thoughts on this post below in the comments section.

Bhishan Bhandari [22] A one man army producing contents and maintaining this blog. I am a hobbyist programmer and enjoy writing scripts for automation. If you'd like a process to be automated through programming, I also sell my services at Fiverr . Lately, I like to refresh my Quora feeds. Shoot me messages at bbhishan@gmail.com  

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