This book helps average non-technical people learn how to free themselves from mundane computer tasks.
If you already know Python, this book probably is not written for you. Instead, the book is written for average non-technical people who want to learn how to free themselves from mundane computer tasks. The Python code is not optimized, for example. The book also teaches only enough Python to understand how the code works. It’s up to readers to work through the basic lessons at the start of the book then pick through the rest of the book to find then code time-saving tasks.
This book also works great for easily bored kids interested in software and technology. It’s possible for a bright kid to think up an application — email me final scores for games my favorite team plays — then work through this book to write the code and build their application.
The book begins with the basics: how to find and install Python for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Next you learn how to create Python files and save them to your computer. Programming basics follow next. All of this is easily explained in terms non-technical people will understand. There’s little or no jargon.
From this foundation, the book describes many different ways to use Python. Pattern matching, for example, can be used to find words and phrases. You learn how to use Python with Excel, Word, PDF, and other file formats, as well as how to open and close files. Python can be used to manipulate images. It also can be used to web (screen) scrape, to call up a web page, process the page, and then extract data you want while tossing data you don’t need. Python code to schedule tasks and send email also is explained in practical detail.
In short, most or all of the tasks you need to automate parts of your online life are possible with a few Python scripts. And this book provides a task-based approach with enough hand holding for non-technical people to understand.
Books like this one are extremely valuable to have on your shelf because they are practical. They’re cookbooks with code recipes you can use to do things, or find answers. This book is unusual because it is written for people with a limited interest in technology but need computers to work for them. The book also works for kids who want to play around with a solid programming language.
However you use this book, it is a more fun and easier to understand book about programming Python than most. This is an extremely useful book for anyone looking to do stuff with Python. And absolutely if you are busy and want to save time by automating parts of your digital life, this book is worth buying then working through.
Who knows, you also might develop a love for Python and programming because this book makes it easy to make things happen with code.
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python (No Starch Press)
Invent With Python
Also In The June 2015 Issue
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects dumb devices like refrigerators to the internet and uses software to connect them to our daily lives.
There are many operating systems for internet of things devices, from existing software used to control electronic boards to efforts by Google and Apple.
Disney Infinity 3.0, Rocket League, and Super Mario Maker are three fun video games to consider for the 2015 holiday season
You can learn a little software programming and have lots of fun with any number of coding apps available for your phone or tablet computer.
Operating system software is a key part of all computers. But what are they and how do they work?
Working through a book can help parents learn programming with their kids or kids learn on their own.
Board games and card games are some of the best ways to learn about programming. You don't need a computer. Play as a family or group.
These robots also can be programmed to move around rooms, one way for kids to learn programming.
Six women were hired to use their math skills to program the ENIAC computer. They called themselves The First Programmers Club.
Nicky is a Linguistics major who learned coding skills to further her research. She's also finished a PhD, won a few big awards, and co-founded Grok Learning.
Two women created an innovative online service to teach teenage girls how to code by using video.
The new Rust programming language is designed to solve problems with operating systems and fix issues with C and other languages.
Data can become alive and pose questions as well as reveal answers to questions we have.
Links from the bottom of all the articles in this issue, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.
DRY is an acronym for Don't Repeat Yourself. It's a critical programming concept and skill to learn.
Interesting news stories about computer science, software programming, and technology for August and September 2015.
CoderDojo is a free after school club for kids ages 7-17 where kids, parents, mentors, and others play with technology and learn to code.