Thursday, May 7, 2015

“Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners” By Albert Sweigart, 1st Edition.

Amazing book for anyone wanting to learn how to program

Out of all the programming languages, Python is one of the easiest to learn. Some of the advantages that Python has over other programming languages are that it is easy to read and write, less strict on syntax, and simpler to work with. This makes Python ideal for anyone who is new to programming. This book is not designed to be used as reference material; it’s a guide for beginners.

Anyone can pick up this book with no programming knowledge and by the time you are through, you can be building your own programs. From the beginning to the end of the book, the author does a good job in explaining and elaborating and doesn’t make the reader feel lost. The text and code are easily distinguished and easy to read. There are also bits of humor incorporated within the book which is greatly appreciated.

About a third of the book is used to teach the basics of expressions, flow control, functions, lists, dictionaries, structuring data, and manipulating strings. For the rest of the book, the author utilizes everything that you learned by creating programs that automate tasks such as:

Pattern matching with regular expressions
Reading and writing files
Organizing files
Web scraping
Working with Excel spreadsheets
Working with PDF and word documents
Working with CSV files and JSON data
Keeping time, scheduling, tasks, and launching programs
Sending email and text messages
Manipulating images
Controlling the keyboard and mouse with GUI automation

This programming books stands above most of the programming books I have read. The problem I have with most programming books is that they teach you the basics and that is it. What I really like about this particular book is that you use the knowledge that you learned throughout the book and create programs that are practical and useful in the real world.

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