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Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,955 ratings  ·  184 reviews
If you've ever spent hours renaming files or updating hundreds of spreadsheet cells, you know how tedious tasks like these can be. But what if you could have your computer do them for you?

In "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python," you'll learn how to use Python to write programs that do in minutes what would take you hours to do by hand no prior programming experience req
Paperback, 479 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by No Starch Press (first published November 25th 2014)
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Grace Nellore
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My absolute favorite book for Python so far!

very user-friendly, excellent for beginners, but still super useful for those more experienced, saves SO much time, and people think you're some awesome cool hacker although its actually SO SIMPLE!

got me over-excited and made me spend $$ on a bunch more books in the same series... okay, that's my own fault, but seriously, I have enough books to last me well into 2016!
Anton Antonov
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: technical
I think this book isn't worth it's price of $30. Not at all.

The contents are extremely shallow and in fact, they are just a combination of some libraries docs. The author doesn't go in-depth and share something that you wouldn't find in the docs. In fact, you have better chances reading the libraries' docs since they should be always up-to-date.

The projects try to build some interest in the reader, but they aren't anything challenging nor unique.

If you're new to programming you should not belie
Lawrence Kurniawan
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Throughout the years, I've tried to pick up programming as a fringe interest of mine without much success. Looking back, I think it's because most beginner level programming books I've laid my hands on laboriously walked the readers through the concepts without much practicality. With no interesting real life application on sight, surely the interest soon dwindled.

Not this book.

The provided examples were interesting and useful without going too much in depth that would have ended up confusing t
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tim by: Marty
Make no mistake--this IS a book about programming. However, if you are an "experienced programmer" seeking to methodically study a new language, this book is not for you. It is not very "methodical", see. The book's primary audience is a moderately experienced group of power PC users who seek to expand their horizons by mixing a bit of scripting into their routine, boring daily tasks. As such, no prior programming experience is really required. That said, as long as you understand that, even if ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I took a time ago to start learning Python. Nowadays I'm studying slightly more advanced material, even so, this book proves to be a good source of reference. It has very careful and detailed definitions of concepts. Though these concepts are basic the adequate understanding of them is crucial to further developments of programmer skills.

In the future, we are all going to be programmers in some level. I think this book is a useful tool to help us on this journey.
Chris C
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mixed feelings.

The book is good at what it does. It's engaging. But I didn't get enough practice with the basics. The pace was too fast, and now that I'm through, I still don't feel like I can program.

I'm trying a more practice-based approach now, using this site as a learning resource. Still, ATBSWP gave me a great conceptual foundation. Maybe a combination approach is best?
Teddy Hartanto
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Two years into Computer Science, I got bored with the subject. This book has re-sparked that fire inside me. It has brought a new light, a new perspective on computer science. It's a practical problem solving book that focuses on getting shit done. In the process, you get to learn how to program. I personally think that the best way to learn is to have a purpose in mind. This book gives you that purpose. It makes you want to automate stuffs. And then it teaches you how to do it.

As someone who's
Tharindu Dissanayake
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one fun book to learn Python, especially for a beginner. First part of the book provides a basic understanding of the language, which done very quickly.
Then starts part II, which consists of a number of projects, while diving into certain specific areas relevant to each chapter.
Don Holloway
This is a great book for anyone that is interested in making the transition from learning Python code to actually creating programs that do useful things.

The book includes a basic overview of Python. It provides practical examples, starting with how to read and write data to files, then quickly moves into webscraping, creating spreadsheets, image manipulation, and other useful techniques.

It is both well thought out and well written. I've listened to a podcast interview of the author, Al Sweiga
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are criticisms that this book doesn't go deep enough, but you will find those arguments are from people who probably have programming experience and have experienced the deeper depths of the rabbit hole.

If you've read more than one programming book, you're probably not within this book's target audience.

If you've never programmed before and want a great starting point, this is a wonderful introduction. Too many launching points for novice programmers are mere syntax guides, and I'm please
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've recommended this book to multiple friends who aren't programmers but interested in learning to code. This book is also great because it equips the reader with the knowledge necessary to actually do useful things. ...more
Dwayne Roberts
A good exposition of many Python methods and structures. I would have liked more info about threading.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've not read every page of this but I I feel it's fair to mark it as read.

I benefited from working through this when I was starting to learn programming as it gave me lots of structure. The format is easy to follow and it teaches you how to make things that work. Finding real use cases with my early skills was hugely motivating.

After my initial learning experience I returned to the book whenever I had a particular task I was trying to accomplish. It introduced several modules that I wouldn't ha
Kārlis Bergmanis
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it-sysadmin
Five stars, as book does what it promises really, really well.
I'm a Powershell guy and wanted to expand my skills a bit - so this worked out great. I skipped some parts - Excel, Word, PDF, as they are not really relevant to me now, and completely ignored Image manipulation - but parts that I went through explained a lot.
I also managed to create one real-world program that I had failed to get to work in PS, so this is great. - I wouldn't consider learning another language to do something I know h
Deepak Shah
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Instead of the old-school thought of stuffing up all the details — which most of the programming experts do; Al has condensed the basic stuff in about 30% of the book, leaving a lot of space for modules and independent projects.

My goal was to understand python, by practicing it; and the author managed to help me really well.
Jose  Ignacio Seco Sanz
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technical
Well, I think highly of this book, and I look forward to try some of the things in it. I'm not sure a beginner can follow all of it, but fortunately I'm not a beginner.
The book is more focused in doing things than in teaching all about python, so if you are interested in thoroughly learning the language you are going to need more than this book. Recommended.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Must Read for Python Developers. See yourself if you can go through this projects and feel comfortable without working on it..

After reading this book you shouldn't do any stuff repeatedly... you write some code and tell the script to run and kaboom! you are virtually automating your stuff.

Al sweigart thanks!
Senthil Kumaran
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very well written. The projects are very creative and exciting.
Teresa Portela
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I had no idea this was a book for beginners. That is my fault for not realizing. This book wasn't so much about automation but learning basic Python mechanics. ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
After taking quite a long hiatus from programming last year, I jumped back into the game with the programming language Python. As such, I needed resources that were instructive and practical. Albert's Sweigart's Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners satisfies on all fronts.

The novelty of this book's approach to teaching programming is really refreshing. Rather than deconstruct the language and cover each aspect sequentially as many traditional textbooks
The Unicorn
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: beginners to Python and computer language programming
This book does what it says to do: it's not a reference manual, nor will it transform anyone into a highly-qualified computer programmer by the end of its read; it's a guide for beginners to fundamentally get the feel of Python. Being an absolute newbie to Python and computer languages in general, it did help get me get acquainted with Python vocabulary.

With that said, I overall don't have much confidence in myself that I fully understand Python or write its code independently. Many of the proj
Daniel Q
The goal of this book is to teach non-programmers how to use Python to automate tasks, and it succeeds in that. Readers with a little more knowledge or programming ambition will face some compromises.

The first part of the book is a short course in Python 3, with emphasis on practice and not much theory. Classes and object orientation are left out, which may be a no-no to some.

The second part is (mainly) about automation, with the help of a few external modules. Again the spotlight is on practice
Jackie Zhao
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is totally for the beginner of Python.
The explanation is easy to understand. I understand all the explanation though I am from a non-English country.
I hope you guys will love this book,just enjoy the world of Python!
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is amazing book for a Python beginner!!
Sweemeng Ng
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Pretty good book for introducing python to people with a lot of good practical example
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I think the book is really excellent for beginners in programming and in Python.
For more advanced levels it can be a bit boring, but the stuff about Python stuff is still useful.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Title should read: "List of some things that you could automate using python in 2015 that I could fit into 500 pages." ...more
J. N.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been trying to find a way to get myself through a basic python course for years! ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Handy companion to any Python student. Supplemental to the Udemy course.
William Schram
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
There are books out there that will turn an average schlub into a programming superstar. Automate the Boring Stuff With Python is not one of those books. The introduction by the author says as much. As such, the book does not always follow best practices. Furthermore, the book assumes that you know nothing of programming. That isn't to say the book is terrible or even mediocre. The book is excellent for its targeted audience.

Automate the Boring Stuff With Python builds on itself. It has flowchar
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