Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Programming

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Programming

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Programming

A practical programming course for office workers, academics, and administrators who want to improve their productivity.

Language: english

Note: 4.7/5 (99,990 notes) 1,032,825 students

Instructor(s): Al Sweigart

Last update: 2021-04-13

What you’ll learn

  • Automate tasks on their computer by writing simple Python programs.
  • Write programs that can do text pattern recognition with “regular expressions”.
  • Programmatically generate and update Excel spreadsheets.
  • Parse PDFs and Word documents.
  • Crawl web sites and pull information from online sources.
  • Write programs that send out email notifications.
  • Use Python’s debugging tools to quickly figure out bugs in your code.
  • Programmatically control the mouse and keyboard to click and type for you.



  • No programming experience is required.
  • Downloading and installing Python is covered at the start of the course.
  • Basic computer skills: surfing websites, running programs, saving and opening documents, etc.



If you’re an office worker, student, administrator, or just want to become more productive with your computer, programming will allow you write code that can automate tedious tasks. This course follows the popular (and free!) book, Automate the Boring Stuff with Python.

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python was written for people who want to get up to speed writing small programs that do practical tasks as soon as possible. You don’t need to know sorting algorithms or object-oriented programming, so this course skips all the computer science and concentrates on writing code that gets stuff done.

This course is for complete beginners and covers the popular Python programming language. You’ll learn basic concepts as well as:

  • Web scraping
  • Parsing PDFs and Excel spreadsheets
  • Automating the keyboard and mouse
  • Sending emails and texts
  • And several other practical topics

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to write code that not only dramatically increases your productivity, but also be able to list this fun and creative skill on your resume.


Who this course is for

  • Office workers, students, small/home business workers, and administrators would want to improve their productivity.
  • Aspiring software engineers who want to add skills to their programming toolbelt.
  • Computer users who have heard the “learn to code” message, but want practical reasons to learn programming.
  • Experienced Python software engineers can skip the first half of the course, but may find the later parts that cover various third-party modules helpful.
  • While this course doesn’t cover specific devops tools, this course would be useful for QA, devops, and admins who want to learn scripting in Python.


Course content

  • Python Basics
    • Get Python Installed
    • Just a check in.
    • Basic Terminology and Using IDLE
    • Writing Our First Program
  • Flow Control
    • Flow Charts and Basic Flow Control Concepts
    • If, Else, and Elif Statements
    • While Loops
    • For Loops
  • Functions
    • Python’s Built-In Functions
    • Writing Your Own Functions
    • Global and Local Scopes
  • Handling Errors with try/except
    • Try and Except Statements
  • Writing a Complete Program: Guess the Number
    • Writing a “Guess the Number” Program
  • Lists
    • The List Data Type
    • For Loops with Lists, Multiple Assignment, and Augmented Operators
    • List Methods
    • Similarities Between Lists and Strings
  • Dictionaries
    • The Dictionary Data Type
    • Data Structures
  • More About Strings
    • Advanced String Syntax
    • String Methods
    • String Formatting
  • Running Programs from the Command Line
    • Launching Python Programs from Outside IDLE
  • Regular Expressions
    • Regular Expression Basics
    • Regex Groups and the Pipe Character
    • Repetition in Regex Patterns and Greedy/Nongreedy Matching
    • Regex Character Classes and the findall() Method
    • Regex Dot-Star and the Caret/Dollar Characters
    • Regex sub() Method and Verbose Mode
    • Regex Example Program: A Phone and Email Scraper
  • Files
    • Filenames and Absolute/Relative File Paths
    • Reading and Writing Plaintext Files
    • Copying and Moving Files and Folders
    • Deleting Files
    • Walking a Directory Tree
  • Debugging
    • The raise and assert Statements
    • Logging
    • Using the Debugger
  • Web Scraping
    • The webbrowser Module
    • Downloading from the Web with the Requests Module
    • Parsing HTML with the Beautiful Soup Module
    • Controlling the Browser with the Selenium Module
  • Excel, Word, and PDF Documents
    • Reading Excel Spreadsheets
    • Editing Excel Spreadsheets
    • Reading and Editing PDFs
    • Reading and Editing Word Documents
  • Email
    • Sending Emails
    • Checking Your Email Inbox
  • GUI Automation
    • Controlling the Mouse from Python
    • Controlling the Keyboard from Python
    • Screenshots and Image Recognition
    • Congratulations! (And next steps…)


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