First and foremost, I’m here to tell you that automation is absolutely for you, even if you’re a total newcomer to the field. Even if it appears daunting at first, I assure you that creating your first script will be extremely rewarding, and your new skills will save you a significant amount of time in the long run. To begin, here’s a quick step-by-step guide:
1. Begin by considering the repetitive tasks that your workday entails.
2. Identify those you believe could be automated.
3. Break your workload down into smaller sub-tasks.
4. Consider how you could automate at least some of them.
Once you’ve identified a suitable task, you must select the appropriate tool.
It should come as no surprise that the “tool” I’m going to investigate is Python (speaking as a Python developer). Among the many languages available, Python is relatively simple to learn and has proven useful in a variety of fields.
In many key areas, human and computer skill sets overlap. We’re both thinking creatures in the sense that we take in information and process it. We’re also both language-oriented creatures, in the sense that our worlds revolve around sets of symbols we use to communicate and be communicated with. The similarities end there, though surgically implanted microchips are becoming more common. We can do a lot of things as silly fleshy creatures that computers aren’t very good at yet. Exercising rigorous critical and contextual judgment, for example, or practicing empathy. Computers, on the other hand, are excellent at doing things that we either can’t or don’t want to do because of their consistency, accuracy, and rapid-fire speed. Such as performing monotonous, time-consuming tasks.
Humans dislike performing repetitive tasks. We find them soothing and relaxing to some extent. However, in general, we find them tedious and boring. We like to be challenged and rewarded for doing complex things that force us to grow and develop our skill sets. In general, we don’t like plugging the same numbers into a spreadsheet over and over.
This is one of the best examples of a profitable collaboration between humans and computers. We can automate the performance of repetitive tasks in an efficient and effective manner by using a programming language such as Python.
Python has a very readable and approachable syntax. The latter is similar to plain English, making it an excellent place to begin your journey. When compared to other languages, Python clearly stands out as one of the easiest. Take a look at this C++ and Python code example.
The benefits of Python that I mentioned earlier make the learning process quick and enjoyable. With little time and effort, you will be able to write simple scripts. Even for experienced developers, this smooth learning curve significantly accelerates development.
There are numerous tasks that you could automate by writing a Python script for. Python users can use their imagination to devise novel automated solutions for the repetitive tasks they face on a daily basis.
Here are some common ways that Python automation is used to give you an idea of the breadth of how users use Python to automate tasks:
Nonetheless, Python can be used to automate a plethora of other tasks. Consider the tasks you perform dozens of times per day: copying and pasting from one document to another, multiplying numbers by 100, and so on. Python can automate these tasks; you just need to figure out what tools you’ll need and how to write and run the script.
Python has an engaged and supportive developer community because of its open-source licensing. This means that a variety of Python libraries, tools, and frameworks are available to help you with your programming efforts. This is great news for those who want to automate as few tasks as possible.
You can use a variety of tools to make your automation efforts easier and more intuitive. Dive into internet research to see what is available to assist you with the task you’re attempting to automate, or seek assistance from one of the many Python community forums.
But first, let’s take a look at a few great tools that can assist you with automation.
The smtplib library is a fantastic resource for automating your emails. It employs the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, which is easily integrated with most major email platforms, including Gmail.
Selenium is an open-source software tool that can be used to automate web browser tests. This can be used to test websites for bugs, crashes, and other issues. This could potentially save users a lot of time, or it could save you from not realizing your website has gone down.
Beautiful Soup is a Python library with the amusing name that can be used to extract data from HTML and XML files. Instead of manually searching through a slew of HTML files for the information you require, you can use this library to save time and effort.