After a year of using Python, here’s what I love most

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In September 2019 I started a 2 year Apprenticeship with a large UK technology company. I was practically new to Software Engineering and completely new to the Python language. However, after creating scripts for the last year, I’ve learnt so much about both. Python is definitely the language to learn as a beginner, as its simplified syntax is perfect for wading through the more complex ideas in Software Engineering.

DISCLAIMER: I’m going to share with you the things I love most about Python, however, I’m sure lots of other languages share these concepts too.

There are loads of ways to…


Which is the better service?

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I like medium.com. I was a member for a long time. I believe I got a lot of value from my subscription. We’ve all heard the term ‘echo chamber’, where everything we read only reinforces the views and opinions we already hold. Well, for me, the medium algorithm of recommending stories didn’t turn my reading into an echo chamber. It constantly offered me interesting, sometimes challenging and different articles for consumption. One of the biggest things to respect about medium.com is the profit sharing scheme. …


Setting up a PHP backend and accepting JavaScript variables to PHP and dealing with output

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I have recently undertaken a project at work which required me to display the output from 950+ tests and analyse the results. It also required me to save the data from each run in a MySQL database and then display graphs based on the data from previous runs. I scripted it all up in python. Getting the output of the tests into a tidy form was pretty straight forward. The challenge for me however was both the JavaScript and the PHP having not written much in either language.

The first thing to do is make a connection to your MySQL…


How I became a corana-fundamentalist

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My Conversion

At the start of the lock down, the only shop that was allowed to open, was Tesco. People weren’t allowed out of their homes except for exercise or to go to Tesco. People hate exercise, so everyone just went to Tesco. This resulted in massive queues outside their stores. It was during a 2 hour wait back in April when I became a convert.

The man behind me in the queue was speaking to his wife about how young people (he was fairly elderly), were flaunting the government guidance on how to behave in the pandemic. It was his opinion…


How to combat the effects during lockdown

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The Problem

I sit at the dining table nursing a strong black coffee. Dark circles ring my eyes. There’s a dull pain just above my right eye. I feel terrible.

It happened just as I was logging off for the weekend on a Friday afternoon. I received a Slack message from a colleague who described a bug for a specific use case, in the script I had written. I had a little look at my script to see if there was an obvious solution. There wasn’t. It was the end of the day and I thought it probably best to attack it…


Go from Zero to Hero with these Top Tips!

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Web Scraping; is it good or is it evil? Well, it doesn’t sit entirely in either camp. It can be used to automate the collection of readily available and accessible data, or data about yourself stored by third parties. On the other hand, it can be abused by sending thousands of requests an hour to a server, or accessing content that’s behind a paywall. One thing that is definite about Web Scraping; it sure is fun!

Generally, the data owners do not like it. Some sites have detection algorithms that look for automated bots and block the associated IP address…


No Qualifications, No Experience…No Hope of a Job?

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The Journey

Mine is a familiar story. You do all the mandatory schooling, you then stick around for A’Levels (because that’s what your friends are doing). At 18 you are terrified of getting a job and decide to go to University (because that’s what your friends are doing). You have no idea what your passions or interests are, so you choose to do Chemistry (because you were attracted to your Chemistry teacher at school!). By the time you have graduated, you realise that your passions and interests certainly do not include chemistry.

On graduation you sign up to a recruitment agency, who…


Part 2: Presenting the data!

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This article is part 2 of ‘Create your own ‘Reading Stats’ page for medium.com using Python’. Part 1 makes the argument that the ‘stats’ page in your medium account is all about the writers, and offers almost no useful stats for the compulsive readers (or just those who live a quantified life!), so I came up with a system to capture and present my own statistics. Part 1 is focused on the python script that extracts the information about each story read and saves it to a database. This part will look at the html used to present the statics…


A Step by Step Guide to a Complicated Process

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If you enjoy automating things in python, you are going to need to know how to upload and download files from a server. SFTP (Secure Shell File Transfer Protocol) has replaced the less secure FTP almost everywhere. This is great for the enhanced security, but it adds a layer of complexity when scripting the process. In fact, the python code that we end up with is just a couple lines long, but there is a bit of work to do in order to get there.

The first thing to do is sign up for some web space. I am going…


Part 1: Extracting the data from articles read

Macbook with graphs and stats on screen
Macbook with graphs and stats on screen
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I have known about ‘medium’ for some time, but have always been a free-to-play member. I would use my 5 free reads on the first day of the month and then bookmark loads of articles I intended to read the following month. I am probably the perfect candidate for transitioning to paid membership, so that’s what I did a couple of weeks ago.

I started consuming huge amounts of content (as I’m sure everyone does at the beginning of their membership), I looked at the stats the site provides, and it was very focused on the writers. I realised there…

Richard Quinn

“Old man changes career to become a Software Developer after 20 years in an unrelated sector”

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