Get ready to gain a superpower
If you manipulate data on a frequent basis, then it's really worth giving Python a try. It's by far one of the easier programming languages to learn that has a lot of power when you know only the basics.
It's also pretty fun to learn make your computer do some amazing things for you.
To get you started, I think that the Automate The Boring Stuff course by Al Sweigart is the best resource available.
- The setup is simple - no dealing with development environments, virtual machines or any other barriers to starting to code.
- The examples are practical - he takes you through real-world exercises that you will recognise from your day job.
- He's not concerned with turning you into a Programmer, so there's no dealing with concepts that are only relevant to those developing software for a living. He shows you how to do cool stuff as a knowledge worker.
- It's a gentle introduction to software programming, and is a good place to start if you want to see if you want to take it further.
The Free Online Book
For this Data Trainer course, I recommend you do Chapters 0 - 14 of the Automate The Boring Stuff with Python course:
- Chapter 0 – Introduction
- Chapter 1 – Python Basics
- Chapter 2 – Flow Control
- Chapter 3 – Functions
- Chapter 4 – Lists
- Chapter 5 – Dictionaries and Structuring Data
- Chapter 6 – Manipulating Strings
- Chapter 7 – Pattern Matching with Regular Expressions
- Chapter 8 – Reading and Writing Files
- Chapter 9 – Organizing Files
- Chapter 10 – Debugging
- Chapter 11 – Web Scraping
- Chapter 12 – Working with Excel Spreadsheets
- Chapter 13 – Working with PDF and Word Documents
- Chapter 14 – Working with CSV Files and JSON Data
If you want to finish the whole thing - go ahead :)