Week 1: Learning Python from scratch is more difficult than I thought

So, this is the first proper post in my Python Journey. I decided since I published my initial post that instead of a daily post, I will do a weekly update of everything I have achieved during the week.

The main reason for this is it will give a little more content, and also give me more time to prepare the content. Therefore, there will be more context and useful aspects included within the posts…I hope.

I will split out each day I spent doing some coding work, explaining what I did and what my thought processes were behind it. I will also include how long I spent that day. I’m sure there will be days where I won’t do any at all depending on work commitments. However, I will aim to get a minimum of three solid days of learning in each week.

So, without further time wasting, let’s get into it!

Day 1 – 11/03/20 (2 Hours of Work)

My focus today was just to set everything up properly really.

I realised quickly that my initial install of Python wasn’t correct. While I could open Python itself, I wasn’t able to install any “addons” to it, which basically meant I would not be able to benefit from its full potential.

I had a look at a few YouTube videos in order to setup Python properly. I came across one YouTuber, who I have now subscribed to called: Python Programmer (https://www.youtube.com/user/consumerchampion) – Over the next few days I plan to delve into his YouTube channel a little further in order to get to grips with the basics of Python.

I also posted a query on Reddit to find out what paths I need to explore in order to find out how to code something in Python which can:

  1. Download excel documents from an online Portal
  2. Save the excel files
  3. Combine/reconcile the excel files
  4. Product a “difference report” between the two files

Based on my query, it seems as though I need to become more acquainted with something called “Pandas” and “Selenium”.

From what I can tell so far, Pandas is the essential add-on for Python for anyone in the finance world dealing with data tracking. If I’m honest, I’m not even sure it is technically called an “add-on”. Selenium on the other hand was recommended as something which can download the excel files for me.

My task tomorrow will be to look into these a little more and do some research

Day 2 – 14/03/20 (1 Hour of Work)

I’ve really not put as much time into practicing/learning Python this week as I’d have hoped. Had a long week at work, and wasn’t in the mood to research after work as I had planned.

Hopefully next week will be a little less intense, and therefore I’ll have more time to put into this.

Today I spent a little time trying to make a plan on where to start with learning Python – I think this has been the most difficult part. I don’t really know where I should start yet.

I did some reading of a post called “11 beginner tips for learning Python” which was an interesting start. The key comment I took from this is that I really need to be coding every day. Even if it is just 30 minutes and not particularly effective, the consistency will eventually pay off.

I also did some brainstorming of some coding that I want to achieve in the next 6 months:

  • Automated emails: On a daily basis, I need to send out the same emails every day as a summary or to request certain things. It will be very handy to be able to just press a button and send the email out automatically.
  • Cash Reconciliation: I spoke about this previously. It will be a lifesaver to be able to reconcile cash balances between two/three different sources quickly and accurately. If this could also create a report, this would be even better. However, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself
  • Long term, it will be great to make some input logs for tracking trading activity, or general financial performance which will allow for some in-depth financial analysis to be seen graphically. However, I understand this will require some GUI creation etc.

Anyway, that is all for this week! I will try and do better next week. I think I was just a little overwhelmed with everything in the first week.

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