What Is Python Automation? (With Examples)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about Python automation and explore real-world Python automation examples that show how you can use it to increase productivity and workflow.

[Featured Image] A professional woman look at a tablet in her office and enjoys using Python automation to speed up some of her daily tasks.

Python automation refers to the use of the Python programming language to automate tasks like generating reports, processing images, and converting text to speech. Automation allows you to reduce the amount of time you have to spend on a specific task, which frees you up to concentrate on more valuable tasks and can improve productivity.

Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, behind JavaScript and HTML/CSS [1]. This beginner-friendly language is versatile and comes with robust resources, including libraries, frameworks, and a community of users willing to share their knowledge with others. This efficient, reliable language is useful for writing scripts to automate various tasks.

What is Python automation used for?

You can use Python to automate various repetitive tasks to save time at work and at home. For example, you can create a script to search the internet for news headlines related to a project you're working on. Instead of manually visiting each news website to search for the articles, the program can send you a list with links. If you want to save even more time, you can write a script to sort the links into categories for easy reference.

Python automation examples

Businesses in multiple industries, including manufacturing, health care, and finance, use automation to simplify workflow, increase productivity, and reduce errors. They may rely on Python to automate tasks like detecting fraud, tracking customer information, posting to social media accounts, monitoring network security, and sending automated emails. The following examples highlight real-world uses of Python automation:

  • Backup data: One company used Python to automatically back up a Smartsheet document. This allowed them to back up the entire document instead of only its data.

  • Extract data: A medical software company implemented Python automation to create an app that records and transcribes conversations between doctors and patients. One feature is automating a process to extract details about prescribed medications.

  • Generate reports: An analyst automated a tracking report available to electric utility companies. This report allows them to monitor their performance and compare it with similar utilities. This automation allows for generating reports in around an hour instead of weeks.

  • Scrape websites: A platform used to track the reliability of weather forecasts uses Python automation to collect data from tens of thousands of forecasts around the country. The script automatically places the collected data in a database along with rankings.

  • Monitor websites: An internet comparison company uses Python to analyze its websites, including SEO data and links. Using Python to review details like word count, keywords, and links makes it possible to correct errors sooner.

Who uses Python automation?

Professionals and casual users can automate tasks through Python. You can generate reports, analyze data, and manage files automatically in the office using Python. At home, you can write scripts to sort and clean up files in folders on your computer, convert PDF files to audio, and track your spending.

Although Python is versatile and useful for various projects, you may have more opportunities to work with Python automation in certain careers. Here are three careers to consider:

Automation engineer

An automation engineer works with automation products and software. In this role, you create and support these systems, troubleshooting issues and adapting the systems to ensure they meet the user's needs. For example, you may build a chatbot designed to reduce the number of phone calls reaching the receptionist's line by screening callers and answering general questions like operating hours and basic troubleshooting.

Median salary: $105,398 [2]

Automation specialist

As an automation specialist, you perform some of the same duties as an automation engineer, including designing software. You may also write and apply scripts to perform quality tests and look for ways to incorporate automation in your employer's computer processes. Automation specialists sometimes spend time working with computer hardware, so you may also set up systems and test them. When the company is ready to automate processes, you may oversee the process to ensure everything works properly.

Median salary: $100,298 [3]

Test automation engineer

In a test automation engineer position, you will likely create and execute test scripts to help the team locate bugs missed during previous test runs. Although your role within the organization may vary depending on the industry you're working in, your primary job is to ensure the software being used works as intended. You may spend time developing and mapping test plans and working with several teams to complete your projects.

Median salary: $96,904 [4]

Pros and cons of using Python for automation

Python is a popular language used by millions of coders around the world, but consider its limitations when choosing tools for an automation project. Its simple syntax is easy to learn, which means you can begin writing scripts sooner. You also have access to several third-party libraries and a community of Python users who share resources.

Despite its popularity, Python is not a one-size-fits-all language. It relies on a text-based coding system that some users may need help with. In some applications, Python lacks the same degree of seamlessness you get with other languages during integration. It also does not work in real time, so you have to wait until you run the script to identify errors.

How to get started with Python automation

The first step toward automating projects with Python is to learn the programming language. You can study tutorials, enroll in a boot camp, or take a course to learn the basics. Then, you can try out your new skills on beginner-friendly Python automation projects like creating an automatic time tracker or scraping the internet to find information. If you plan to pursue a career in Python automation, consider earning a computer science or information technology degree.

Getting started with Coursera

You can find courses on Coursera, like the Python for Everone Specialization from the University of Michigan. This beginner-level program includes five courses, starting with an introduction to the Python programming language. Another option is the Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate, which covers topics like Python programming and automation. You can write Python scripts to automate tasks, explore IT management resources, and analyze IT issues.

Article sources


Statista. "Most used programming languages among developers worldwide as of 2023, https://www.statista.com/statistics/793628/worldwide-developer-survey-most-used-languages/." Accessed February 8, 2024.

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