I just finished Python Web Scraping and I absolutely loved it. I am somewhat new to Python, though I have been a programmer for about 9 years. I got this book because I've always had an interest in the internet and in web scraping/data collecting. I started the book with a decent grasp of the basics of Python, and would recommend familiarizing oneself with the basics before reading it. That said, if you can write Python scripts, install Python libraries, and execute the scripts, I don't see why you can run the examples in this book with little trouble.
What I loved about this book was its practical nature and concise, clear explanations. Right away the book teaches you how to gather html from a remote URL and parse it with BeautifulSoup. The code examples are easy to understand and they work! The structure of the book is also fantastic. The list of topics and how the book progresses feels very natural. I found myself turning the page to start a new chapter, seeing the chapter title, and thinking "I was just wondering about that!"
I am somewhat fascinated by web scraping, so things like the appendix section on the legality and ethics of web scraping was just icing on the cake for me and made this book all the more interesting. For me, this book led directly to the creation of a few scraping projects I've been thinking about for some time. It's very rare for me that as I go through a book I find information that is immediately applicaple.
Who's it for?
In my view, this book is great for anyone in the following categories:
- Someone who has begun coding in Python and wants to find some practical projects to help expand their knowledge and get their feet wet
- An experienced coder (Python or not) who has a particular interest in web scraping and wants to explore the possibilities of web scraping/data collecting