Have you ever been doing something on the internet and been like, “Ugh. I wish there was a way to do this automatically.” Well, most of the time there is: you can build some website automation using Python and Selenium. In part 1 of this series, I’ll walk you through installing Python and Selenium, and we’ll write a short script that opens a browser.
For folks that don’t know, “Python is a scripting language that lets you work quickly and integrate systems more effectively.” ( python.org) That means you write code in files and run the files without having to compile and deploy. In order to run the files, though, you need to install Python on your computer.
One way to do this is to download the installer from the official Python website, here. However, I prefer to use an application called PyCharm. PyCharm is an IDE (integrated development environment) available for Windows, Linux, and Mac that gives you lots of nice helpers when writing scripts, and there’s a very nice free community edition that’s just perfect for people like you who are just getting started.
So that’s step 1 for us today: download and install PyCharm Community Edition. Installation is pretty straightforward; you can just Next through everything and accept the defaults.
Once the install is complete, you can launch PyCharm. The first time you run it, PyCharm will ask you about which theme you prefer. Pick what you like and click Skip Remaining and Set Defaults.
PyCharm is ready to go, but we need to do a little more setup before we’re ready to write our code. Begin by creating a new project from the PyCharm launch screen.
Give your project a name to specify where it will live on your computer, and click Create. If you don’t already have Python installed (the actual programming language) at this point, PyCharm will install…