This course was really interesting and did a good job introducing complicated topics in usefully simplified form. It was a pleasure to listen to the instructor and I got everything I wanted out of it.
This course is great to introduce you to regular expression, HTML, XML and JSON. Based on this course, you may dive into many other materials to further learning how to use python to access web data.
by Peter K•
Although considerably harder than the first two courses, it is still mostly well explained and worthy of 4 stars. Where it falls down is in the JSON section I think. Although I agree that XML is richer, it is not harder to use: in fact, I think it is easier (but that may be my bias of 25 years' exposure to SGML/XML with a language that processes SGML/XML *brilliantly* but is almost exclusive to publishing (OmniMark). The JSON nested dictionaries and lists are just plain confusing and hard to read IMHO and if you did not have the sample code it would be very hard to complete the first assignment of Week 6. The bit that Chuck fails to point out about XML is that it has an inherent bias to handling complex *documents* rather than extracts of repetitive data. It is impossible to mimic Docbook or any other complex document with JSON, and it was a bit annoying that this key point was omitted (or at least I don't recall it being pointed out - all that was said was JSON is better, easier, preferrable, etc.). Overall though, this was a very good course again, though if you had little expeience of either XML or JSON, you could struggle and/or will take longer to fathom this course.
by Robert E•
Some of the instructions for the assignments were vague. For example, I spent entirely too much time trying to use regular expressions with the first Beautiful Soup assignment. I eventually found a staff post in the discussion forum saying not to use regular expressions, but that information would have been very helpful in the assignment's instructions, especially given that substantial video lecture time was spent on regular expressions. Also, I think the time estimates for assignment completion were unrealistic (and unnecessary) in this course. In the first two courses of the Python for Everybody specialization, I finished all of the lectures and assignments much quicker than the estimated time. In this course, it took me much longer than the estimated time. On the whole, though, I'm very pleased with the course. I learned far more effectively than I would have by just reading a book on Python.
Once again, another excellent course from Dr. Chuck. However, the Coursera format has changed from that of the previous two courses and the submission of quizzes and assignments are now locked; they don't show progress or get marked as completed unless you purchase the certification. So, if you're auditing the course, don't bother with the quizzes and don't expect the course to show your progress (mine still says I'm on week one) or be marked as completed in your profile even though you've watched all the videos and submitted the assignments.Dr. Chuck, I understand that University of Michigan has to find a way to monetize these courses. However, since the previous courses used auto graders, and this course seems to as well, I'd like to request that the quiz and assignment features be unlocked so auditors can see course progress and completion like the previous two courses.
by Duke B•
Now we're cooking with gas. This is course three of five in the University of Michigan's Python for Everybody series and things start to become real. Where Course 1 was very action/reaction in learning Python's basics, Course 2 was more abstract (and the weakest of the three so far), Course 3 builds on the other two and you get to taste Python's real world potential. Granted, this is all an introduction series and nobody is walking away from these courses into a full time developer position - but you do begin feel functionally dangerous (in a good way). The biggest takeaway from the course is giving you that taste of what is possible. We don't know how to do it yet (and the course isn't going to go beyond the intro depth) but after this third course you're likely getting smitten by Python and know you want to avidly take your learning beyond this series.
by Kazi N A S•
This course, unlike the previous ones, seemed a little boring, to be honest, but maybe that's because this is the very first time I was introduced to many topics (even though I'm a current computer science student) that were taught in this course. Another thing is that it was more about using the codes that are already given and modify them to get the desired output. Because of that, I'm still not sure whether I have to learn or memorize all of the lines written in a particular file or I'd be well of just by knowing what line of code is doing what and by being able to modify and use them to get the work done. Google Maps and Twitter API is also shown in this course, so hopefully in the future when I will be I need to use them, I'll rewatch the videos and follow up with the sample code. Overall, it was a good experience.
by Thomas Z•
I enjoyed the subject matter of this course, and Dr. Chuck is a great teacher, however I have a nitpick to make about the assignments.
I understand that writing similar code several times can be monotonous and sometimes we were required to use some code we weren't fully taught yet, but being provided sample code to edit frustrated me for more than it was worth. I would much prefer to stumble through the learning process myself than try to make sense of new information in code I had nothing to do with. I spent much longer trying to process what was going on in the sample code than actually solving the assigned problems.
A word of advice for anyone with a brain like mine: It is easier and better for learning if you try your best to write your code from scratch and only look at the sample code for guidance if you get stuck.
by Christian W•
Overall another good course. It was perhaps not as complete at the end earlier on in the course. The last section on APIs was sometime confusing or at least glossed over some programming constructs. However, Chuck Severance has a difficult balancing act to perform. On the one hand he has tried very had to make Python programming accessible to new-coders while at the same time providing a useful and usable introduction to some very powerful concepts and methods. Overall I think he is doing an outstanding job and provides a very good basis to build on. As a bonus, I think the interviews with the computer science & internet tech luminaries are outstanding! Great to hear directly from folks who contributed so much to the development of the field.
by M.Shoyeb S•
The difficulty in this course was highly pumped up comparing the previous two courses, the balancing wheels were taken off and the learner is subtlety led into the direction of reading documentation of modules or google them to get a detailed understanding of them.though i struggled a bit through the XML assignment i can mostly understand the courses approach as to why worked assignments are not the answer to every problem, unless we struggle a bit to solve the assignments, in my opinion it wont stick with you.to get a quick gist of xml and json this course is on point but if you're looking to get in-depth knowledge i would recommend taking some more elaborative courses in these technologies, overall it was sufficient.
by Elena S•
I moved to the US a couple years ago and started my career from scratch in completely different sphere - Quality Assurance. I never supposed myself to be a technical person and felt uncomfortable with IT things. I have in my head the combination of tech terms and tools mixed up with huge gaps, this course helped me to systematize my knowledge and feel more confident and engaged with what I am doing. I completed 3/4 sessions and would rate the first two 5 stars, and probably give a little bit less, 4 stars, to the third one, only because sometimes I had to find on the Internet additional materials which were not covered by lecture and course materials to complete my assignments.
by Bhargava S K D V•
Dr. Chuck is great! I've been his fan for years! The assignments are rigid.
Here is my only concern:
Why do I have to use the libraries that are recommended by Dr. Chuck. Can't I chose my own? I encountered some problems with 'urllib' module. I wanted to complete this course in a few days. I could complete all my assignments without having to install urllib, but for the last assignment, the assignment did not accept a solution I came up with 'requests' module. I had to crack my head open to fix the issues with that library, then submit the assignment. It was totally unnecessary. In real world scenarios, I've always used 'requests'. I've only used 'urllib' once or may be twice.
by Raghav B•
Overall, this is a good course for a person new to Python programming like me. The stuff is broken down into simpler terms and is explained properly. The thing that I expected was to include all the data structures that we learned in 1st and 2nd courses to be applied, and slowly build up the difficulty level. The initial part till the XML was good, and the difficulty level was increasing. Then suddenly, more theory about Json and API got occupied, and less about data structure manipulation. Besides, I skipped all the bonus lectures, and for a person who's truly interested to solve Python, that's totally unnecessary. Keep only the required videos and remove the rest, please.
by Antoine C•
Dr. Chuck's explanations are clear and all the lessons are easy to follow: focus on relevant web technologies, perfect pace, examples based on popular APIs. As someone with some basic knowledge in programming already I was expecting the assignments to be more challenging. As clearly announced on the website this course is targeted at beginners who took the previous courses from the same teacher: all exercises can be solved in about 10-15 lines of code and the solutions can be directly applied from the videos without much further thinking. The rest of you will, like me, breeze through it in no time. Kudos for the interesting interview videos proposed as bonus material!
by Jane C•
There were so many new libraries and concepts introduced in the last two chapters. It became a little bit confusing and overwhelming. Yes, a huge part of coding is picking up new tools on the spot, but it would be great to understand the fundamental theories behind how some of these libraries and concepts work at least once before being plunged into that reality! Also, I think that being overwhelmed could cause a lot of students to simply quit before they have really understood how the resources out there (documentation, etc.) could help them. Also, as the students start have to read multiple docs, etc. the time expectations per week should be increased.
by Timothy S•
great energy and great class.
1. nice assignment website, but it could use a bit file up-load and nosetest to held automate grading.
2. I wish they have more web robot, crawling, interesting problem examples.
3. peer review would be nice, so a better read-able pythonic programming style can be nurtured.
4. wondering if the course grading website can be done in ipython notebook.
4. I guess the instructor mention using RESTful, it could be also nice to have an assignment or
project to make a REST server with some database(sql-ed or sql-less).
After all there a are lot of big data out there to be accessed and processed.
by Chris S•
Great course that gets you to the point where you can start to do interesting things with computers in the context of the web in the MINIMUM amount of time possible. This focus on keeping the time commitment required to reach an interesting place down to a minimum is great because it enhances the chances of course completion. The flip side is you will need to do more on your own to reach "industrial strength" knowledge. (A great compromise in my view)
The course could be improved by providing a few more recommendations of high quality learning resources for going deeper (later) in each topic
by Akash T•
An extremely well-structured and useful course. As someone who had only syntactical familiarity with Python, this course taught me a great deal about the ease and power of the language. Moreover, the technical knowledge included (APIs, RegEx, etc) is highly relevant and practical.
Given that it's part of an introductory series, the difficulty level of the assignments is understandable. But providing some more rigorous optional assignments can be a welcome addition to the course.
That being said, I would recommend it to anyone looking to explore Python and the power it grants with its simplicity.
by Tiago F S•
Using Python to Access Web Data is a good and short course, but do not expect to go deep, as it is a part of the Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python), and not an advanced course on programming. It is an excellent course for getting a taste of using Python to access data on the web.The course only lacks more live coding with more difficult examples, so the student could see a real programmer line of thought.I've used Python 3, the examples are not hard to port to Python 3, and if you are stuck trying to use Python try you can ask for help in the Python community.
by Mark J O•
Very good introduction to how to scrape the web and how data is transferred on the web. Dr. Severance is an excellent instructor.
That said, I can't give this course a 5/5 because it still uses the urllib.request module to make 'Get' requests, when the 'requests' module is far simpler and possibly faster. I appreciated learning how to access data using the 'socket' module because it seems to give a more nuanced understanding of what's going on when you send a 'get' request, but I don't see any reason not to use requests.get() instead of urllib.request.urlopen().
by Diep T•
I find the target of the course, to use Python to access web data, extremely useful. Been always wondered how to do it, and now at the end of the course, I've made myself familiar with these techniques. The only reason I didn't give it a 5-star is I feel like it can made more focused by giving a lot more practice and examples about what we will actually use, and maybe forget about scratching the surface when mentioning the lower level of http. I find it sort of frustrating just copy and past some lines of codes from the lecture and didn't really know it is.
by Anne W•
I think the course has some room for improvement, e.g. the quiz questions eps. in the first couple of weeks didn't exactly seem to fit with the content of the videos - this was different in previous courses. If additional reading of the textbook materials was required, it should have been explicitly mentioned. Also, their are some hickups with the disconnect between the content of the videos and the actual state of the google and twitter API, but I think for the assignements it was nicely solved, so no issue there. Overall very content with the course.
by Nikki T•
This course was definitely a bit more challenging than the previous 2 course, but at the same time, it was extremely exciting to be learning so much more and the applications of it. You get to learn a lot more difficult coding and see how it applies to the real world. Professor Severance is such a wonderful professor! I wish I actually had come across this course sooner in my life because I wouldn't had wasted my time paying thousands of dollars to a University that puts no effort into their students learning at all. Cheers to Professor Severance :)
by André C V•
Very instructive and interesting. Was able to understand the basic of Web Data and will be able to easily get deeper into it if I wish so after having a solid basic knowledge.
I do, however, have a couple of constrcutive comments:
1st - Is it possible to release a couple of commented alternative solutions to the graded assignments to those who have already passed it? This would help us students to learn even more.
2nd- Please keep the Quiz questions solely to contents discussed on the video lectures. (some questions were not discussed in the videos)
by Alessandra T C•
Sadly in comparison with the first two courses of this specialization in 'Using Python to Access Web Data' the difficulty increases exponentially. For me it was definitely harder to keep the pace with all the infos. Instead of the office hours and the interviews to VIPs and other relevant people to the field I'd like to see more worked exercises. Also, after May 25 2018 both Google and Twitter changed their policies about the retrieval of data. So it was impossible to follow the instuctions step by step on how to build an API in Twitter.
by Gregory L•
Quite good material and presentation, with two caveats.
First, the TA is terrible. They respond rudely and with a great deal of condescension to nearly every comment they make. Avoid interacting with them if you can.
Second, some of the templates for assignments have significantly more sophisticated approaches than are necessary to complete the assignments. You might learn the most by starting from scratch each time, but nonetheless I think Dr. Chuck is a pretty great teacher. He really makes you feel like you can do this. And he's right!
by Richard D C•
It's a good course, but I think I had some issues with parts of it. I passed everything, but I can't help but think that I really don't know what I did most of the time. The exercises mostly involved modifying a given file to parse some kind of data from a given url. I could do it each time, but I don't think I learned how to do this well enough to do it again without having a script to use as a template.
There are a few places where the videos didn't feel like they prepared me for the exercises. It was just kind of frustrating.