Python is an easy-to-learn and extensible programming language that allows secret agents to work with a wide variety of data in a number of ways. It gives beginners a simple way to start programming, but Python's standard library also provides numerous packages that allow Python-using secret agents to easily utilize very sophisticated information processing.
This book will guide new field agent trainees through putting together a Python-based toolset to gather, analyze, and communicate data. It starts by covering the basics and then moves on to sections such as file exchange, image processing, geocoding, simple trigonometry, and more sensitive statistical processing. You will then learn how to use polynomials to encode and decode data in different representations. Furthermore, this book shows you how to add tools to a Python environment, work with images, and parse HTML web pages to extract meaningful data. The idea of adding packages to Python is central to how an agent will leverage these tools for data processing.
This book is about learning Python, but in such a way you will be hardly able to put the book aside. So do not be fooled by the title. Yes, you will learn about modules, classes and even unit tests!And even though Python for Secret Agents is seemingly aimed at beginner programmers it should be pure fun for the rest of us. In my view this book constitutes serious work covering such important and frequently used techniques as accessing remote data, getting files over FTP, RESTAPIs, JSON(including serialization), ZIP archives, Geospatial calculations or simply teaching such common techniques as file path processing, numerical computations, lists and dictionaries or Unit Testing. And clever statistical data processing, too. NumPy,SciPy libraries are covered which is a great plus.
I was able to extract a ton of useful approaches to dealing with web data – BeatifulSoup is among the ones. The book became more and more exiting as I progressed through it until that all unfolded into one aha moment and finally exploded in a-la Cirque De Soleil kind of finale - last chapter: "A Spymaster's More SensitiveAnalyses".
A great, great rare read I did not experience for a long time. Thank you Steven F. Lott! I am looking forward to reading more books from you.
For the sake of this review and by means to downgrade my mark if I had to mention a few deficiencies that would be the lack of sample output (I just not always had the time for running each code example), nor does it provide examples on how to work with shape data (geolocations), but the Shapes is old school.
So all in all it is worth your buck.
Five out of five!
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend