I'm Al Sweigart, author of Automate the Boring Stuff with Python and other Creative Commons-licensed books that teach beginners to code. AMA!
Howdy! I'm Al Sweigart. I was a software developer who wrote Python tutorials in my spare time, and eventually they ballooned in size so I started self-publishing them. In 2014 I quit my job to finish writing Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, published by No Starch Press. All of my books are released under Creative Commons licenses and are free to read on my website at http://inventwithpython.com/.
My latest book is Cracking Codes with Python a book on learning to code so you can write encryption programs for classic ciphers, as well as programs that can break these ciphers. It's the second edition of my previously-titled, self-published Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python, but published by No Starch Press with a professional editing job.
My other books include:
- Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python
- Scratch Programming Playground
- Making Games with Python & Pygame
I'm working on a couple upcoming programming books, one which is a sequel to Automate and another covering recursion. I also create online courses on Udemy.
EDIT: Oh, I forgot to list Automate the Minecraft Stuff, which is a book that teaches kids to code using the programmable robots of the ComputerCraft plugin for Minecraft. This book uses Lua rather than Python. It should be out around April or so.
I've lived in San Francisco for the last decade, but grew up in Houston and went to UT Austin for computer science. I hate telling people the story of how I learned to program, but ask me about it anyway.
Ask Me Anything about writing tech books, learning to program, teaching others how to code, my cat Zophie, making online courses, why coding interviews are terrible, attending tech conferences (like PyCon!), getting started contributing to open source projects, using video games to lure children into the dark, seedy, world of programming, or whatever else you'd like to know!
EDIT (4:30pm Pacific) I've got to start moving, but I'll still be answering questions from my phone, though they'll probably be shorter responses.