It should be acknowledged that one of the primary goals that one hopes to achieve as a programmer is to automate things that can be done manually, but would take much longer if they were. A script is a type of computer program that’s (usually) so simple that if you read it out loud line-by-line (like you would the script of a play), a person listening could probably follow your instructions as well as the computer could, except with all the limitations of being human. Scripting is the art and science of creating scripts that are as simple as possible, using scripting languages, programming languages whose intended purpose is the creation of scripts.
Writing scripts will feel significantly different than writing websites with HTML and CSS, and that’s because it is significantly different. When you were writing HTML and CSS, you were engaged in a relatively simple task: telling the computer what you want to see on a webpage, in a language the computer could understand. Scripting, and programming in general, is a little more complex. Describing the difference can be a little difficult, but one way to think about it is as such: when we wrote HTML and CSS to describe how a website should look, we were just expressing our ideas in a way that could be understood by the computer. When we write scripts and programs, we’re not just expressing ideas, we’re giving the computer a step-by-step procedure detailing how it should make those ideas a reality, and we’re exploiting the computer’s decision making ability in order to achieve complex functionalities.
How to Learn
- Automate the Boring Stuff with Python
- An online book written for new programmers to learn Python and how to use it to automate all kinds of tasks