Python Training

Python for Network & Systems Engineers

This is a course for network engineers and systems engineers, devops staff, hardware engineers, and back-end developers.

Prerequisites

Some familiarity with programming concepts (in any language) is assumed.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will have all the knowledge you need to write and interact with Python code for a variety of purposes, with a particular focus on controlling machines, automating system processes, and interacting with APIs. You will understand the elegance and power of Python and have had experience using several important standard and third-party libraries, including for parsing text and log files, matching strings with regular expressions, scripting tasks via SSH connections, network device configuration, and other essential tasks in network and system automation.

Course Syllabus

Day 1: Python Basics

Day 1 covers how to use Python for basic scripting and automation tasks, including tips and tricks for making this easy:

  • Why Python? What’s possible?
  • The Jupyter notebook for rapid prototyping
  • Modules and packages
  • Python concepts: an introduction through examples
  • Essential data types: strings, tuples, lists, dicts
  • Worked example: retrieving real-time data from a REST web API
  • Raising and handling exceptions

Day 2: Handling, Analyzing, and Presenting Data in Python

Python offers amazingly productive tools like Pandas for working with different kinds of data. Day 2 gives a thorough introduction to analyzing and visualizing data easily:

  • Reading and writing essential data formats: CSV, Excel, SQL, time-series (others on request)
  • Indexing and selecting data in Pandas
  • Data fusion: joining & merging datasets
  • Summarization with “group by” operations; pivot tables
  • Visualization and statistical graphics with Seaborn
  • Automated reporting; interactive dashboards ipywidgets and voilà

Day 3: System Automation

Day 3 gives you a tour of the amazing standard library and important 3rd-party tools for automating various systems-level tasks with Python:

Morning:

  • Files, bytes, and encodings
  • Handling files & paths; dates, times, and IP addresses
  • Compressing and uncompressing data (zip, tar, bzip2 etc.)
  • Cryptographic hashing of file contents (SHA256, MD5 etc.)

Afternoon:

  • Parsing JSON, YAML, INI config files. [Optional: XML]
  • Automatically creating config files via templating with Jinja2
  • Process and system monitoring with psutil
  • Automating local commands via subprocess
  • Creating scripts with command-line-arguments

Day 4: Network Automation

Day 4 shows you how to automate various tasks involving networks and control network devices:

  • Accessing REST web APIs in more depth (sessions, OAuth, ...)
  • Network automation via SSH with Fabric
  • Automating network device cofiguration via SSH with Netmiko
  • Creating REST web APIs with Flask; OpenAPI
  • Parsing log files (e.g. Cisco IOS) with regular expressions
  • Working with DNS from Python; direct socket connections
  • Email automation
  • Intro to packet manipulation with Scapy, with applications (netwrok discovery, penetration testing)

Personal help

We are happy to offer on-the-spot problem-solving after each day of the training for you to ask one-on-one questions — whether about the course content and exercises or about specific problems you face in your work and how to solve them. If you would like us to prepare for this in advance, you are welcome to send us background info before the course.

Other information

Format:

Live instructor-led training. Either face-to-face or online.

Materials:

We will provide you with printed course notes, cheat sheets, and a USB stick containing kitchen-sink Python installers for multiple platforms, solutions to the programming exercises, several written tutorials, and reference documentation on Python and the third-party packages covered in the course.

Venue:

Modern computer-based training facilities (CBD locations) for face-to-face training. Courses are also available online via video streaming and a cloud notebook server for sharing code with the trainer(s).

Computer:

Face-to-face: an internet-connected computer will be provided for you.
Virtual: we recommend 
≥ 8 GB of RAM, a headset mic and a webcam.

Timing:

The course will run from 9:00 to roughly 17:00 each day, with breaks of 50 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes each for morning and afternoon tea.

Food and drink:

We will provide lunch, morning and afternoon tea, and drinks.

Certificate of completion:

We will provide you a certificate if you complete the course and successfully answer the majority of the exercise questions.

Testimonials

“The course was delivered by trainers who were extremely knowledgeable in their field. It was really good to learn from the best!”

- Marius Roman

“Great course. Enjoyed it and will follow up with some practical implementation of some of the work.”

- Adam Grace

“One of the best training courses I've been on.”

- David Scurrah

“I loved it. Ed was inspiring.”

- Onoriode Coast

“Really impressed by Python's capability and excited to use as alternative to MatLab, as is free and better supported.”

- Carsten Hofmann

“Very comprehensive intro to every aspect of python. Highly qualified trainer. Beyond my expectation on every aspect.”

- Baichuan Sun

“The VM setup and USB is great. Ed is an excellent instructor - he presents well and welcomes any questions. He is clearly a super smart guy who has a great grasp on what he is teaching - able to just prototype on the fly and the course overall really opened my eyes to python.”

- Jack Hendy

“Course content was well presented and easily digested. Practical exercises were an essential part of the course – a good ratio of lecture/play was achieved. Well done Ed and Henry!”

- Steve Zegelin

“Simply awesome!!”

- James Park

“Both Ed and Henry presented well…. The course structure was adjusted to suit the participants quickly and easily.”

- Jenet Austin

“Excellent training course, excellently presented. Perhaps the best that I have had in the area of IT / programming.”

- George Grozev

“One of the best programming courses I have attended - thanks!”

- Giant Billen

“This course has shown me how I could have done the work I was doing just last week 10x more efficiently in Python.”

- Maruf Rahman

“It was a pleasure ... Shared feedback from all involved was that it’s been one of the most beneficial and well delivered training courses we’ve been a part of.”

- Dylan Matthews

“Was the most fulfilling and rewarding class I have taken since "general relativity" at uni. Was extremely well run. Excellent all round!”

- Dr Millicent Maier

“Very impressed with the course, delivery. And depth of knowledge of Ed and Henry. Far exceeded my expectations and has greatly improved my core skills as well as inspired so many new ideas for my current work / projects. Thank you!”

- Kelsey Druken