Grow Your Twitter Bot Garden

Terian Koscik

Sunday 1:30 p.m.–5 p.m.
Audience level: Novice


Come plant a Twitter bot garden and watch it grow! This workshop is for Python developers who are interested in making small, creative programming projects and have never made a Twitter bot before. I'll walk you through setting up a simple bot that tweets lines of a book 140 characters at a time. Then, we'll customize it using free, publicly accessible data sources and our imaginations. 🌷


I started writing Twitter bots as a way to grudgingly have some of those "personal projects" everyone was always telling me I should have. This way, I reasoned, if a potential employer complimented me on my GitHub profile, I knew they were just judging me by some green squares and hadn't actually bothered to look at my open source butt joke generator. To my surprise, coming up with and implementing ideas for Twitter bots was a lot of fun, and checking up on my bots' latest tweets felt like picking up fresh vegetables from my weird little internet garden. I learned a lot without ever feeling like I was struggling. I realized that trying to think of programming projects that were "practical" or made me seem smart got in the way of actually learning, and I wanted other people to try learning to program by having fun, too.

This workshop will walk Python programmers of any skill level through setting up their first Twitter bot. We'll go through:

  • What is a Twitter bot? What kinds of cool things can bots do?
  • Copying a bot template, and tweaking it to make it unique
  • Authentication
  • Scheduling the bot to run automatically
  • For more experienced programmers, adding more complex behaviors like using data from an API, or image manipulation.

PythonAnywhere enables everyone to have an identical working environment, so we won't need to worry about installing anything as long as your computer can run web applications without difficulty.

Buy your conference and tutorial tickets here! Tutorials are $150 per session.