Exploring Hacker News Posts

In this Python Intermediate course, you have learned how to work with strings, you’ve learned about object-oriented programming, and you’ve dug into and dates and times.

For this guided project, you’ll synthesize what you’ve learned to complete a real data analysis project.

In this project, we’ll work with a data set of submissions to popular technology site Hacker News.

Hacker News is a site started by the startup incubator Y Combinator, where user-submitted stories (known as “posts”) are voted and commented upon, similar to Reddit.

Hacker News is extremely popular in technology and startup circles, and posts that make it to the top of Hacker News’ listings can get hundreds of thousands of visitors as a result. You’re going to dig into some Hacker News data to find out what elements successful posts have in common.

Working on guided projects will give you hands-on experience with real world examples, so we encourage you to not only complete them, but to take the time to really understand the concepts.

These projects are meant to be challenging to better prepare you for the real world, so don’t be discouraged if you have to refer back to previous missions. If you haven’t worked with Jupyter Notebook before or need a refresher, we recommend completing our Jupyter Notebook Guided Project before continuing.

(As with all guided projects, we encourage you to experiment and extend your project, taking it in unique directions to make it a more compelling addition to your portfolio!)


  • How to use loops to explore data CSV data.
  • How to use string methods to clean and analyzing data.
  • How to work with dates in Python.
  • Build a data science portfolio project.

Lesson Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Removing Headers from a List of Lists
  3. Extracting Ask HN and Show HN Posts
  4. Calculating the Average Number of Comments for Ask HN and Show HN Posts
  5. Finding the Amount of Ask Posts and Comments by Hour Created
  6. Calculating the Average Number of Comments for Ask HN Posts by Hour
  7. Sorting and Printing Values from a List of Lists
  8. Next Steps

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