· python

Python: Converting a date string to timestamp

I've been playing around with Python over the last few days while cleaning up a data set and one thing I wanted to do was translate date strings into a timestamp.

I started with a date in this format:


date_text = "13SEP2014"

So the first step is to translate that into a Python date - the strftime section of the documentation is useful for figuring out which format code is needed:


import datetime

date_text = "13SEP2014"
date = datetime.datetime.strptime(date_text, "%d%b%Y")

print(date)

$ python dates.py
2014-09-13 00:00:00

The next step was to translate that to a UNIX timestamp. I thought there might be a method or property on the Date object that I could access but I couldn't find one and so ended up using calendar to do the transformation:


import datetime
import calendar

date_text = "13SEP2014"
date = datetime.datetime.strptime(date_text, "%d%b%Y")

print(date)
print(calendar.timegm(date.utctimetuple()))

$ python dates.py
2014-09-13 00:00:00
1410566400

It's not too tricky so hopefully I shall remember next time.

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