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Contact Searching

Contact Searching

Project Goals

This programming project invites you to implement a program called contactsearcher. This program takes as input a comma separate value (CSV) file that contains the email address and job description of a person and a string that describes a specific job. After reading in and parsing the CSV file, the contactsearcher program will find the email addresses of all the people who have a job description that contains the provided description. Along with adding documentation to the provided source code, you will create your own Python functions that uses iteration constructs and conditional logic to implement a correct program that passes the test suite and all of the checks. As you enhance your technical skills, you will program with tools such as VS Code and a terminal window and the Python programming language and the Poetry package manager.

Project Access

If you are a student enrolled in a Computer Science class at Allegheny College, you can access this assignment by clicking the link provided to you in Discord. Once you click this link it will create a GitHub repository that you can clone to your computer by following the general-purpose instructions in the description of the technical skills. Specifically, you will need to use the git clone command to download the project from GitHub to your computer. Now you are ready to add source code and documentation to the project!


If you are an emerging proactive programmer who is not enrolled in a Computer Science class at Allegheny College, you can still work on this assignment! To get started, you should click the "Use this template" icon in the contact-searching-starter GitHub repository and create your own version of this project's source code. After creating your GitHub repository, you can follow all of the other steps!

Expected Output

This project invites you to implement a CSV file parsing and searching program called contactsearcher. The program accepts through its command-line interface the name of a file, in this case input/contacts.txt, that contains the contact information and job title descriptions for some people. For instance, here are the first lines of this file:,Careers adviser,"Accountant, chartered management",Health and safety inspector,"Surveyor, planning and development","Scientist, physiological","Surveyor, insurance",Records manager,Network engineer,Electrical engineer,Science writer,"Programmer, multimedia"

It is worth noting that the input/contacts.txt file contains synthetic data that the Faker program automatically generated. With that said, after you have correctly implemented all of the required features, running the program with the command poetry run contactsearcher --job-description "engineer" --contacts-file input/contacts.txt will produce the following output:

The contacts file contains 100 people in it! Let's get searching!

  We are looking for contacts who have a job related to "engineer": is a Network engineer is a Electrical engineer is a Engineer, technical sales is a Engineer, maintenance is a Water engineer is a Automotive engineer is a Maintenance engineer is a Control and instrumentation engineer is a Civil engineer, consulting is a Engineer, electronics is a Engineering geologist is a Chemical engineer

Wow, we found some contacts! Email them to learn about your job!

Notice that the output confirms that there are 100 rows inside of the CSV file called input/contacts.txt and that you instructed the program to return all of the email addresses for people whose job description contains the word engineer. For the current version of the CSV file, there are twelve people who have engineer in their job description, including who is a Chemical engineer and who is a Network engineer. Since the contactsearcher program should return the contact information for every person who has the provided job description in their job title, searching for engin instead of engineer should also return details about and To learn more about how to run this program, you can type the command poetry run contactsearcher --help to see the following output showing how to use contactsearcher:

╭─ Options ─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────╮
│ *  --job-description         TEXT                [default: None]      │
│                                                  [required]           │
│    --contacts-file           PATH                [default: None]      │
│    --install-complet…        [bash|zsh|fish|pow  Install completion   │
│                              ershell|pwsh]       for the specified    │
│                                                  shell.               │
│                                                  [default: None]      │
│    --show-completion         [bash|zsh|fish|pow  Show completion for  │
│                              ershell|pwsh]       the specified shell, │
│                                                  to copy it or        │
│                                                  customize the        │
│                                                  installation.        │
│                                                  [default: None]      │
│    --help                                        Show this message    │
│                                                  and exit.            │

Please note that the provided source code does not contain all of the functionality needed to produce this output. As explained in the next section, you are invited to add all of the missing features to ensure that contactsearcher produces the expected output. Once you finish the program, it should produce all of the expected output.


Recall that if you want to run contactsearcher you must use your terminal window to first go into the GitHub repository containing this project and then go into the contactsearcher directory that contains the project's source code. Remember that before running the program you must run poetry install to add the dependencies!

Adding Functionality

If you study the file called contactsearcher/contactsearcher/ you will see that it has many TODO markers that designate the parts of the program that you need to implement before contactsearcher will produce correct output. Along with adding requested source code to the main module, you should implement the function in the convert module called search_for_email_given_job(job_description: str, contacts: str) -> List[List[str]]. This function takes as input two str variables called job_description and contacts, with the first of these containing, for instance, engineer, and the second containing all of the contents of the provided CSV file. The search_for_email_given_job function should use the csv package's reader function to input the CSV file on a row-by-row basis, and then check each row to see if its job description contains the contents of the job_description variable. If the job description on a specific line has within it the provided job_description, then the function should record the email address and continue processing the remainder of the file.

Running Checks

If you study the source code in the pyproject.toml file you will see that it includes the following section that specifies different executable tasks like lint. If you are in the converter directory that contains the pyproject.toml file and the poetry.lock file, the tasks in this section make it easy to run commands like poetry run task lint to automatically run all of the linters designed to check the Python source code in your program and its test suite. You can also use the command poetry run task black to confirm that your source code adheres to the industry-standard format defined by the black tool. If it does not adhere to the standard then you can run the command poetry run task fixformat and it will automatically reformat the source code.

Along with running tasks like poetry run task lint, you can leverage the relevant instructions in the technical skills to run the command gatorgrade --config config/gatorgrade.yml to check your work. If your work meets the baseline requirements and adheres to the best practices that proactive programmers adopt you will see that all the checks pass when you run gatorgrade. You can study the config/gatorgrade.yml file in your repository to learn how the GatorGrade program runs GatorGrader to automatically check your program and technical writing.

If your program has all of the anticipated functionality, you can run the command poetry run task test and see that the test suite produces the following output. As you finish your implementation of the search_for_email_given_job function you can use this test suite to confirm that it is working correctly. If one of the test cases fails, you can use its output to help you understand what is not yet working in the function that it tests.

tests/ .....

============================ 5 passed in 0.02s =============================

Don't forget that when you commit source code or technical writing to your GitHub repository for this project, it will trigger the run of a GitHub Actions workflow. If you are a student at Allegheny College, then running this workflow consumes build minutes for the course's organization! As such, you should only commit to your repository once you have made substantive changes to your project and you are ready to confirm its correctness. Before you commit to your repository, you can still run checks on your own computer by either using Poetry or Docker and GatorGrader.

Project Reflection

Once you have finished all of the previous technical tasks, you can use a text editor to answer all of the questions in the writing/ file. For instance, you should provide the output of the Python program in a fenced code block and explain the meaning of the Python source code segments that you implemented and tested. As you answer the reflection's questions, take particular care as you explain every computational step that occurs when running the program with a command like poetry run contactsearcher --job-description "engineer" --contacts-file input/contacts.txt.

Project Assessment

Since this is a programming project, it is aligned with the applying and analyzing levels of Bloom's taxonomy. You can learn more about how a proactive programming expert will assess your work by examining the assessment strategy. From the start to the end of this project you may make an unlimited number of reattempts at submitting source code and technical writing that meet all aspects of the project's specification.

Seeking Assistance

Emerging proactive programmers who have questions about this project are invited to ask them in either the GitHub discussions forum or the Proactive Programmers Discord server. Before you ask your question, please read the advice concerning how to best participate in the Proactive Programmers community. If you find a mistake in this project, please describe it and propose a solution by creating an issue in the GitHub Issue Tracker.

Updated: 2023-04-21   Created: 2021-08-12
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