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How to convert datetime to epoch in python

January 1, 20245 min read

Epoch has many meanings in the programming world. But in Python, it refers to the point where time begins. In other words, epoch refers to the complete iteration of the dataset during the training of a machine learning model.

Although ERA is used in huge areas like neural network training, you can also use it in simpler areas. So, in this blog, you will learn about examples of converting datetime to epoch in Python. The epoch time represents seconds elapsed since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 (UTC).

How to convert datetime to epoch in python

There are several methods you can use to convert datetime to epoch in Python. In this section, we will give examples of different situations from date-time to epoch:

Date time to epoch conversion using timestamp()

You can convert datetime to epoch using timestamp parameter.

  1. Import datetime module.
  2. Use timestamp() like “datetime.datetime(y, mt, d, h, m, s).timestamp()”. Here, “y”, “mt”, “d”, “h”, “m”, and “s” represent year, month, date, hour, minute, and second, respectively.

For example, let’s write a Python program to convert the epoch to July 21, 2023.

Import date time
Era , date time,date time,2023, 7, 21,,TIMESTAMP,,
printing,Era,

Running the previous program you will get the following results:

Comment: The first is for accessing the datetime module, and the second is for the class.

Now, let’s look at an example at 8 AM on August 23, 2023.

Import date time
Era , date time,date time,2023, 8, 23, 8, 0, 0,,TIMESTAMP,,
printing,Era,

Date time to epoch conversion using total_seconds

To use total_seconds for era conversion, you must subtract the input date and time from the set era date and time, i.e., January 1, 1970. After that, use the total_sensitive() function to convert the received time into seconds.

  1. Import the datetime module and convert your desired date to datetime format using the datetime() function.
  2. Now, subtract this datetime from the epoch datetime and use the total_thirds() function.

For example, let’s write a Python program to convert July 21, 2023 to an epoch.

Import date time
date time , date time,date time,2023, 9, 1, 0, 0, 0,
Era , , date time – date time,date time,1970, 1, 1,,,total_seconds,,
printing,Era,

Once you run the program, it will give you the following results:

Date time to era conversion with calendar module

You can use the calendar module to convert datetime to epoch in Python.

  1. Import datetime and calendar modules.
  2. Extract the date and time into a variable by entering your desired date as an argument, such as date_time.
  3. Use the calendar module as Calendar.timegm(date_time.timetuple()). This will be the era value.

Import date time, Almanac
date time , date time,date time,2023, 9, 1,
Era , Almanac,timegm,Date Time.time tuple,,,
printing,Era,

After compiling the previous program, you will get the following results:

Date time to epoch conversion using stringtime method

We can also use strftime() to convert datetime to epoch. However, the program is platform-dependent, and you may need to make slight changes to it to make it work.

  1. Get datetime module.
  2. Convert your date and time to datetime using datetime.datetime(). Finally, use the strftime() function with %s as a parameter.

Comment: If you are using Linux, use %s (with small s). Whereas if you are using Windows, use %S (with a capital S).

For example, convert September 17, 2023 to the epoch:

Import date time
Era , date time,date time,2023, 9, 17,,strftime,‘%S’,
printing,Era,

The previous program shows the following results:

%s is not an actual argument in Python and varies with the platform you use. This only works using your system’s local timezone, producing more error-prone results.

conclusion

Epoch is the value of time in seconds, and its primary application involves training machine learning algorithms and networks. This blog is about how to convert datetime value to epoch in Python. We discussed basic to advanced methods using total_seconds, timestamp, strftime and timegm functions. Remember that strftime() can give you errors, so use it correctly.

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