While students in my Tech Ventures class are getting their sea legs with Python this week on their Raspberry Pis, I thought it would be helpful to provide instructions on how to code in a Windows, Linux, or Mac OS environment. I find the IDLE environment OK for doing some simple development, but if you are going to be working on something more complex, I recommend using PyCharm. It’s a full IDE that is similar to Eclipse and NetBeans (for you Java peeps) where you can store projects, use tabbed autocomplete, etc. PyCharm has a community edition that is open source and free for use. The professional edition provides a development environment for CSS, I’m pretty much a fan of anything other than a plain text editor. In my opinion, it cuts down on errors and gives you a more full picture of your project, especially when you are importing libraries and other modules. Below are steps to get up and going in Windows.
- Download the latest version of Python (most folks should select the Windows x86-64 executable installer).
- Install Python by running the previously downloaded file.
- Download the Windows version of PyCharm.
- Install PyCharm by running the previously downloaded file.
- You’re good to go! Happy Coding!