In this section, we’ll walk through the setup needed to get your local coding environment up and running. Remember, if you already have a local development environment setup - you can keep using that, although if you don’t use Jupyter Notebooks, and instead tend to write all of your code in raw Python script files - I would urge you to give Notebooks a go as they’ll be used extensively throughout this and other courses.
We’ll kick things off in the next lesson by downloading Python via the free Anaconda Python distribution and Visual Studio Code - our code editor of choice. We’ll get both of these installed and take a quick tour to familiarise ourselves with these new tools.
Then we’ll move on to talk about Python environments. These will allow us to properly isolate our code and all of its dependencies. First, I’ll explain why we might want to do this; then, we’ll walk through the detail of setting up, activating and deleting environments.
After this we can jump into VSCode and take a look around. I’ll explain some of the basic functionality along with setting up the Python environment we’ll be using for the rest of the course.
In the final lesson in this section, I’ll spend a little time explaining how to use Jupyter Notebooks. I’ll also flag up some shortcuts that will make life a little easier when it comes to editing code.
Once you’ve finished this section, you’ll have a solid understanding of how your local development environment is setup and you’ll be ready to start learning the basics of Python in the next section.