Python is a versatile and widely used programming language known for its simplicity and readability. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced programmer, Python offers a range of tools and libraries that make it a popular choice for various projects. In this article, we will explore how to get started with Python, including where to obtain it, how to install it on different operating systems, how to test the installation, how to create a virtual environment, and which editor tools to use.

  1. Where to Get Python: Python is an open-source language, and you can obtain it from the official website, On the website, you will find the latest stable release as well as previous versions. Python is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of operating systems.
  2. How to Install Python: Installation steps may vary slightly depending on your operating system. Here’s a brief overview of each:
    • Windows: Download the Python installer from the official website and run it. Make sure to check the option “Add Python to PATH” during the installation process.
    • macOS: Visit the official Python website and download the macOS installer. Run the installer package, and Python will be installed on your system.
    • Linux: Most Linux distributions come pre-installed with Python. However, if it is not available or you need a specific version, you can use the package manager for your distribution. For example, on Ubuntu, you can use the command sudo apt install python3 to install Python 3.
  1. Testing the Installation: Once Python is installed, you can test if it’s working correctly by opening a terminal or command prompt and typing python --version or python3 --version (depending on your system). This command will display the installed Python version. Additionally, running python or python3 will open the Python interactive shell, indicating that the installation was successful.
  2. Creating a Virtual Environment: A virtual environment is an isolated environment for Python projects, allowing you to manage dependencies and package versions. To create a virtual environment, follow these steps:
    • Windows, macOS, and Linux: Open a terminal or command prompt, navigate to your project directory, and run the following command: python3 -m venv myenv. This command will create a virtual environment named “myenv” in your project directory.

      To activate the virtual environment, use the following commands:
    • Windows: myenv\Scripts\activate
    • macOS/Linux: source myenv/bin/activate

Once activated, any packages you install or scripts you run will be isolated within this virtual environment.

  1. Editor Tools: Python code can be written in any text editor, but there are many text editors with specialized tools or integrated development environments (IDEs) that will make your life as a Python developer much easier. Here are a few popular choices:
    • Visual Studio Code
      A lightweight yet powerful editor with excellent Python support through extensions. My personal favorite!
    • PyCharm
      A full-featured IDE specifically designed for Python development, offering advanced features and debugging capabilities.
    • Sublime Text
      A versatile text editor with a vast collection of plugins, including ones for Python development.
    • Atom
      A customizable and extensible editor with a strong community and numerous Python-related packages.

These are just a few examples, and you can explore other options based on your preferences and requirements. No need to overthink this, a simple notepad will do just fine…

Python’s versatility and ease of use make it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced programmers. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can quickly set up Python on your Windows, macOS, or Linux system, create virtual environments, and choose an editor tool that suits your needs.
You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge (or programming skills) to start with Python.

Happy coding with Python!