17.1. Before You Begin

For the remaining chapters of this book, we will use a local code editor. This is an application that we run directly on our personal devices instead of online through a browser.

Programmers use integrated development environments (IDE) to write and run their code. The IDE we will use for this course is called Visual Studio Code. In addition to writing and running code, VSCode has tools that help us spot errors in our work. It also includes a terminal that we can use to move through our filesystem.

If you are a student and using a device provided by your school, both VSCode and Python should already be installed on your machine. If you are working through this textbook on your own, you may need to perform some installations before continuing.

Instructions for installing VSCode and the Python programming language can be found in the Setting up Software appendix.

17.1.1. Chromebook Users

If you are using a school-owned device, you should have access to a virtual desktop that holds all of the necessary software. Follow your teacher’s instructions for logging in to this service.