Some Assembly Required#

This is our first hands-on chapter, where you will set up the necessary accounts, and install the necessary software, to get up and running with the tools you will need in this course.

There are some platforms, like Google Collab and CoCalc, that allow you to run Python code in the cloud. These are great for learning, because you can basically just go to a website and start coding. However, they are not always great for doing real work. We will install Visual Studio Code (VS Code), a powerful code editor that will allow you to write and run Python code on your own computer. We will also install a number of other packages that are necessary in order to run Python in VS Code, and do everything taught in this course.

THe number of software tools, packages, websites, and logins required in this chapter might seem in intimidating at first. Try not to be discouraged by this; take your time and work through the steps one at a time. You may also want to watch the associated YouTube video, which will walk you through the steps in real time with the advantage of seeing each step performed.