Editor installation

An editor is a program for editing plain text. It is an essential tool for every programmer.

It doesn't matter which editor you use, just don't use Notepad, TextEdit, Word, or Writer. If you already have some favourite, it will just need to be set up.

What can editors for programmers do?

Editors for programmers let us edit plain text. Unlike programs such as Word, Writer, or Pages, it does not let us format text.

Since we use the editor to enter commands for the computer, we do not need any formatting, we just want to use some of their built-in tricks:

  • Multiple file support – useful for larger projects with multiple files
  • Line numbering – each line shows the number. Great for debugging
  • Offset – (indentation) Very important in Python.
  • Coloring – custom code highlighting helps with readability.

That's what a piece of code looks like in the editor:

    1  @app.route('/courses/<course:course>/')
    2  def course_page(course):
    3      try:
    4          return render_template(
    5              'course.html',
    6              course=course,
    7              plan=course.sessions,
    8          )
    9      except TemplateNotFound:
   10          abort(404)

Choosing and setting up an editor

We recommend using VSCode for now.

  • VSCode recommended editor for all main operating systems. It is probably the most popular code editor nowadays. It offers many features and has a large user and developer base, so it is constantly being improved.
  • Atom a good editor with a simple design but without official support anymore (we used to recommend this editor in past courses).

You will already have some editor on Linux (but you can always download VScode). Just try to type into your command line gedit or kate, and if an editor opens, that's your default Linux editor.


Most Python programmers use complex and extremely powerful programs, so-called IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), such as PyCharm, Eclipse or KDevelop. But they are not very suitable for beginners.

If you want to use an IDE, you should really know it well. And also keep in mind that every coach knows only that one IDE that they use most often, so they might not be able to help you with another.