• 6 hours
  • Easy

Free online content available in this course.



Got it!

Last updated on 4/11/24

Install your Python environment

The first tool we're going to install is Visual Studio Code, also known as VS Code, which will be your main working environment. It's the tool you'll use to practice and complete the exercises in the course. This is also an essential tool for Python developers in their daily work environment.

Download Visual Studio Code

Open your web browser and go to the official Visual Studio Code website at the following address : https://code.visualstudio.com/

Screenshot showing the Visual Studio Code download page with download options for different operating systems.
Download Visual Studio Code.

On the Visual Studio Code homepage, you will see a download button. Click on this button to download the appropriate installer for your operating system. VS Code is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Install Visual Studio Code

Once the download is complete, open the downloaded file to launch the Visual Studio Code installer

Install on Windows

Once the download is complete, double-click the downloaded installation file to start the installation process. Here are the steps:

1. In the first step, you will review and accept the terms of the license agreement.

Screenshot showing how to accept the terms of the Visual Studio Code license agreement
Accept the terms of the license agreement 

2. Choose the directory where you want to install Visual Studio Code, or leave the default location. Click "Next".

3. Select whether you want to create a shortcut on the desktop and/or in the Start menu. Click "Next".

Screenshot showing the option to create a desktop shortcut during the installation of Visual Studio Code
Create a shortcut on the desktop

4. Click on "Install" to begin the installation process. Wait for the installation to be completed.

Screenshot showing the 'Install' button on the Visual Studio Code installation page
Ready to Install

5. Once the installation is complete, you can leave the option "Launch Visual Studio Code" checked if you want to open the application immediately. Click "Finish".

Once the installation is complete, you can launch Visual Studio Code by searching for the application in the start menu of your operating system or by double-clicking on the desktop icon, depending on your setup.

Configure your environment

To facilitate Python development in Visual Studio Code, we recommend installing a few useful extensions. For example, the 'Python' extension developed by Microsoft offers a wide range of features, including syntax highlighting, smart autocompletion, interactive debugging, and much more. Installing these extensions can greatly enhance your productivity and comfort when writing Python code in Visual Studio Code. You can install these extensions directly from the Extensions view in Visual Studio Code.

Screenshot of Popular Visual Studio Code Extensions for Python Development
Extensions Visual studio code

Use Git and GitHub

Git is a widely used decentralized version control system for tracking changes to files and source code in software projects. It allows developers to collaborate effectively on projects, track changes, manage code branches, and revert to previous versions if needed. GitHub, on the other hand, is a code hosting platform built on top of Git. It is a cloud-based service that facilitates collaboration on projects.

Install Git


1. Download the installer:

2. Run the installer:

  • Once the download is complete, double-click on the downloaded installation file.

  • The Git installer will open. Follow the instructions in the installation wizard, leaving most of the settings at their default values.

Clone GitHub project

What does "clone a project" mean?

"Clone a project" means creating a local copy of a remote repository in order to work on the code locally.

To clone a GitHub project, follow these steps:

  • Go to the GitHub page of the project you want to clone.

  • Click on the "Code" button.

  • Copy the provided URL (usually starting with "https://github.com/...").

Screenshot showing the GitHub project page with the cloning button highlighted and the cloning URL visible.
Clone a GitHub project
  • Open your terminal

How to open a terminal on Windows?

To open a terminal on Windows, you can simply search for "Command Prompt" in the Start menu and select the application that appears.

  • Use the  git clone  command followed by the copied URL to clone the project locally.

Screenshot showing the execution of the`git clone` command in the terminal with the GitHub URL.
Run the clone command in the terminal

Discover the course exercises

Practical exercises are an essential component of this course. At the end of each chapter, you will find exercises designed to reinforce the concepts you have learned. Each exercise is accompanied by a statement on the course, allowing you to clearly understand what is expected. Additionally, to facilitate your practical work, we provide you with a GitHub repository containing the exercise statement as well as detailed instructions to complete them. In this repository, you will find additional hints, tips, and resources to help you succeed in each exercise.

Furthermore, you will have access to a second link providing the solution of the exercise. This will allow you to check your work and compare your answers with the proposed solutions, providing you with a valuable opportunity to assess your understanding and improve your skills.

Join me in the next chapter to run your first Python program!

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