Getting Started with Python

In this project, you’re introduced to Python: where it’s used and what it’s used for. I explain the two current versions of Python. This book is focused on Python 2.7 and I explain why. With my help during this chapter, you install a copy of Python 2.7 (if you don’t already have it installed) and fire it up. I also tell you how to stop once you’ve started.


This project also shows you how to get Python’s documentation, both built in to Python and online. I give you ways to search online for answers to your Python problems, just in case you’ve never searched the Internet before. You also read about the Python community, which is one place you can go for help or new ideas. All that, but no actual programming? No worries. Actual programming starts in Project 2.

TL;DR: If you’ve already installed Python, and you can start and stop it, then skip to Project 2.

Python and Why It’s Wonderful

Python is a programming language written by a person called Guido van Rossum in the 1990s. Programming languages allow you to control what a computer does and the way it does it.

Some of the things that make Python totes awesome (also known as “really helpful and lots of fun”) are:

  • Python code is easy to read and understand. In fact, I think Python’s code is sublime and beautiful. (Hey, that’s just my opinion.) Its beauty means you don’t even notice the way ...

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