Setting up Python Environment-PyCharm

Python can be installed on Windows, Mac as well as Linux. Since I plan to learn programming on Linux, I was searching for IDE for Python on Linux.

For beginners, IPython, IDLE and pyCharm are good to get started.

IPython can be accessed from Linux terminal. Here, I printed Hello word! (Word as in WordPress 🙂

Screenshot from 2017-04-30 16-51-28


IDLE is Python’s Integrated Development and Learning Environment. It is coded in Python using tkinter GUI toolkit. It is simple but has quite a number of useful features. Please refer to https://docs.python.org/3/library/idle.html for more documentation.

PyCharm is an IDE from Jetbrains (https://www.jetbrains.com). It is easy to install on Linux Mint. There are 2 versions of the Pycharm IDE – Professional which is a licensed edition. There is also a free Community Edition which can be downloaded. I downloaded Community Edition.

Screenshot from 2017-04-30 16-20-28

Installation instruction are available on the download site (https://www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/download/#section=linux). All you need to do is unpack pycharm tar.gz and use pycharm.sh from bin subdirectory.

After installation is completed, I added PyCharm Community Edition to my Dock (Plank) for easier access.

Once IDE is opened, from File –> Settings–> Project Interpreter, python interpreter can be selected.

I am learning Python 3.x and hence selected. Python 3.5.2.

Screenshot from 2017-04-30 17-17-21.png

All the additional packages (like numpy, pandas, matplotlib, pyQt5 etc) installed are displayed here.

Below is a screenshot of sample program(which I took from internet) executed in PyCharm IDE to display combinations numbers whose sum is adding up to a number.

Screenshot from 2017-04-30 17-16-01

Overall, PyCharm Community Edition is nice IDE with powerful features.

Advertisements

How I got bitten by Python programming

Many years ago, I used to be a Java programmer. In fact, I started my information technology career in the year 1999 as a software developer in a small company which focussed on application software development. During my engineering days, I learnt Fortran and C programming. When I completed my engineering, there was Y2K problem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2000_problem) which helped many job aspirants to jump into IT industry irrespective of their educational background.

During the same time, Java was one of the bleeding edge technologies. There was a saying – ‘To get into IT job,  all you need to know  is spelling of Java’.

After few years of programming (mainly in Java, Web development, SQL, Database design), like many others, I moved on to project management and with more focus on day to day operations, I gradually lost hold on coding but not the zeal.

Several years later in the current digital world, data analytics caught my attention. I am interested in learning data analytics and visualization. Since few years, I started using Linux Mint Cinnamon OS more frequently on my personal laptop as it is free and open source(FOSS). I was fascinated by Cinnamon Desktop Environment. The website – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Mint, claims most of the Linux Mint is developed in Python language – https://www.python.org/. I was aware of the fact that majority of Unix/Linux development happens in C but was surprised when I saw Python. This was my first encounter /awareness on Python.  This is when I started gathering my understanding of Python from internet.

Why learn Python ? 

  • It is a free and open source (FOSS)
  • Already available in several Linux distributions
  • Easy to learn for beginners (minimal coding is required)
  • One of the languages widely used for Data Analytics
  • Popular (http://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/) and good Community support
  • Availability of code libraries / packages
    • Many Web development frameworks – Django, Bottle, Flask etc
    • Scientific and numeric computing – Numpy, Matplotlib, Pandas etc
    • Rich GUI development – pyQt, wxPython

Python 2.x or 3.x ? 

Several books and websites debate on whether to use Python 2 or Python 3. I have noticed that by default, Python 2.7 was installed on Linux Mint 18 (Sarah). When I started learing, I felt that going forward the focus would be on developing Python 3.x  as  it is the present and future. Hence I started with Python 3.5 interpreter. Fortunately, Python 3.5 is also pre-installed on the latest Linux Mint 18.1 (Serena).

My favourite books for learning Python / Data Analytics

There are several online books and tutorials available. One of my favourite is Tutorials Point – https://www.tutorialspoint.com/python/

I follow the Google plus Python community frequently – https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/103393744324769547228

Also, Stackoverflow (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/python) comes to my rescue whenever I encounter some hurdles.

Screenshot from 2016-12-31 20-44-32.png

Disclaimer: The opinions and experiences listed on the site are my personal. In some cases, my understanding could be incorrect as I am a beginner to intermediate programmer. Please point out if any correction is required so that I can consider editing  the blog.