We are going to start with background material and exercises adapted from “Python Programming for Everybody: Exploring Data Using Python 3” – colloquially called PY4E (Python for Everbody). This is a very popular teaching resource for Python that has a wealth of content online that is available to supplement our goals of getting into programming for instrumentation and data management.
More information about PY4E, including free texts that can be downloaded are available at the locations below.
- Python for Everbody: Exploring Data in Python3 Kindle edition of the book Free: PDF, HTML, EPUB
- download sample Python code from the book from: http://www.py4e.com/materials.
Next – we need to get Python set up on your computer. Please put this on a laptop and bring it to class. You need to install Python and Visual Studio Code, which is an editor. Links and instructions are below.
- Setting up the Python Environment in Microsoft Windows
- Setting up the Python Environment on a Macintosh
- Visual Studio Code – Code Editing. Redefined
Some of this might look a little imposing at first, but this is manageable, just follow the instructions and it will get you through. This might take a while to install, just bear with it. After you should have a functional copy of Python 3.X and Visual Studio Code 1.X installed on your computer. Most laptops should be able to handle this, if you find yours does not, please let me know ASAP.
Next we are going to try and use some AI coding helpers. Specifically GitHub copilot. This means you need to get a GitHub account, which you can do through TAMU here.
Then we need to install copilot in our Visual Studio Code editor.
- Getting started with GitHub Copilot – GitHub Docs
- You can find lots of youtube videos to help set this up if you have problems. One example is here Github COPILOT install and setup with Visual Studio Code – YouTube