Easy Peasy Installation Guide for Python

A beginner-friendly guide to getting Python setup on your computer. This is part two of the Coding for Marketing People series. If you haven’t read part one yet, it’s available here. Or read part three, the first tutorial, if you’re ready to skip ahead.

In this post we’re going to cover off a simple way to get your laptop or computer ready to start coding using Python. There are lots of different ways you could do this, and setting up your ‘environment’ is often one of the biggest stumbling blocks for anyone new to coding. It’s a world full of tech talk, debate over the ‘best’ way and confusing language.

We’re going to take a really simple approach, and one that means I don’t have to do much:

Step 1)
Use Anaconda, a free installation package from the folks at Continuum. It’s available for Mac and Windows (and Linux if you want, but if you’re using Linux you’ll want to tinker so I’ll leave it up to you).

Step 2)
That’s it. You’re ready to go.

Seriously? That’s it? Aren’t you going to install everything one at a time?

No, not today. Life’s too short. Anaconda makes life very easy.

Why? We’re going to use a bunch of amazing Python packages along the way (IPython, Pandas, Seaborn) but sometimes installing them all together can be a pain in the arse. Continuum made this free installer to work around that problem. It’s a fairly big download but for a beginner, it cuts out a lot of hassle and barriers to entry. Later on we might do things the more traditional way (including words like ‘pip’ and ‘virtual environments’) but for now, I just want everyone to be able to get started.

Next up… our first piece of coding in Python.

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