Understanding how to choose a text editor/IDE for coding
Recently, we were requested to create a tutorial series on the text editor, VSCode. The requester had seen other programmers using VSCode and wanted to learn how to use it. However, they found the features and functionality offered by the popular text editor overwhelming. At first, we were a little confused — VSCode at its core is ultimately just a text editor after all — but after listening to them a little more closely we started to understand where they were coming from.
As a new programmer, it can be confusing understanding where to start when coding. While there are a lot of resources out there focused on teaching the basics of coding, they often gloss over an important first step when learning how to code: where to code. While we did our best to do justice to this topic in our first tutorial in our Python Crash Course series, in this article, we wanted to delve into this topic a little more in order to help new programmers learn where to code.
While this story is geared towards new programmers, before continuing with this story it might be beneficial to have written and executed some code. Though not required, it will make understanding some of the points discussed in this article more clear.
What is Code
To understand where to code, we need to know what is code. At its core, code is a set of instructions that is provided to the computer to execute. In fact, Merriam-Webster defines code as simply, “instructions for a computer (as within a piece of software)”.
For the majority of programs, programmers write code in a text based format and then provide the written code to a programming language interpreter or compiler to help transfer written text code into a format that the computer can understand. The computer will then execute the code and return the results back to the user. Thus, the key take away from how code is executed is that our jobs as programmers is to provide text based instructions to the programming language interpreter or compiler which will then relay these instructions to the computer to be executed.
To clear up a potential point of confusion, you might notice when coding that files that contain code do not usually end with the…