Python is one of the easiest and most widely-used programming languages in the tech world. It is a high-level, general-purpose programming language that emphasizes code readability and uses an object oriented approach. Python can be used for completing many tasks, including website development, software development, automation, and data analysis.
Professional developers have used Python to develop a wide range of popular software programs, including YouTube, Google, and Instagram. Coding can be pretty stressful, leaving room for error, so there are integrated development environments (IDE) available to assist developers. Read this article on Python IDE to help you understand what IDEs are, their benefits, and the best Python IDEs available.
What Is an IDE?
An integrated development environment (IDE) is an application that allows programmers to easily develop other applications. An IDE helps to increase the productivity of developers by allowing them to complete several tasks in one application.
It includes a central interface that consists of multiple developer tools like a dedicated code editor, a compiler, a powerful debugger with error detection, and local build automation tools. Some IDEs may also include a class browser, object browser, and class hierarchy diagram. IDE are popular because they help developers to manage their time, organize their workflow, and solve problems.
What Is the Difference Between an IDE and a Code Editor?
An IDE is a software development tool that comprises different interfaces to make programming easier. On the other hand, a code editor is a text editor that helps developers with faster and simpler code editing. Code editors have powerful and specialized built-in features and functionalities.
An IDE includes extensible code editors and other software development tools, but a code editor is a standalone text editor that can be a part of an IDE. The key features of an IDE are text editing with an edit menu, compiling, debugging with a debug menu, a graphical user interface (GUI), syntax, highlighting, and unit testing, among others. The key features of code editors are syntax highlighting, printing, multiview, and a preview window.
How to Choose the Best IDE for Python Development
There are different factors that should determine how you choose the best IDE for your Python development. The very first factor should be your experience level. As an experienced developer, you will want to go for performance and advanced features. As a beginner in programming, there are more factors to consider, which are listed below.
Type of Industry
First, you have to consider the type of industry you want to work in. The IDE you use as a software developer may differ from the one you use as a data analyst. They may both differ from the one you would use in the finance industry and in the health industry. This is why you have to be certain of what and where you need the IDE before choosing one.
Kind of Developed Software
Another important factor is the kind of software you want to develop or have developed. This is highly essential because the IDE has to be able to integrate with the software for accurate results. Making the wrong choice might cost you your time and your project. As long as the software is compatible with the IDE, you can go for it.
Integration With Other Languages
The IDE that you choose should be able to easily integrate with other languages. As much as it works for Python scripts, it shouldn’t completely reject other languages. You may want to work with other languages and getting a different IDE each time you have a different project could be stressful. AN IDE that adapts to lots of languages would be a good choice.
The 5 Best Python IDE
There are several IDEs for Python because it is a very versatile and widely-used programming language. There are paid and open-source IDEs, some that are strictly for Python, and those that work with multiple languages. Below are a few of the most popular Python IDEs.
PyDev is an open-source, third-party plug-in for Eclipse IDE. It is very flexible, which makes it a go-to choice for programmers. Some of its best features are the remote debugger for remote development, code coverage, code folding, an editor with syntax highlighting, and Python 2.x and 3.x syntax. The remote debugger allows files that are not launched in Eclipse to be debugged.
What Makes PyDev a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Easy to start
- Free to use
- Includes intelligent code completion and analysis capabilities
What Makes PyCharm a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Free to use
- Code intelligence including code snippets
- Customizable interface and cross-technology development IDE
Visual Studio Code
Popularly known as VS Code, this is an open-source IDE developed by Microsoft. It is an extensible popular code editor that is lightweight and comes with great features including Git integration, code debugging, code linting, an auto code completion feature, themes, and a terminal to launch server commands.
What Makes Visual Studio Code a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Over 4,700 extensions
- Intuitive keyboard shortcuts
- Easily customizable
IDLE stands for Integrated Development and Learning Environment. It is an IDE written in Python and comes as a default editor with Python. IDLE dialog menus are the best for beginners and this IDE can be used on macOS, Windows, and Linux thanks to its cross-platform functionality. Some of the best IDLE features include a multi-window text editor, program animation, syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and smart indentation.
What Makes IDLE a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- It is free
- Offers built-in help
- Easy debugging and editing features
Spyder is an open-source, cross-platform IDE developed specifically for data scientists and data analysts. It comes with Anaconda distribution and has advanced features like syntax highlighting, advanced editing, interactive execution, auto-completion, splitting, data manipulation, and integration with other libraries like SciPy, NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib.
What Makes Spyder a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Supports editing, code analysis, profiling functionality, and data exploration
- Many comprehensive development tool features
- Complete documentation
The 5 Best Python Online IDE
Online IDEs are browser-based, easily accessible, and allow you to code on any device as long as you’re connected to the Internet. They also encourage collaboration or pair programming between developers. Below, you can find a few of the best Python online IDEs.
AWS Cloud9 is a product of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is more commonly known as just Cloud9. It is a cloud-based IDE that allows the writing, running, and debugging of code within a browser. It is one of the most popular and loved IDEs for programmers. Cloud9 has an attractive coding environment and a decent Vim mode.
What Makes AWS Cloud9 a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Code collaboration in real-time
- Direct terminal access to AWS
- Complete and flexible coding with browser.
Visual Studio Codespaces
Visual Studio Codespaces is an online-based IDE with an environment that uses the backend of the software. This environment is where compiling, debugging, restoring, and other software development processes happen. VS Codespaces, as it is also known, automatically configures your programming project correctly to encourage faster work and cleaner results.
What Makes Visual Studio Codespaces a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Automatic configuration
- Easy customization
- Free to use
Microsoft Azure Notebooks
This IDE is best for machine learning engineers. It helps to develop and run your code from anywhere. Its best feature is the ability to share code with other programmers. It is very accessible, free, and available in all locations. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can make use of this IDE. It also works with R and F# programming.
What Makes Microsoft Azure Notebooks a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Manages Jupyter notebook projects
- Highly accessible and available
Sourcekit is an IDE that uses Dropbox for storage and supports a variety of programming languages, including Python. It functions similarly to Textmate, is ideal for web designers, and has a lightweight program with a distinct option for bloated desktop improvement suites.
What Makes Sourcekit a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Works with multiple programming languages
- Uses Dropbox for storage purposes
- Responsive developer environment
What Makes Codeanywhere a Good Choice for Python Beginners?
- Can code anywhere
- Relies on Dropbox and SFTP for storage support
- Supports multiple programming languages
Can the Best IDE for Python Help Me Break into Tech?
Yes, choosing to work with the best IDE for Python can help you start a rewarding career in tech. These platforms are designed specifically to make coding easier, more accessible, and faster. IDEs have so many benefits that help you to code better and keep up with project deadlines and teams. They will also warn you about any syntax error to ensure you deliver cleaner projects.
By using the right IDE for Python, you are guaranteed to have an easier break into the tech industry. You can learn Python and how to use these IDEs by joining a coding bootcamp or attending online courses.
Python IDE FAQ
There are several IDEs that can be used for Python including PyDev, PyCharm, IDLE, Spyder, Visual Code Studio, Jupyter Notebook, Wing, and Atom. All of these IDE support Python and are common among Python developers.
Yes, Jupyter is an IDE for Python that is popularly used in data science. It is free, easy to use, and supports data science libraries like Numpy, Pandas, and Matplotlib.
As a beginner developer, you may need a Python IDE to be able to easily understand and navigate the coding process. It will also help you write cleaner code and avoid errors that could affect the entirety of your project. IDEs are not compulsory but they are essential tools for programming.
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Beginners who aren’t great at coding yet should avoid using an IDE until they can run a code on their own without forgetting steps or processes, as this could cost them in the future. While IDEs are very helpful, they shouldn’t be completely relied on.
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