Intro to Programming and Data Science (Fall 2021)/Day 1 Coding Challenge

From CommunityData

Our goal is to get your computer set up with the software you will need for this course and to get started with some basic programming concepts.

  • Work through the goals on this page in order; they should take around 2 hours. I will help troubleshoot and answer questions — don't hesitate to ask!

Goal #1: Set up Python and make a class folder[edit]

(Estimated time: 5 minutes)

First things first: We are going to install "Anaconda". This is a suite of programs for doing data science with Python. It will install the Python programming language, together with a number of other packages that we will be using later in the course, such as pandas and Jupyter. Please complete the instructions below for your operating system:

  • Go ahead and make a folder to use for your class files. A dedicated folder will help you keep track of all the items you download or write as part of the class, and make them easier to find later. One of the secrets of data science is being kind to your future self by being extremely organized.

Goal #2: Practice running Python code from an existing Jupyter notebook[edit]

(Estimated time: 5 minutes)

We're going to use Jupyter notebooks to write and run Python throughout the class. By installing Anaconda, you can now use your computer's web browser to write and run python code files on your computer. Jupyter notebooks can mix together text and code. You can make changes and immediately see what happens and you can even export them to different file formats. In this section of the setup process, we'll try out your Python setup by running code in an existing notebook.

Right click this link, save it to your computer, and then open it in Jupyter. Run each of the cells and read through the instructions.

Goal #3: Start learning Python![edit]

(Estimated time: 60 - 90 minutes)

It's time to start learning, reading, and writing some Python! This is a self-directed tutorial that goes through some of the basic syntax and concepts which we will come back to and explain further over the next few weeks.

Day 1 Tutorial

Goal #4: Practice Python using LearnPython[edit]

(Estimated time: 30 - 60 minutes)

It's time to use what we've learned in the tutorial and get some practice thinking about and solving problems in Python.

Your next task is to work through the first two lessons (there are many lessons, so don't just keep hit "Next" or you're never finish!):

You may find the LearnPython interface is different from your Jupyter Notebook. No worries, it's still Python, even though it looks a bit different. You could do these lessons in Jupyter Notebook by copying & pasting the code in the left-hand boxes from LearnPython into Jupyter Notebook cells and run them from Jupyter.