[ we make science jokes, periodically ]

Python Starter in 2 Minutes

So you've decided to check out the Python programming language. Awesome, but where do you start? The first step is getting Python on your computer, tablet, or phone.

There are a few different ways to get started, so we’ll go over the easiest way.
1. Go to https://www.python.org/
2. Click on the yellow >_ button, Launch Interactive Shell.
2. Get your snacks because we're about to get started!

The black and white python terminal will pop up, along with >>>. Those symbols are called a terminal prompt, which translates to where you type in plain English.

Let's try something.

Type anything and press enter.
We're going to type steamrocket.

Looks like the shell didn’t like it.

Now that we've seen what an angry error message looks like, let's do something that'll show us what we can do.

Let's try simple math.
Type 1+1, enter and see what happens.
There's your answer!

And now it's ready for the next prompt. Play around with it, and maybe use it to do some homework. 

This shows you how programming languages are useful, even for everyday things!

So with just this simple shell, you can do tons and tons of things. You can start learning more pieces of the language. We suggest starting with The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Introduction to Python Tutorial. It's a fantastic place to start! It is geared for kids: starts out easy and gives out rewards, plus it’s fun!