Preparing Your Development Environment: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before you dive into the world of programming, it’s essential to set up a development environment that allows you to write and run your code effectively. In this section, we’ll guide you through the initial steps, starting with the crucial task of building a Docker container. Don’t worry; it’s a significant step that will pave the way for your programming journey. Plus, remember that assistance is just a message away if you encounter any challenges.

Creating a Dedicated Workspace

To make your programming experience smoother, consider creating a dedicated workspace on your computer. Within this workspace, set up a new directory specifically for our programming lessons. Inside this directory, create a sub-folder and name it “lesson1.” This organized structure will help keep your work neat and tidy as you progress through the lessons.


Setting Up the Docker Environment

We’ll be using Docker to run our code files, and to make this process more user-friendly, we’ll employ Docker Compose. Before we jump into the technical details, let’s outline the necessary steps.

1. Dockerfile: Start by creating a file called “Dockerfile” (note the capital “D” and no file extension). Add the following content to this file:

FROM python:3.11

This simple Dockerfile specifies that we want to use Python version 3.11 and sets our working directory to “/app.”

2. docker-compose.yaml: Next, create another file named “docker-compose.yaml” and paste in the following content:
version: "3"
    build: .
      - .:/app
This configuration file defines our Docker services, including how our Python environment should be built and how our code should be mapped into the container.
As we progress, we’ll dive deeper into the structure and significance of Dockerfile and docker-compose files, gradually enhancing your understanding of their functionality and purpose.


Building Your Python Container

Now that you have your Docker environment set up, it’s time to build your Python container. You can do this in a couple of ways:
  • If you’re comfortable with the command line, navigate to your “lesson1” folder and run the following command: docker-compose build. Ensure that Docker is up and running on your computer.
  • Alternatively, if you’re using Visual Studio Code (VS Code), press Ctrl + ~ to open the integrated terminal, then select the “terminal” tab at the bottom of your screen. From there, run the docker-compose build command. This approach may be more convenient for many users.
Once the build process is complete, your Python environment will be ready for action. You’ve just taken a significant step towards becoming a proficient programmer. Now, let’s move on to the exciting world of programming concepts and code examples in our next article.
Founder & Principal at Daptl | | Website | + posts

Nova Scotia-based software developer with a rich history in entrepreneurship and technology. In the year 2000, embarked on a collaborative journey to automate statistical data gathering for a hockey pool, which later evolved into a thriving business focused on curating sports statistics.

Through strategic contracting in various sectors, including telecommunications and insurance, contributed to the growth of the startup, eventually expanding it to a significant enterprise with over 100 employees and worldwide affiliates.

Now, in the phase of semi-retirement, founded 'Daptl' to explore new contracting opportunities, adding another chapter to an already impressive career.

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