If you're curious about the different paths for installing Python and various libraries on your own computer, some excellent resources exist as part of the PyCAR repository. The take-home portion points to several tutorials and guides that cover Mac and PC setup, how to compartmentalize projects in their own virtual environments and the use of version control.
If you want to use a virtualenv, we've included a (short) requirements file for
pip with all the non-standard libraries used and their dependencies.
Here are stops to make as you expand your knowledge and keep practicing these news skills:
- Again, the PyCAR repository, a daylong class taught at the 2014 and 2015 NICAR Conferences.
- Anthony Debarros' python-get-started repository and his useful python-snippets, a list of practical code examples.
- Ben Welsh's updated guide to building a web scraper in Python and his guide for building a lightweight news app.
- LearnPython is an interactive tutorial that covers a lot of this same ground and more.
As you start feeling more comfortable with the basics, you may want to start using a version control setup like git to catalog your scripts, collaborate with others and share your code with the world.
Here are a couple of guides from NICAR presenters and other sources that may come in handy: