Prework Videos Environment Overview

Learning Goals

  • Explain what a development environment is and what it is used for
  • Describe the purpose of the Learn IDE
  • Use the Learn IDE to solve a lab

Lesson

  • Hi guys, it's Ian from Flatiron School. In this video, we're going to learn about development environments. Our Learning Goals for this video are:
  • To explain what a development environment is and what it is used for
  • To describe the purpose of the Learn IDE
  • And to use the Learn IDE to solve a lab
  • Before we dive in, there's one thing that's important to remember when you're programming.
  • That is that all code is just text in a file that can be understood by a computer.
  • So any file, with instructions in it that a computer can understand, that's code.
  • Our job, as programmers, is to create those files. We want to create files that a computer can interpret as instructions.
  • The set of tools that software developers like you and me use to create and modify those code files is called a development environment
  • At the bare minimum, this includes two things:
    • A text editor, to edit those text files containing the code.
    • A way to execute, or run the code that you've written.
  • There are many different text editors that you could use. If you wanted to, you could write all of your code in Microsoft Word or a Notepad.
  • It's easier, though, to use a text editor that's specifically designed for code. Some popular text editors for code are Sublime Text, Atom, VSCode. There are a whole bunch of other ones.
  • These give you helpful things such as syntax highlighting and autocompletion.
  • Once you've edited the code, you need a way to execute it. For an HTML page, this might be as simple as opening it in a web browser. Let me go ahead and open up my text editor, which is Atom, and create a new file called index.html - I can quickly add some HTML in here.
  • When I open this in the web browser, I'll see the output from that code.
  • So that works really for things like HTML, but for other applications, you'll likely need to execute the code from a terminal. For example, when writing a Ruby application, I need some way to be able to execute that ruby code.
  • We can do this using the Ruby interpreter - this is a tool that runs from the terminal to execute our Ruby code. If I make a new file, let's call this one 'app.rb' and put a simple print statement here, we can now run this code from my Terminal using ruby FILENAME - so in this case, ruby app.rb
  • We now see the output of that program.
  • So, I'm doing this on my Mac, and one thing to note is that setting up a development environment on your computer can be a little bit of a pain.
  • I have to make sure that I have Ruby installed, plus maybe other libraries depending on what I'm doing or working on.
  • To make things easier to get started, we at Flatiron School created a tool called the Learn IDE.
    • IDE stands for "Integrated Development Environment" - this is a one stop shop that includes all of the tools, libraries, and packages that you need to be able to develop an application.
  • The Learn IDE is replicating what would happen if you had the same development environment on your computer.
  • When you see a new lab in Learn, you can use the "Open in IDE" button to launch the Learn IDE.
  • I'll go ahead and do that now on this lab.
  • You'll see two pieces here - the text editor and the terminal. I can write code using the text editor here, and execute it in the terminal.
  • So if I want to test something out that I wrote, I can make a new file called app.rb and invoke it using ruby app.rb - just like I did before.
  • Once I've solved the lab, I can run the learn command to execute the test suite. Learn will automatically recognize the changes.
  • Later on in your programming journey, you'll want to set up a local environment on your computer to make it easier to work on large-scale projects.
  • For now, though, the Learn IDE will help you get up and running quickly.
  • So to recap, in this video we discussed what a development environment is and why we use them.
  • We talked about why we built the Learn IDE - to make it faster to get solving lessons and labs on Learn.
  • And we looked at solving a lab using the Learn IDE.
  • Thanks so much for watching, and happy coding!
Unlock your future in tech
Learn to code.

Learn about Flatiron School's Mission

With a new take on education that falls somewhere between self-taught prodigy and four-year computer science degree, the Flatiron School promises to turn students with little programming experience into developers.

In the six months since the Manhattan coding school was acquired by WeWork, it has spawned locations in Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, and London. Now, WeWork is opening a fourth Flatiron School location, this time in Houston.

Adam Enbar, Flatiron School's cofounder, believes now is the time to grow. "How the world is changing has impacted working and learning in very similar ways. We think education fundamentally is about one thing: enabling people to pursue a better life."

Learn. Love. Code.
Students come to Flatiron School to change their lives. Join our driven community of career-changers and master the skills you need to become a software engineer or a data scientist.
Find Us