Environment configuration for Python Development with Anaconda IDE


When it comes to implementing machine learning algorithms it can be very helpful to have a set of tools that allow you to take advantage of the full feature set that the algorithms have to offer. In this guide, we're going to walk through how to install the Anaconda framework.

In the course introduction I briefly touched upon the importance of code libraries when building out an application. When it comes to choosing a text editor or IDE to use, it’s equally as important to be aware of what tools and functions you’ll need. If you choose to write all your python code in a regular text editor, you may find yourself having to build a number of features in order to get tools such as visualization. For example, if you have a presentation and need to create a chart representing a linear regression model, you’re looking at a massive build out. A platform like Anaconda offers a full framework with built in features that can handle regression modeling with visualization. Anaconda is a free, and powerful tool that many data scientists and machine learning developers choose when building out their own machine learning program. So, to get started with this go to anaconda.com and click on download.

Now depending on the operating system that you're on, navigate to that installer. In this demonstration I'm using a Mac, but this process is nearly identical for Windows. If you're on a  Mac it should automatically pick which operating system you're on, then you can download whatever Python 3 version is currently being used. Again, if your on Windows, do the same thing.

Now when you do that it's going to go through the traditional download steps. Now I use Anaconda and spider on my own system so I'm not going to re-download it. But all you have to do is literally just click on download open up the installer and you can go with all of the defaults so there's nothing specific that you're going to have to change. If you do run into any issues I highly recommend clicking on the link right here that says how to install Anaconda


and this will take you to the documentation and it gives you a number of step by step instructions.


If you find yourself running into issues, I highly recommend looking at these. They also have it separated out by which operating system that you download it for. At this point I recommend pausing the video, and run through the basic install. When you come back, we’ll walk through how to open it up and then also how to work with the spider IDE.

Now that you’ve gone through the install process, you should have Anaconda successfully installed on your system. To get things going we need to find the installation location on your system. If you're on a Mac you can just type Command + Space and that's going to bring up the spotlight search. And I can just start typing in Anaconda.


If you're using Windows you can go down to your start menu and do the same thing. You may see a few different programs called Anaconda, you want to choose the Anaconda navigator. So quick return when you find it and then that is going to open up the Anaconda navigator program. Now that that's up, you should see a window that looks something like this.


Depending on the version you're using, it might look a little bit different than mine. But as long as you have this little spyder icon on the right, you’ll be all set. This is the IDE we’ll be using throughout the course, and it's actually what I use when building out programs for my clients. Spyder allows us to type our python code, run our programs, see our visualization all inside of one program. It's a very powerful tool and it's something that I think you'll get quite a bit out of.

So I'm going to clear out the last set of code that I was working on and I'm going to stretch this from side to side just so we are taking up all the space on the screen and depending on what version you have or your operating system you may or may not see a setup that looks like this where you have a text editor here on the left-hand side. And then you have the file explore on the top-right. And then your object Inspector center-right and then the IPython console bottom-right.

IPython allows us to run some more advanced scripts than just a traditional one and then the text editor and this is where the code we write is going to go. So just have your system set up so it looks something like this and you'll be able to follow along.

Now, in order to make sure that this is all working then I'm going to enlarge the text here and I'm doing that by just typing command + on a Mac and I can type print and inside of here just write regular python so I can say Hi there. And the way that you can run the code here is you can highlight the lines that you want to run and then just type command return on a Mac. And I believe it's control return on the PC and if you run this you can see right here on the bottom right-hand side in the IPython console that it printed out. Hi there.

And so as long as you get that output and you don't get any errors right here that means that you have the system installed and you are ready to start building machine learning programs.