Programmers write programs! There are a number of key tasks that they need to do every time they write a new program. These include actually writing the code, finding errors with it if there are any, translating it, running it and documenting the code, in case it has to be changed in the future. Because these jobs have to be done again and again, programs called Integrated Development Environments have been developed. These programs allow a programmer to do all of the common tasks involved in writing a program in one place easily.
An IDE is a software application that provides a programmer with the tools to write, debug, translate, run and document applications.
Typical tools include:
There are many IDEs about. Visual Basic is written in an IDE. Some of you may have used the Scratch IDE to produce games. Greenfoot is an excellent IDE, used by pupils to write games in Java. Other IDEs for Java include JGrasp and Eclipse. In fact, there will be various IDEs you could select from for every high level language and often, an IDE can be used for a wide variety of different languages.
The IDE we will likely use for Python is IDLE, although there are others this is well supported and written with students in mind