Is Codecademy free & what is the best free Text Editor or IDE

Hi all I’m 72 years Old so my interest in learning Python is just for my interest and not to get a job so I started learning Python at Codecademy and I have got to “Computer Science” and I can’t get any further. It appears as though all the lessons are Pro I don’t seem to be able to get anymore free lessons. Is that as far as I can go for free?
Also I would like to practice what I have learned. I have installed Python 3.74 on my computer and could anyone recommend if I should install a text editor or an IDE (is an IDE too complicated for a beginner) and what is the best free one.
Thanks in advance for any advise.


Hi @tera8187553565

The only Python-specific content on Codecademy which is currently free (at the time of writing) is the Python 2 Course.

The other Python modules, like the Python 3 course or the machine learning content, are Pro subscription only at the moment.

If you haven’t already done the Python 2 course, I would say it’s still worth doing. Just keep in mind that there are some subtle differences between Python 2 and Python 3, but the majority of the language is the same so you shouldn’t have much trouble switching between them.


Hi thepitycoder, thanks for that I will keep Python 2 as an option but I will look around to see if I can get a free course some where or even end up paying for pro but I have to investigate the prices because I suspect they are in US$ and not Australian which is quit a bit of difference.

Uh, I’m not sure about that to be honest. I’m in the UK, and the Pro pricing is localised into GBP for me. I understand your concern, though. :slight_smile:

@alyssavigil / @lilybird do you know whether the pricing for an Australian user would be localised to AUD, or would it default to USD?

No worries. As I said, though, the differences between Python 2 and Python 3 aren’t too broad. It’s little changes, like this:

# In Python 2, to output to the console you would do:
print "Write me to the console!" # output: Write me to the console!

# In Python 3, you do this:
print("Write me to the console!") # output: Write me to the console!

It’s not the case that Python 3 is a vastly altered language; if you understand and can create programs with Python 2 you’ll be able to do the same with Python 3. If you’re looking to learn the basics of the language, the Python 2 course will do fine for that. :slight_smile:


I very strongly urge you to install Thonny. It’s a “beginners” IDE that will keep you going long past the beginner stage.


I forgot I hadn’t responded to this part.

If you’re using Python, there’s already an editor included in the form of IDLE.

If you want to try out another editing environment, then I personally like either Visual Studio Code or Atom. Both are available cross-platform, so you can install them on Windows, Mac or Linux.

VS Code is made by Microsoft, and is kind of the “younger sibling” to the full-fledged Visual Studio IDE. VS Code will allow you to edit code written in a multitude of languages (including Python), but unlike Visual Studio it won’t compile executables. It’s a code editor, nothing more.

Atom is made by the people from GitHub, and it’s designed as a “hackable” editor - that is, you can write your own extensions to the editor if there’s functionality you want/need but which doesn’t exist yet.

Both are based on Electron, which is written in JS, and both are free. I’d suggest you try out both the editor @patrickd314 suggested as well as VS Code / Atom and see which one you like best. (There’s no right editor/IDE - it’s very much a personal preference, so whichever one you like is the right one.)

Incidentally, if you did want to move up to a full-fledged IDE that can compile, you can get Visual Studio for free in the form of Visual Studio Community Edition. :slight_smile:


Thanks for all that info guys with regard to the Editor/IDE I was reading this writ up last night and I will read about the ones you have mentioned there. Thanks again

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