In the context of this exercise which introduces Python, what is actually used to write Python programs?
Programs are written using plain text editors, code editors, or IDEs (Integrated Development Environment).
Plain text editors are readily available on most operating systems, such as Notepad for Windows, but do not offer any features that are particularly useful for writing programs.
Code editors, such as Atom or Sublime Text, provide useful features such as coloring of certain keywords that are common to a programming language, as well as auto-indentation and spacing. They are used for writing code easily and efficiently.
IDEs, such as PyCharm or Microsoft Visual Studio, typically provide tools such as a debugger for testing programs and focus more on software development.
One other application used for writing and running Python programs is the Jupyter Notebook. It allows you to write and edit code within ‘cells’ and run them within a web browser. It is popular for its use with Data Science and Data Visualization libraries like pandas and matplotlib.