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With a bunch of colleagues we will start learning Python together. I'm a programmer, but I'm new to python. Most of my colleagues know some VBA, but are generally new to programming.

What IDE do you suggests? Features I'm looking for: simple interface, some debugging features, autocomplete, inline help, intlisense.

Thonny IDE looks promising, super simple to install with bundled Python interpreter, it does have autocomplete, but is nowhere near Visual Studio levels of inline help (like intellisense or pupup tooltips etc.).

Any recommendations?

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  • $\begingroup$ Keep it simple: intellisense and the equivalent in Eclipse, push my students in the wrong direction, a lot of their mistakes are because the tool told them to. e.g.It does not promote test-driven / test-first. $\endgroup$ – ctrl-alt-delor Jun 27 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ I do like Thonny. Simple debugging, and your audience has some experience. I like how Thonny opens up a new window for a function when you step into it. $\endgroup$ – TooManyCooks Jul 9 at 2:13
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I'm not a fan of full IDEs for beginners. A few years ago I switched my first year students (Java) from NetBeans to an online tool without any autocomplete or helpers for most assignments and found that they've gotten way stronger at writing code. I think the automatic stuff that helps out while programming becomes a crutch for newbies.

Our intro teacher, who teaches Python, really likes Idle for his first year students because it's so simple.

I've also used PyCharm with second and third year students, and really like it. It's what I personally use when I'm writing Python code. The free community edition is plenty for classroom use, but they've also got free licenses for students, teachers and classroom labs if you wanted to use the pro version.

a lot of their mistakes are because the tool told them to

So much this. When NetBeans highlights something in yellow, students feel that they have to click on it and follow the programs advice even when they have no clue what it's saying.

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Visual Studio Code. Easy to set up and designed to be simple. I used to use PyCharm and PyScripter with good results. VSC is more versatile. Eclipse is a management pig for beginners. You have to learn Eclipse along with learning Python. Eclipse is great for pros.

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My preference might be different from most, but some of the things you seem to be asking for are inconsistent. For me, an "IDE for beginners" is one that doesn't need to be abandoned for a different language. Once you spend the time to learn it, you can adapt it to anything. For me, also, that means a professional level IDE like Eclipse, which I now use for everything.

But Eclipse isn't, technically, just and IDE, but a plug-in platform. You can plug in just about any language, but you can also plug in UI elements that can tailor it to beginners, say, showing fewer elements - or more. But anyone who can handle Visual Studio won't be put off by Eclipse.

It supports just about anything you could want as a programmer, including unit testing. And, like riding a bicycle, once you know it, you know it.

Note: I'm not affiliated with Eclipse. Just a long-time user.

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Why would you use an IDE anyway ? You can go directly with command line, either with Linux or Windows, you'll just need a text editor and a command line terminal and here you go. (I recommend Sublim Text)

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If you’re interested in developing algorithms, I’ve found Jupyter Notebook to be a great way to develop Python (or R).

It lets you develop in a “web page” and everything displays in a browser.

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