New To Atom & Coding using Python


I am totally new to programming I would like to learn so I will be able to help teach my daughter. I am having a hard time finding a tutorial explaining coding down to the basics. For example what do these mean {} or [] the basics at the lowest level. and what do the colors of the words mean. I have downloaded Atom and i would like to start learning with python.
any help with a good tutorial video would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You.


Hey, here is a link to a beginners guide from the Phyton Software Foundation others here might have other suggestions. I hope this helps!


Tutorials Point is a very solid site with everything under the sun, and the tutorials I’ve used from there have generally been better-written than ones I was looking at from other places. One of their tutorials is a very general, completely language-agnostic one on programming.

Punctuation. Curly brackets frequently indicate a block of code that belongs to the line before them, such as a function declaration. Square brackets are often used for variables that contain an array of values (called arrays), and depending on the language and context can be used to set up an array or to point to a specific value in the array.

The colors don’t mean anything intrinsically. The colors are there to help you identify what the words do without you having to read the code, which makes it easier to navigate, in addition to being prettier.


Hi, you might find this book interesting (Automate the Boring Stuff with Python).

the {} and [] can mean different things depending on the language,

[] usually indicates an arrray of items, in Python it is a list, that works in a similar way, ex: [3, 4, 70]
{} usually indicates a code block, but, in Python they are used for other data structures, since the code blocks are defined through identation.

More info on python data structures


Thank you all, This is great info I will it look over and see how far I can get. My daughter is 6 I would like to get her started soon. watching tutorials right now


Since she’s that young, you and she should both start on Scratch. It’s a proper programming language, and you can do everything up to making interactive games with it, but it doesn’t have all of the fiddly punctuation that even relatively simple languages like Python use. In Scratch, you connect blocks of code statements just like you’d connect LEGOs. This lets the student get right to making programs that work without being frustrated because they forgot an element of syntax.

With Scratch, you won’t have as much to learn ahead of time and it will also prepare you for when you decide to step into something like Python.


Hey All,

Quick question not sure what i am doing wrong. I am typing python code in atom and nothing is working.
myVariable = 30
I am using Cookies so i type Cookies = 30
Then I type

Cookies Then enter

Nothing comes out?
When i type in my Python 3.6 it works
Cookies = 30

I want to solve this because i would like to code with atom. Thank You


Atom doesn’t build or execute code by itself. See the Atom FAQ for details:


So you can’t use python in atom?
This topic is about Atom & Coding using Python?


You can write Python code in Atom. But no, you can’t execute it inside Atom without additional packages and even so, there are limitations. I would rather be up front about that and suggest that if what you want to do is execute Python code in a REPL style, there are probably better tools for that than Atom … especially if you and your daughter are just learning.

#12 is a great site with REPLs for a bunch of different languages.

You certainly can use Atom to develop in Python, and I would happily regale you with its features and how good a learning tool it can be, but your initial assumptions seem to have Atom doing more than it does out of the box. It can be made to do almost anything, but that requires someone to develop a package for that thing.

Python is a relatively easy language to learn, and I would absolutely recommend it for most people learning how to code, but most six-year-olds are still working on literacy in their primary language. Unless she’s hyperlexic and takes to the coding really easily, you’ll have to wait a number of years before her brain is developed enough to grasp the abstractions represented by all the punctuation. This is why I recommended Scratch: it uses shapes and colors to communicate the function of its statements, and it doesn’t let you put things in an order that won’t work.


You certainly can use Atom to develop in Python. You should go with python tutorial websites to learn python basics .