Lesson Weekend

Before we begin coding, we need a special program to write and edit code called a text editor. If you have experience coding, you may already have a text editor program you're familiar and comfortable with. If so, feel free to advance to the next lesson.

If you don't have a text editor, stick around! This brief lesson will introduce text editors in general, and walk through installing one for today's project.

Text Editors

In terms of programming, a text editor is not the same as a word processing program like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Open Office. Word processing software is not ideal for writing code because it adds styles and formatting to our text. This gets in the way. We want plain, raw text without extras that could interfere with the execution of our code.


We recommend the free text editor Atom. The rest of our lessons will assume you're using Atom, too. Let's walk through how to install this popular text editor.

Installing Atom

  • First, download the appropriate installer for your operating system at the Atom website. (The download button defaults to Mac, but Windows users can select the Other Platforms option, where they may select the atom-windows download).

  • This will prompt the download of a .zip file. When the download is complete, open this file to unzip it.

    • On Mac, the unzipped file should simply be the fully-functioning program. Go ahead and open it to confirm everything's been installed correctly.
    • On Windows, you may be prompted with an installer. Go ahead and work through the installer (accepting default settings for everything is fine) to install Atom. Once complete, open the program to ensure it loads correctly.

As always, consult one of our Epicodus instructors, or another attendee near you if something isn't working as anticipated.

And that's it! We have a text editor! In the next lesson we'll walk through installing and configuring a few more required tools. Then, we'll begin coding.

Lesson 2 of 11
Last updated more than 3 months ago.