PyCharm Edu 2017.3: Enhanced Stepik integration, course filtering, better UX, and more

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PyCharm Edu versioning and release timetables are now aligned with our other JetBrains products, to help us focus on delivering more continuous value. So we’re switching to an aligned 2017.3 version from the previous version 4.0.

Get PyCharm Edu 2017.3

Please note, that all the PyCharm Edu 2017.3 features are also available in PyCharm for Python courses, as well as IntelliJ IDEA for Java courses and IntelliJ IDEA and Android Studio for Kotlin courses with the help of the EduTools plugin.

PyCharm Edu 2017.3 new features

Enhanced Stepik integration for learners

New course management UI for educators

Enhanced Stepik integration for learners

Stepik can be used by an educator to share courses with you privately. And it also has a lot of public courses available, which are free to learn. You can get access to these courses from PyCharm Edu as well.

Getting access to the Stepik courses

First, you’ll need to create an account and log in:

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.49.05

Going back to PyCharm Edu, you can now log in to Stepik from the Browse Courses window:

browse_courses

Use the link Log in to be redirected to Stepik.org and authorize PyCharm Edu:

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.50.01

The list of courses will be updated after you authorize to include any private courses that have been shared with you:

browse_courses_updated

Now you can join any of the courses listed and start learning.

Course progress synchronization

After you’ve logged into Stepik and started learning, you don’t need to worry about losing your course progress. All your progress is synchronized between Stepik and PyCharm Edu.

Which means you can start the course on Stepik for the theory lessons for example, then go back to PyCharm Edu to do the coding exercises – and your progress will always be there for you from exactly where you left off:

stepik_progress

pycharm_edu_progress

And what’s more, your progress is available between different computers, which is especially useful if you use several for learning. When you join the course on your computer, there is a course folder created locally so you can open it every time you get back to the course.

For example, after you join the Introduction to Python course, it will appear on the left of the Welcome Screen, so you can reopen it:

welcome_screen_course

But if you open PyCharm Edu on another machine, or you lose the course folder, you need to join that course once again, and a new course folder will be created. But don’t worry, the course progress will still be there:

course_progress

Importing more courses

If you find a public course on Stepik that you are interested in which has Python code problems to solve, but you can’t find it in the list of courses in PyCharm Edu, you can always import it with the special icon at the bottom of Browse Courses window:

import_from_stepik_1

import_from_stepik_2

Now you can join the course:

import_from_stepik_3

Please note, you need to import and join the course once again if you change your computer or lose the course folder. The course progress will be saved though.

Filtering the list of courses with tags

With much more courses now available in the list, you may want to filter the list to show you only the types of courses which you are interested in. You can now use specific feature tags for this purpose.

Take a look at the list of courses and their descriptions. For example, the Adaptive Python course is tagged with: Python, Adaptive, English, Featured. Which means it is an adaptive course for learning Python in English, and it is approved by JetBrains:

tags

Just click on a tag label in the course description to filter for courses which meet this condition:

tag_filtered

Or, start typing a tag name in the search field:

tag_search

If you need to log out of Stepik, please go to Preferences | Tools | Education -> Stepik | Log Out. Or use the Stepik Status Bar icon:

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New course management UI for educators

The Create New Course window has been improved and is now much clearer. The advanced settings, such as course file path and interpreter, are now hidden by default:

new_course

Setting up Virtualenv or Conda environment

If you feel the default Python interpreter doesn’t answer all the needs of the course, and you want to set up a specific interpreter for the course, please open Advanced Settings section:

new_course_advanced

The course interpreter dropdown options now only have the virtualenvs you specifically configured for that particular course and the virtualenvs that you’ve specifically configured to share between courses. Under the gear icon, you will find ‘Add Local’. A new dialog makes it much easier to configure a new virtualenv:

virtualenv

virtualenv_choose

Or conda environment:

conda

conda_choose

Managing PyPI and Conda packages

Now you can install the packages needed for your course, for example, a numpy Conda package. Go to Preferences | Project: Python Course | Project Interpreter, click the + icon and install the package:

conda_packages

If you want to install PyPI packages into a Conda env, click the Conda button on the right to switch between Conda and PyPI mode:

pypi_packages

Working with your course dependencies

To make sure all the packages and libraries needed for the course are installed on a student’s machine, list all the dependencies in the requirements.txt file:

requirements

When a learner opens a course on their computer, PyCharm Edu will create a separate virtual environment based on the default Python interpreter and suggest installing all the required dependencies:

install_package

If you use Conda, please make sure the learner has set the Python interpreter up right when joining the course. It can be done in Advanced Settings section:

course_advanced


Download PyCharm Edu 2017.3, check out the new features and give it a try. Don’t forget to share your feedback!

Your PyCharm Edu Team

This entry was posted in Education, Release Announcements, Tutorial and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to PyCharm Edu 2017.3: Enhanced Stepik integration, course filtering, better UX, and more

  1. Pavel says:

    Guys, can you please display only part of the posts on the main page?
    It’s extremely inconvenient to scroll so much.

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