Featured image of post Getting Started with Python and APIs - Part 1

Getting Started with Python and APIs - Part 1

A guide on how to use APIs and Python with Jupyter Notebooks.


Embarking on the programming journey often involves wrestling with the mysterious realm of APIs, where deciphering the intricacies feels like cracking an ancient code. If you’ve ever found yourself mystified by APIs, fear not – in this blog post, we’re taking a lively dive into the world of FastF1 to demystify these complexities in a fun and interactive manner. FastF1 not only unveils the secrets of Formula 1 but also serves as the perfect vehicle for understanding APIs. Join us as we transform the seemingly daunting into the delightful, making the comprehension of APIs an exhilarating adventure rather than a perplexing puzzle. Get ready for a thrilling ride where code meets the high-speed excitement of Formula 1, and let’s unravel the magic of APIs together!

Setting Up Your Python Development Environment in VSCode for the FastF1 Adventure

Before diving into the FastF1 API magic, let’s ensure your development environment is prepped and ready for the journey. We’ll use venv for virtual environment management, ensuring a clean and isolated space for our project. Open your terminal and follow these steps:

Create a Project Directory

mkdir fastf1_project
cd fastf1_project

Create a Virtual Environment

python -m venv venv

Activate the Virtual Environment

  • On Windows:
  • On MacOS/Linux:
source venv/bin/activate

Install Jupyter Kernel

With your virtual environment activated, install the Jupyter kernel to enable Jupyter notebooks in VSCode.

pip install ipykernel
python -m ipykernel install --user --name=venv

Launch VSCode

Open VSCode and ensure you’ve installed the Jupyter extension (if not installed, you can find it in the Extensions tab).

Create the Notebook File & Select the Kernel

Create a New IPython Notebook

  • Click on the “View” menu, then select “Command Palette” (or use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+P on Windows/Linux or Cmd+Shift+P on MacOS).

  • Type “Jupyter: Create New Blank Notebook” and select it.

  • Save the notebook with a meaningful name, such as “FastF1_Adventure.ipynb”.

Select the Virtual Environment Kernel

At the top-right corner of the notebook, you’ll see a kernel selector. Choose the kernel named “venv” (or the name you gave to your virtual environment).

Install FastF1

In the terminal, install the FastF1 module using:

pip install fastf1

With these steps, your development environment is now geared up for the FastF1 adventure. You’ve created a virtual environment for a clean project space, installed the Jupyter kernel for interactive coding in VSCode, and added the FastF1 module to the mix. In the next part the coding journey will begin!

Image by svstudioart on Freepik

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