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Photo of a mechanical keyboard and a computer screen, with part of the Python specification document shown on the screen.
Figure 1.1 credit: Larissa Chu, CC BY 4.0

Computers and programs are everywhere in today's world. Programs affect many aspects of daily life and society as a whole. People depend on programs for communication, shopping, entertainment, health care, and countless other needs. Learning how to program computers opens the door to many careers and opportunities for building a better world.

Programs consist of statements to be run one after the other. A statement describes some action to be carried out.

The statement print("Good morning") instructs Python to output the message "Good morning" to the user. The statement count = 0 instructs Python to assign the integer 0 to the variable count.

This chapter introduces statements for input and output, assigning variables, and basic arithmetic. Making mistakes is a normal part of programming, and the chapter includes advice on understanding error messages. The chapter ends with a short history of Python and discusses why Python has become so popular today.

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