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Over the past several years, I have come to rely heavily upon the PyCharm Integrated Development Environment (IDE) in creating and publishing my open source Python projects. Not only is PyCharm easy to use, but its numerous features help to shorten development time and improve product quality.

Recently, I've begun developing code for the micro:bit, but was sad to discover that PyCharm currently does not have built-in support for micro:bit MicroPython. Since my development efforts often consist of both desktop components as well as components that reside on a physical computing device, such as the micro:bit, I prefer to do all of my development using one tool and not have to deal with keeping the project in sync over multiple tools. Because PyCharm is so extremely flexible and easily adaptable, I was able to extend the current version of PyCharm to support micro:bit MicroPython software development.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to configure the free PyCharm Community Edition (or the Professional Edition) to provide:

  • micro:bit aware source code editing including type hinting

  • the ability to flash your code to the micro:bit directly from PyCharm

  • the ability to manage the micro:bit local persistent file system directly from PyCharm