Keeping with the Coursera theme I seem to be fond of, I found these self study non credit courses offered by Stanford through Coursera:
Introduction to Databases
as well as a Computer Science 101 course.
The database course at least might compliment my efforts towards the Microsoft certification I mentioned in one of my previous post:
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
– MTA: Database
I decided to take a leap of faith in my abilities to run multiple Coursera courses at the same time as I felt that the material in this one course would compliment my efforts in my other course.
Both Learn to Program: The Fundamentals and Introduction to Systematic Program Design – Part One are considered to be beginner level courses for people without any background in programming.
The systematic program design class seems to offer a pragmatic way to approach problem domains and more formulaic recipe designs which I think might help my coding efforts in all future coding endeavors.
I’m still debating whether I’m going to register for the signature track version of the course or just keep it as the free version, as I have a big trip right in the middle of the final couple of weeks – but I have three weeks to decide whether I want to upgrade to the signature track version of the course.
An added note here, after reading the following related blog posts, I’m starting to get a bit nervous about this course:
Here’s the syllabus to the course I’m taking:
This course provides an introduction to computer programming intended for people with no programming experience.
It covers the basics of programming in Python including elementary data types (numeric types, strings, lists, dictionaries and files), control flow, functions, objects, methods, fields and mutability. Here is a tentative list of topics.
||Installing Python, IDLE, mathematical expressions, variables, assignment statement, calling and defining functions, syntax and semantic errors
||Strings, input/output, Booleans, function reuse, function design recipe, docstrings
||import, namespaces, if statements
||for loops, fancy string manipulation
||while loops, lists, mutability
In preparation for my Python course, Wikibooks has some free resources to help learn the language:
Non-Programmer’s Tutorial for Python 3
I also got an e-mail from the Learn to Program: The Fundamentals course recommending a textbook
Practical Programming (2nd Edition): An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python 3
Awhile back I remember watching a TED talk on the future of free education and a free education course provider called Coursera.
The talk was called What we’re learning from online education by Daphne Koller.
After filtering through the available courses in the computer programming field I found a course that starts on August 19th called Learn to Program: The Fundamentals.
The course is taught by Jennifer Campbell and Paul Gries at the University of Toronto but offered freely through the Coursera site.
The programming language they use for the course is Python.
So I took a leap and registered in the course. It begins on August 19th.
I also reviewed a lot of the materials on Python’s own site: Python.org