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Intro

Coursera: An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)

 with  Joe Warren, Scott Rixner, John Greiner and Stephen Wong
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#1 in Subjects > Programming

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This two-part course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications. Our language of choice, Python, is an easy-to learn, high-level computer language that is used in many of the computational courses offered on Coursera. To make learning Python easy, we have developed a new browser-based programming environment that makes developing interactive applications in Python simple. These applications will involve windows whose contents are graphical and respond to buttons, the keyboard and the mouse.

In part 1 of this course, we will introduce the basic elements of programming (such as expressions, conditionals, and functions) and then use these elements to create simple interactive applications such as a digital stopwatch. Part 1 of this class will culminate in building a version of the classic arcade game "Pong".

Syllabus

Week 0 - Statements, expressions, variables
Understand the structure of this class, explore Python as a calculator

Week 1 - Functions, logic, conditionals
Learn the basic constructs of Python programming, create a program that plays a variant of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Week 2 - Event-driven programming, local/global variables
Learn the basics of event-driven programming, understand difference between local and global variables, create an interactive program that plays a simple guessing game

Week 3 - Canvas, drawing, timers
Create a canvas in Python, learn how to draw on the canvas, create a digital stopwatch

Week 4 - Lists, keyboard input, the basics of modeling motion
Learn the basics of lists in Python, model moving objects in Python, recreate the classic arcade game "Pong"

3032 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Subject Programming
Institution Rice University
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 7-10 hours a week
Calendar 5 weeks long
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In-Depth Review
A satisfying collection of projects and exercises focused on interactive Python that get progressively complicated each week. Read Review
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What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
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MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

Reviews for Coursera's An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)
4.9 Based on 3032 reviews

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  • 1
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I've taken and finished part 1 and part 2 of this course. There is a ton of information and skills learned. The practice problems are not necessary for your final grade, but the quizzes and mini-projects are. I really recommend doing the practice problems as they help to pound in some fundamentals that are beyond syntax. In fact, I went and practiced much of these in both codeskulptor and in the python interpreter using python 2 and 3 using tkinter as my gui in the latter cases. With this in mind I went ahead and saved the pages that had the practice problems because they are that good for rehearsing.

The pace of the course may seem slow at first, but it quickly gains momentum and at times can be moderately fast, that's why I'm going to say again, do the practice problems and devote enough time to it while it is slow, it will make everything that much easier in the long run.

I had only grabbed a basic feel of programming and python using codecademy right b
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I've taken and finished part 1 and part 2 of this course. There is a ton of information and skills learned. The practice problems are not necessary for your final grade, but the quizzes and mini-projects are. I really recommend doing the practice problems as they help to pound in some fundamentals that are beyond syntax. In fact, I went and practiced much of these in both codeskulptor and in the python interpreter using python 2 and 3 using tkinter as my gui in the latter cases. With this in mind I went ahead and saved the pages that had the practice problems because they are that good for rehearsing.

The pace of the course may seem slow at first, but it quickly gains momentum and at times can be moderately fast, that's why I'm going to say again, do the practice problems and devote enough time to it while it is slow, it will make everything that much easier in the long run.

I had only grabbed a basic feel of programming and python using codecademy right before enrollment of this class, it was helpful to do, but there is so much more covered in these courses. At this point I'm now able to dive into other peoples codes, while there is much to learn still, I can contribute to some projects and write much of my own.

I tried out several other classes for programming at the same time and felt the structure here made more sense and was better targeted for the goal of both learning python and transferable programming techniques. Sad to say that I dropped out of all other classes because I had one problem or another with them, but did not have any problem with these guys here. I trust anything from these guys and am now going for the full specialization.

Careful on later quizzes, as they start expecting that you pay attention and look at provided documentation and try some things out, some trick questions are about, you'll find them as "technically this is it", just keep in mind about how the code is evaluating and what the goal of the question is for which "technically" you are dealing with.

During early stages of these (part1 and part2) courses, my wife was getting on my case about wasting time, but now she sees the programs I'm writing and wrote both in later stages of these courses and on my own that she started drilling me to get into my lessons and write some programs so that one day I can make her more money, basically, she's proud, it's become more of a family thing for them to look at what I'm making and make suggestions.

As I write this I have three programs, out of the dozens I've written on my own, running in the background, handling bitcoin price and address monitoring, handling transactions, making and using new key pairs for said transactions, saving and backing up files, all in python. I've also made some simple simulators and mini-games all from scratch, with the foundation I have gotten from here.

Thanks for reading, I definitely recommend this course and think everyone needs to at least learn this much logic as the minimum for everyday life.

IIPP1 += 1

IIPP2 += 1
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4.0 4 years ago
Ajeeth Kumar completed this course.
It is both a sad and a happy moment, as we come to the end of the session. My daily mornings start at 5am with this course, and I am not sure what I am supposed to do now, that the course has come to an end. At the same time, I am really happy to see the gradual transition in myself, in terms of my programming skills. There are have bee many times when I used to laugh my heart out. Scott and Joe made it really engaging and kept us hooked.

On a more technical perspective, I would love to thank John for the wonderful Python documentation. The course was well structured and felt the topics were well covered. Especially, I come to realize how powerful lists could be from this course. Those examples in the documentation were really helpful.

Of course, there could be some areas that we can improve on.

1. The first area that i feel we could improve is, our over-reliance on simplegui. Although it is a very nice tool and helps to get things done, at som
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It is both a sad and a happy moment, as we come to the end of the session. My daily mornings start at 5am with this course, and I am not sure what I am supposed to do now, that the course has come to an end. At the same time, I am really happy to see the gradual transition in myself, in terms of my programming skills. There are have bee many times when I used to laugh my heart out. Scott and Joe made it really engaging and kept us hooked.

On a more technical perspective, I would love to thank John for the wonderful Python documentation. The course was well structured and felt the topics were well covered. Especially, I come to realize how powerful lists could be from this course. Those examples in the documentation were really helpful.

Of course, there could be some areas that we can improve on.

1. The first area that i feel we could improve is, our over-reliance on simplegui. Although it is a very nice tool and helps to get things done, at some point, I started to feel we were spending most of the time on it. I do understand, you need some library of that sort to build games, but if it was some library like the PyGame, I think it would have been much better.

2. Another thing I feel that could be improved is, there is probably too much spoon feeding from the instructor's end. Although this is a beginner level course, providing the templates, and literally discussing the logic that needs to be implemented in the game, could have been avoided. If that is intentional for this distance education course, then it is OK, but we would love to have an advanced course, where we are let to do things more by ourselves.

Request:

Python for Game Development was awesome. Same way, I would love to see a course on Python, specifically for scripting. This is something, that is not taught anywhere. Learning this skill, I am very sure , our efficiency would be boosted.

On the whole, it was a wonderful experience. I am really thankful to the entire team for making this course a HUGE SUCCESS. Can't wait for the next course offering. :)
11 people found
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5.0 4 years ago
by Charlie Chung completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course is very well structured, guiding you through the basics of Python. Some big pros for the course:

- Engaging profs explain things clearly and and are entertaining, particularly Joe Warren and Scott Rixner

- They have created a simple browser-based Python programming environment for students to use--so no compilers or environments to download, you can create, run, and save your code via your browser...this makes it easy to just focus on learning to code

- Each of the weekly assignments is focused on creating games (which get more complex), making it fun & interesting

Only a few cons:

- Because the assignments are games, I felt the coding topics we learned were geared towards visual games--thus, quite a bit about drawing objects on the screen and making them move around. As I was not interested in using Python for visual apps (though interesting for exercises), I would have preferred to spend more time on oth
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This course is very well structured, guiding you through the basics of Python. Some big pros for the course:

- Engaging profs explain things clearly and and are entertaining, particularly Joe Warren and Scott Rixner

- They have created a simple browser-based Python programming environment for students to use--so no compilers or environments to download, you can create, run, and save your code via your browser...this makes it easy to just focus on learning to code

- Each of the weekly assignments is focused on creating games (which get more complex), making it fun & interesting

Only a few cons:

- Because the assignments are games, I felt the coding topics we learned were geared towards visual games--thus, quite a bit about drawing objects on the screen and making them move around. As I was not interested in using Python for visual apps (though interesting for exercises), I would have preferred to spend more time on other concepts.

- The material on class methods came towards the end and was brief, I would have liked to have seen it sooner and worked with it more

All in all, highly recommended! The instructors have just announced a couple more CS MOOCs from Rice, and I expect them to be equally well thought out and instructive.

27 people found
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5.0 4 years ago
Mike Smart completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
On the whole, this was a great experience. The instructors (Scott Rixner, Joe Warren, and John Greiner) clearly care about the quality of the course, and take extra steps to make the course fun with their geeky humor. Rather than dump full lectures online, each short video is specifically designed for online delivery

All is not perfect, however. The course is billed as an introductory course, and while this is technically true, the learning curve is pretty steep and the workload fairly demanding. Each week adds a handful of new concepts, and you immediately apply them in building the week’s project, which is often complicated.

I found the projects very challenging. I’d pretty much start each week’s project during the back half of the course in a total panic, not having any idea how I was going to be able to complete the work. After an hour or two of hyperventilating and blundering my way through things, I’d eventually get some traction and start making progres
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On the whole, this was a great experience. The instructors (Scott Rixner, Joe Warren, and John Greiner) clearly care about the quality of the course, and take extra steps to make the course fun with their geeky humor. Rather than dump full lectures online, each short video is specifically designed for online delivery

All is not perfect, however. The course is billed as an introductory course, and while this is technically true, the learning curve is pretty steep and the workload fairly demanding. Each week adds a handful of new concepts, and you immediately apply them in building the week’s project, which is often complicated.

I found the projects very challenging. I’d pretty much start each week’s project during the back half of the course in a total panic, not having any idea how I was going to be able to complete the work. After an hour or two of hyperventilating and blundering my way through things, I’d eventually get some traction and start making progress. This often involved looking for answers to my questions on the forums, going back through previous videos to relearn concepts that I’d forgotten from previous weeks, and just plain trying lots of things to see what happened
24 people found
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5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I had an excellent time in this class!

I have taken several other programming classes before, but would not classify myself as a computer scientist or software engineer by any means. Compared to classes I took in University, this course did a substantially better job of laying out basic concepts, explaining their functionality and pitfalls, and giving a number of programming examples to explore how they work even further.

The opening weeks start off with basic concepts, and very much feels geared toward a novice programmer. This is a good thing! While I may have already understood the concepts in other languages, I really appreciated the earnestness with which the fundamentals were covered. I feel like other classes tend to breeze through easier concepts to get to more complex concepts, but this means that if someone doesn't grasp the basics, they will struggle later. This class avoids that by spending adequate time at each step of the way.

The no
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I had an excellent time in this class!

I have taken several other programming classes before, but would not classify myself as a computer scientist or software engineer by any means. Compared to classes I took in University, this course did a substantially better job of laying out basic concepts, explaining their functionality and pitfalls, and giving a number of programming examples to explore how they work even further.

The opening weeks start off with basic concepts, and very much feels geared toward a novice programmer. This is a good thing! While I may have already understood the concepts in other languages, I really appreciated the earnestness with which the fundamentals were covered. I feel like other classes tend to breeze through easier concepts to get to more complex concepts, but this means that if someone doesn't grasp the basics, they will struggle later. This class avoids that by spending adequate time at each step of the way.

The notion of being able to write a game after 8-9 weeks after learning a new language from scratch was not only intriguing, but very doable! The mix of lecture videos, quizzes, and mini-projects help give students a well-rounded understanding of the material, which I greatly preferred over having one midterm and one final. Simply put, they teach you to program by having you actually program!

The forums are an excellent resource, and the additional practice examples are a great way to really dive in to the concepts and understand them better. The two things I wish I did more of as a student were:

1) Do all of the practice examples

2) Participate more in the forums

I took this course for training at my job, which is great because I was able to do the materials in my own time, and wasn't stuck to such a stringent schedule. Given that I had to do the course during work hours, it precluded me from diving in to some more extracurricular aspects of the class (practice examples, adding features to my mini-projects), but aside from that, the class was very manageable within a work week.

PROS:

- Excellent coverage of Python from basic concepts to writing a working game

- Mini-projects are nearly all games, so the programming is fun!

- Can do the course work on your own time

- FREE

- Flexible, easy to use SimpleGUI

- The entire class is online, and no files need to be submitted - just URLs that contain your code

CONS:

- None come to mind!

- Seriously, nothing. Even with some programming experience, the class didn't feel like it lagged, and it never pushed forward too far to make it stressful. The whole class stayed fun and lighthearted, and serves as an excellent Introduction to Programming class (with better results than most!)

Synopsis: The class is very worth your time!
2 people found
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This is a great introduction to MOOC's and to programming in general. I am a programmer with many, many years of experience (hair grayer than Joe's). I wanted to see what this MOOC thing was about and chose their class as I had never taken a formal class in Python and wanted to write a version of one of my childhood games - Asteroids.

First, Dr. Rixner has written a great development tool, CodeSkulptor, which by its nature of being in a hosted/cloud environment allows anyone to take the class from anywhere - shared machine, home computer, etc. Is it Enterprise capable? No, but it does allow almost any student with a basic internet connection the ability to focus on the code and the results without worrying about their environment. I think this sets a great bar for any MOOC class trying to teach such a wide range of students.

Second, the course teaches some of the most fundamental, but important concepts of programming. They did this without losing site of the
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This is a great introduction to MOOC's and to programming in general. I am a programmer with many, many years of experience (hair grayer than Joe's). I wanted to see what this MOOC thing was about and chose their class as I had never taken a formal class in Python and wanted to write a version of one of my childhood games - Asteroids.

First, Dr. Rixner has written a great development tool, CodeSkulptor, which by its nature of being in a hosted/cloud environment allows anyone to take the class from anywhere - shared machine, home computer, etc. Is it Enterprise capable? No, but it does allow almost any student with a basic internet connection the ability to focus on the code and the results without worrying about their environment. I think this sets a great bar for any MOOC class trying to teach such a wide range of students.

Second, the course teaches some of the most fundamental, but important concepts of programming. They did this without losing site of the end result of what they were wanting to accomplish breaking up the class material in a way which started with the basics and then gently introducing major concepts of both OO Programming, the Python language and in Game programming.

The focus here is on Introduction to the core building blocks and some of the best practices you will use time and time again. I particularly liked their introduction and reinforcement of Lists, Dictionaries and Sets without getting hung up in the algorithms behind it. I also liked how they would go thru and cover common mistakes and introduce the ideas of best practices.

Will you cover advanced topics such as Inheritance, Pickling, Profiling? No, but what they teach here will give any person the basic building blocks to allow them to move on as they need. They also have done a great job in selecting and building upon core ideas in the projects such that the final project, RiceRocks - a clone of Asteroids, happens naturally. Most Intro classes I've taken over the years have never given such an immediate and positive sense of accomplishment.

And last of all, they did a great job in making this a fun class. It is obvious that these men spent a lot of time developing the material.

Take this class if you want to learn a little about programming, take this class if you want to learn a little about Python, take this class if you want to learn a little about gaming programming, or be like me and take this class as a fun diversion to see what this MOOC thing is about.

4 people found
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5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The OOP week was a very, very big hurdle for me and I had to pay my dues and work really hard to get over it and see the light... The BlackJack week cost me many, many hours, most of these spent wondering if I would get it!

But man!!! Was that worth it!

It is not to say that I've mastered anything yet, just that I am in awe at the power and possibility, and let's say it, the beauty, elegance and simplicity of it.

The ease with which I just completed RiceRocks is telling of the skill of our teachers: I started the course with a little bit of functional programming experience from a past life at UNI 30 years ago, and a strong interest in setting up my own personal exploration laboratory, but with zero experience in OOP and/or games;

What looked like an impossibly daunting task became feasible and deeply enjoyable little step after baby step late in the night.

What have I learned?

I am taking away many, many thi
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The OOP week was a very, very big hurdle for me and I had to pay my dues and work really hard to get over it and see the light... The BlackJack week cost me many, many hours, most of these spent wondering if I would get it!

But man!!! Was that worth it!

It is not to say that I've mastered anything yet, just that I am in awe at the power and possibility, and let's say it, the beauty, elegance and simplicity of it.

The ease with which I just completed RiceRocks is telling of the skill of our teachers: I started the course with a little bit of functional programming experience from a past life at UNI 30 years ago, and a strong interest in setting up my own personal exploration laboratory, but with zero experience in OOP and/or games;

What looked like an impossibly daunting task became feasible and deeply enjoyable little step after baby step late in the night.

What have I learned?

I am taking away many, many things from this course, but there are two that stand out:

1- If you are going to do anything, set out to do it right, or don't do it. This is what the Rice University team did; Pr. Rixner, Pr. Warren & al. spent countless hours to offer us all this gift; I am deeply grateful fot their efforts. I am hoping for a chance to give back a little on this gift and would gladly like to be a TA for the next session.

2- The key (to me) is in the description of the project: The architecture of the template together with the step by step guide are what make things possible --> it does not matter the scope of your project, if you are able to see the outcome, structure it properly, and cut it down into bite size chunks, then even the widest (or is it wildest?) scope becomes possible.

I will do this course again, maybe with the objective of achieving the projects without the use of the templates and step by step guides provided...

J. F. Kennedy asked "Why does Rice play Texas?" in his speech to launch the Apollo missions... I think this course gave us an insight:

Make no mistake, this course is hard; that's why we love it!

Thanks a million!
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This was an excellent course.

Pros:

Great progressive course structure. You start out with the basics and gradually move into more advanced topics.

The instructors. Each week had numerous lecture videos (each no more than 15 minutes with a majority being less than 10). The material was always relevant to the coding assignments and contained many good coding examples. Greiner's weekly coding tips were always very informative. I write programs for work and was able to use many of his tips there.

Keeping with the instructors, their presentation styles were great. Each video consisted of them talking about a subject with their code in the background, which they would also write in real-time. It's a very effective method of teaching, much better than reading PowerPoint slides verbatim. They're also geeky and fun, and don't try to conceal this in their videos. It really does make learning fun!

The discussion forums were active
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This was an excellent course.

Pros:

Great progressive course structure. You start out with the basics and gradually move into more advanced topics.

The instructors. Each week had numerous lecture videos (each no more than 15 minutes with a majority being less than 10). The material was always relevant to the coding assignments and contained many good coding examples. Greiner's weekly coding tips were always very informative. I write programs for work and was able to use many of his tips there.

Keeping with the instructors, their presentation styles were great. Each video consisted of them talking about a subject with their code in the background, which they would also write in real-time. It's a very effective method of teaching, much better than reading PowerPoint slides verbatim. They're also geeky and fun, and don't try to conceal this in their videos. It really does make learning fun!

The discussion forums were active and a big help. Coding can be difficult at times, but in this class, there were thousands of other people ready to help you. Having your classmates as a resource makes everything a whole lot easier and less stressful. Need some help with a function? Post your question and code snippets in the forum and you'll get a response in under 10 minutes. The instructors also frequented the forums and had a weekly Code Clinic for each week's project. You could submit your code there for specific help from the instructors.

Cons:

None, and I really mean that.

This course was so well put together that it sets a very high standard for other MOOCs. Everything else is going to pale in comparison to what Rixner, Warren, Greiner, and Wong have here.

All in all, definitely take this course. You will learn a lot and will have fun in the process. Even if you're just starting to code, give it a shot; the class offers lots of help at every step!
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5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This class is excellent.

I completely agree with all the positive comments.

The instructors are just fantastic. Each lecture is well presented and their enthusiasm for teaching really shines through. You also get a good sense of their fun, geeky personalities.

It is clear that the course instructors have put a lot of work into putting together this course. It is very well thought out and presented.

I have never programmed before and I really feel like I have received a very solid grounding in Python. Also, the projects for each week require you to program a computer game, making it fun to complete the assignments.

As a complete beginner, I did have to invest a lot of time each week to complete the assignments on time (up to 15 hours or so a week as the assignments got more difficult). But, it was well worth it and I felt such a sense of accomplishment as I successfully completed each program.

This course pro
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This class is excellent.

I completely agree with all the positive comments.

The instructors are just fantastic. Each lecture is well presented and their enthusiasm for teaching really shines through. You also get a good sense of their fun, geeky personalities.

It is clear that the course instructors have put a lot of work into putting together this course. It is very well thought out and presented.

I have never programmed before and I really feel like I have received a very solid grounding in Python. Also, the projects for each week require you to program a computer game, making it fun to complete the assignments.

As a complete beginner, I did have to invest a lot of time each week to complete the assignments on time (up to 15 hours or so a week as the assignments got more difficult). But, it was well worth it and I felt such a sense of accomplishment as I successfully completed each program.

This course provides a lot of resources for students to get help and feedback on their programs, which is very useful for beginners.

There is a lot of peer (fellow students) and Teaching Assistant help (as well as responses from the instructors) via the class discussion forums, so even if you fall behind on the submission schedule (for the assignments), you can continuing working on the projects (even after the course has ended) as it is easy to get feedback on all your work. In fact, it gets a little bit addictive! So, even if you don't always have the time to put into this course, you can still follow it and complete it in your own time, and it is well worth the effort if you are interested in learning programming.

This is the very first on-line learning course I have taken and it has set a very high standard.

I enjoyed it immensely and I hope to continue learning to program in Python.
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Well worth your time. When you finish, you will know enough to address most of your coding requirements ("be dangerous"), or know where to find what you need to know. Instruction is competent, clear and concise and exercises are well integrated. I found they were classes I looked forward to.

I have almost 50 years experience (anyone recall punched cards, paper tape and front panel switch coding?) and have learned many languages, now Python. I have experienced learning from reference manuals (not recommended), tutorials, self taught, formal courses, "on the job"; this course has been one of the best

One of the major obstacles to learning a new language is getting to writing the code and getting results; this course is superb in this respect. You bring up your browser, go to coursera, then to the course, click CODESKULPTOR and start coding. Results are immediate and clear (well maybe a little interpretation is required) and corrections are
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Well worth your time. When you finish, you will know enough to address most of your coding requirements ("be dangerous"), or know where to find what you need to know. Instruction is competent, clear and concise and exercises are well integrated. I found they were classes I looked forward to.

I have almost 50 years experience (anyone recall punched cards, paper tape and front panel switch coding?) and have learned many languages, now Python. I have experienced learning from reference manuals (not recommended), tutorials, self taught, formal courses, "on the job"; this course has been one of the best

One of the major obstacles to learning a new language is getting to writing the code and getting results; this course is superb in this respect. You bring up your browser, go to coursera, then to the course, click CODESKULPTOR and start coding. Results are immediate and clear (well maybe a little interpretation is required) and corrections are simple. You do not have to find or install anything - all you need to do is learn the Python coding rules (syntax) and programming rules (logic). And as all your code is in the cloud you are not limited to a location or machine

The lectures are concise, to the point and related to the current task and can be downloaded and reviewed anytime without access to the web.

While the course exercises develop games, all of the programming techniques are applicable to non-gaming applications; the games - familiar to everyone - provide highly entertaining motivation.

I would estimate you need no more than 6 to 10 hours per week depending on your experience although you could devote a lot more if you want to (I did).

In short - time well spent and a nod of appreciation to the instructors

JDG

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5.0 4 years ago
Jade O'Mahony completed this course.
This course is fantastic; I started as a complete beginner to programming and it was really fun to be able to create a game at the end of each week (albeit non-interactive the first week - but understandably so!).

I admit I was nervous initially, when I saw all the "Introduce yourself" posts on the forum, where many people referred to many years of experience in other programming languages. Yes, I probably needed to spend some more hours each week at it than others in the class, but it was really rewarding to get the program working at the end of each week, and possibly adding some embellishments once finished!

Some weeks were easier than others, but there was a really supportive community active on the forums, with fellow students offering each other advice and support, as well as community TAs adding extra help, and the course lecturers monitoring the forums to assist, so there was always help if needed. They'd also set up a "code clinic&quo
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This course is fantastic; I started as a complete beginner to programming and it was really fun to be able to create a game at the end of each week (albeit non-interactive the first week - but understandably so!).

I admit I was nervous initially, when I saw all the "Introduce yourself" posts on the forum, where many people referred to many years of experience in other programming languages. Yes, I probably needed to spend some more hours each week at it than others in the class, but it was really rewarding to get the program working at the end of each week, and possibly adding some embellishments once finished!

Some weeks were easier than others, but there was a really supportive community active on the forums, with fellow students offering each other advice and support, as well as community TAs adding extra help, and the course lecturers monitoring the forums to assist, so there was always help if needed. They'd also set up a "code clinic" if you were really stuck in spite of all the other help available, but fortunately I never had to use it!

Overall, the lecturers did a great job of putting the course together, structured in such a way as to create foundations and add building blocks, and making it functional by using the information to create new games each week, and they did this all with a sense of fun and humour, which made it a really enjoyable class. Many thanks to Scott Rixner, Joe Warren, John Greiner and Stephen Wong who put the course together and all the amazing materials. I have a lot to learn but now I'm starting from a great place, and really looking forward to more programming! Would definitely recommend this course :)
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5.0 2 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Interactive programming in python is a great course for everybody wanting to learn the basics of python programming. In my opinion, it is especially suitable for beginners who have no or only some experience in programming. When I started this course, I had no experience in programming except for some very basic and simple codes I learned to do in Java. So every week was a challenge and it sometimes took me several days to complete a game - but that is all worth it once you have produced a working code, because this literally is one of the best feelings ever!

I first dropped the course when it came to object orientation - I didn't get any of what was going on and I didn't have much time to really get into it. But about two years later, I remembered the course and decided to give it another shot as the course had already tought me more than I would ever have thought to be possible. I did the whole course all over to refresh my memory and when it came to object orientation,
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Interactive programming in python is a great course for everybody wanting to learn the basics of python programming. In my opinion, it is especially suitable for beginners who have no or only some experience in programming. When I started this course, I had no experience in programming except for some very basic and simple codes I learned to do in Java. So every week was a challenge and it sometimes took me several days to complete a game - but that is all worth it once you have produced a working code, because this literally is one of the best feelings ever!

I first dropped the course when it came to object orientation - I didn't get any of what was going on and I didn't have much time to really get into it. But about two years later, I remembered the course and decided to give it another shot as the course had already tought me more than I would ever have thought to be possible. I did the whole course all over to refresh my memory and when it came to object orientation, I didn't give up again but saw it through and eventually, I understood its concept. What a great feeling!! After that, I had far less problems with the remaining weeks than I thought I would have.

What I wanna say with this: Interactive programming in python makes it possible for everyone to understand and learn how to write programs in python. You might have to be patient, but the course provides all the information you need in order to succeed. So if you're stuck, don't give up, go back a little and watch the videos again or browse the forums. I also highly recommend to do the practice exercises real carefully as I had the impression that those helped me the most to really understand what was being tought in the videos.

However, what the course does not teach in my opinion, is the ability to develop the idea of how a program must look like to produce the result you want. The students are told step by step what to do - they have to implement the idea in python, but they don't have to come up with the idea itself. But I think this is pretty hard to realize in an online course and I think this is not even the goal of this course, so still giving it 5 stars.

So to conclude: Thanks a lot to all of the instructors - I had a great time, much fun and learned quite a lot in this course! :-)
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4.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I'm a professional linux engineer with 20+ years of experience in Unix environments. I have used programming languages since the beginning but wanted to learn python as some of my expert shell knowledge can't deliver what python can.

This course was excellent. And challenging. I had already taken a Python CBT from cbtnuggets, and I have 3 python reference books. I was able to get through the entire course without referring to outside resources except for maybe two questions. They provide enough guidance if you have some background to get through the course, but at the same time, as an introduction, it is not light-weight. I struggled to get the final project completed on time with my busy schedule, but still was able to accomplish it.

The hands-on learning is impressive. There platform made for a very consistent learning experience without the need to load your own code on your computer. The web based development platform is one of the best I have used. Props
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I'm a professional linux engineer with 20+ years of experience in Unix environments. I have used programming languages since the beginning but wanted to learn python as some of my expert shell knowledge can't deliver what python can.

This course was excellent. And challenging. I had already taken a Python CBT from cbtnuggets, and I have 3 python reference books. I was able to get through the entire course without referring to outside resources except for maybe two questions. They provide enough guidance if you have some background to get through the course, but at the same time, as an introduction, it is not light-weight. I struggled to get the final project completed on time with my busy schedule, but still was able to accomplish it.

The hands-on learning is impressive. There platform made for a very consistent learning experience without the need to load your own code on your computer. The web based development platform is one of the best I have used. Props to you Scott.

It would have been helpful if this course could have covered a few items a bit more thoroughly and have been extended a few weeks more. But for the duration, the pace was just about right for a busy person.
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5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I think this course makes programming very accessible to people with little to no prior knowledge to programming at all. Personally I've had a tiny bit of prior experience from studying computer science in high school, mostly in C and a small bit in Assembler so I did have a small bit of prior knowledge.

Still I couldn't really write any meaningful programs just from my high school knowledge, whereas now after this course I have a solid toolbox to begin programming with. Also the weekly projects of the course were in and of themselves meaningful, such as programming the games: pong, memory and blackjack(albeit with simplistic rules) that I can now take and expand on to make them better with the knowledge of the entire course under my belt now.

Moreover I can envision how various popular games that I like playing were created, at least the programming portions of them(not the graphics, animations, etc), and think I have the tools to write similar games. I might
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I think this course makes programming very accessible to people with little to no prior knowledge to programming at all. Personally I've had a tiny bit of prior experience from studying computer science in high school, mostly in C and a small bit in Assembler so I did have a small bit of prior knowledge.

Still I couldn't really write any meaningful programs just from my high school knowledge, whereas now after this course I have a solid toolbox to begin programming with. Also the weekly projects of the course were in and of themselves meaningful, such as programming the games: pong, memory and blackjack(albeit with simplistic rules) that I can now take and expand on to make them better with the knowledge of the entire course under my belt now.

Moreover I can envision how various popular games that I like playing were created, at least the programming portions of them(not the graphics, animations, etc), and think I have the tools to write similar games. I might not be able to write them in the most efficient way as I still lack programming experience but it's at least I can create a working code to achieve the same results. Higher efficiency will naturally come with experience.
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
As a programming language Python is excellent for beginners to professionals. It has all the features of other languages but is easy to learn and you can get results immediately. The Python class from Rice on Coursera.org is excellent and the instructors are superb. They provide all the material you need from websites for course material, to a programming webpage (codeskulptor.org) to extra material and programs you can run and read yourself.

The course has weekly video lectures that are paced slowly so you can take notes or just sit back and watch. The instructors post handouts for you as well. The quizzes give you a chance to stretch what you learn and to try new ideas that bring home the lectures. The quizzes are actually fun and a good learning experience of themselves. Because there is no grade for the course, you can take the quizzes up to five times and learn more and more from each one.

The projects were great fun to build and see run. The instructors
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As a programming language Python is excellent for beginners to professionals. It has all the features of other languages but is easy to learn and you can get results immediately. The Python class from Rice on Coursera.org is excellent and the instructors are superb. They provide all the material you need from websites for course material, to a programming webpage (codeskulptor.org) to extra material and programs you can run and read yourself.

The course has weekly video lectures that are paced slowly so you can take notes or just sit back and watch. The instructors post handouts for you as well. The quizzes give you a chance to stretch what you learn and to try new ideas that bring home the lectures. The quizzes are actually fun and a good learning experience of themselves. Because there is no grade for the course, you can take the quizzes up to five times and learn more and more from each one.

The projects were great fun to build and see run. The instructors give you a template for each project so you're not starting from scratch. And, what is more, they give you a step by step list of how to build your program, one piece at a time. This makes the projects easier and you know what to do as you go. I don't think it limits your learning but rather gives you a way to organize what you've learned and then apply it to the program.

When your project is done, you have a URL for it and, if you want, you can send the URL to friends who can then play the games you programmed. I actually ran one of the games on my phone; it's not great on the small screen, but it did run which was cool.

The lecturers have fun teaching and that makes the course much more enjoyable. The class is fun for them, so it's fun for you, too. I used the forums once for help and sure enough, a student answered my question there. (The best browser for the course is Chrome which we had to use for Space (or Rice) Asteroids, the last project. If you use Firefox, and I did, you'll find some quirks like the arrow keys don't work right so go with Chrome and make life easier.)

If you want to learn programming, and do so in a popular language that is easy to learn, this course is for you.

Good luck and have fun, I sure did.

DSM

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4.0 4 years ago
by Adelyne Chan completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
I really liked Profs Warren and Rixner's way of delivering the course, and the use of game design is a very interesting way to get the message of programming across and also to provide a means of practicing the material taught in the course. The peer-review system remains one of the best I have seen in Coursera to date, with the requirements clear and easy for everyone (both marker and student) to understand. It is also easy to review assignments and find out why marks were deducted, as well as columns allowing the reviewer to add comments and suggestions.

This course is, however, not quite as basic as the course information implies! I took quite a lot of time each week just to understand the game template and to figure out how to make the game work. Some prior background in programming might have helped - I had zero experience prior to this course (nonetheless I managed to complete it!).
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This class was a a truly outstanding experience that has single-handedly changed my opinion of MOOCs, and online education in general. I have a class I honours degree, as well as a various industry certifications and qualifications I've accumulated over the years, yet I can genuinely say that this class has been the best eight weeks of education I have ever experienced. Throughout it has been obvious that the syllabus, the course structure, the delivery methods, and the continuous engagement, all reflected many hours of careful thought, planning, and effort. I always felt the focus was clear, the right knowledge being presented at the right moment, and support was available if needed. By the end of the last project I really did feel almost as though I was 'standing on the shoulders of giants' - and surely that is the best complement any student could ever give.

I will keeping my eyes peeled on coursera in future for the names Joe, Scott, and John. I hope I might one day b
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This class was a a truly outstanding experience that has single-handedly changed my opinion of MOOCs, and online education in general. I have a class I honours degree, as well as a various industry certifications and qualifications I've accumulated over the years, yet I can genuinely say that this class has been the best eight weeks of education I have ever experienced. Throughout it has been obvious that the syllabus, the course structure, the delivery methods, and the continuous engagement, all reflected many hours of careful thought, planning, and effort. I always felt the focus was clear, the right knowledge being presented at the right moment, and support was available if needed. By the end of the last project I really did feel almost as though I was 'standing on the shoulders of giants' - and surely that is the best complement any student could ever give.

I will keeping my eyes peeled on coursera in future for the names Joe, Scott, and John. I hope I might one day be able to take a class of this quality again
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5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This is an excellent course, and I highly recommend it to ANYONE that wants to learn Python or just get better at Python programming. It covers Python from the ground up. I’ve programmed in Python for several years and still learned a lot. I particularly appreciated the part on OOP (object-oriented programming). It is something that I used before, but did not really understand until I took this course.

You learn Python by building games using a web-based version of Python developed specifically for the course called CodeSkulptor. At first, I wasn’t sure about using CodeSkulptor, but it was a good choice. It removes the struggle of just trying to get Python to work on your machine that can wear you out before you even begin. Building the games was fun, and when you get a game to work correctly, you want to do backflips.

They also have a Code Clinic where you can send your code when you are having problems. I used it a couple of times and found it invalu
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This is an excellent course, and I highly recommend it to ANYONE that wants to learn Python or just get better at Python programming. It covers Python from the ground up. I’ve programmed in Python for several years and still learned a lot. I particularly appreciated the part on OOP (object-oriented programming). It is something that I used before, but did not really understand until I took this course.

You learn Python by building games using a web-based version of Python developed specifically for the course called CodeSkulptor. At first, I wasn’t sure about using CodeSkulptor, but it was a good choice. It removes the struggle of just trying to get Python to work on your machine that can wear you out before you even begin. Building the games was fun, and when you get a game to work correctly, you want to do backflips.

They also have a Code Clinic where you can send your code when you are having problems. I used it a couple of times and found it invaluable. They responded quickly and were very helpful.

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5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
F-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c class!

I have almost 20 years of programming in different languages and I wanted to let my 16 year old son feel what it is to "create software" and how much fun it can be. So we both subscribed for this class.

And man, it was really fun for both of us.

I admit that if you've never programmed before - like my son - it was sometimes tough. But he told me that he found it great to learn about the basics of the games he likes to play and what it takes to create them. He also appreciated the fact that you had a weekly deadline to end your mini-projects. That way you just have to go for it.

It was my first class @ Coursera and I'm already looking out for another one to follow. So obviously, the friendly and dedicated professors at Rice did a GREAT job!

Highly recommended class.
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5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This 5-week course on Coursera is BRILLIANT! It is well structured with excellent videos, quizzes, practice exercises and mini-projects. You can go from knowing nothing about Python to building some simple, fun games (in guided steps), including mini-projects to build simple versions of Pong, Blackjack, and Asteroids. Your coding is done in a browser-based programming environment called CodeSkulptor (www.codeskulptor.org) developed by one of the Professors that teaches the course. The whole course is 9-weeks long and done in two parts in succession (this one, Part 1 is 5 weeks, then Part 2 is 4 weeks). Do both! The course material is released weekly, that way you don't try and race ahead -- not that most people taking this course really could race ahead, especially when trying to get the programming assignments in on time anyway. Yes, at times I was tearing my hair out, screaming at the screen like that'd get my code to work -- but there are "programming tips" and the course dis
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This 5-week course on Coursera is BRILLIANT! It is well structured with excellent videos, quizzes, practice exercises and mini-projects. You can go from knowing nothing about Python to building some simple, fun games (in guided steps), including mini-projects to build simple versions of Pong, Blackjack, and Asteroids. Your coding is done in a browser-based programming environment called CodeSkulptor (www.codeskulptor.org) developed by one of the Professors that teaches the course. The whole course is 9-weeks long and done in two parts in succession (this one, Part 1 is 5 weeks, then Part 2 is 4 weeks). Do both! The course material is released weekly, that way you don't try and race ahead -- not that most people taking this course really could race ahead, especially when trying to get the programming assignments in on time anyway. Yes, at times I was tearing my hair out, screaming at the screen like that'd get my code to work -- but there are "programming tips" and the course discussions forums to help with that, with a lot of input from the Community Teaching Assistants, as well as a "code clinic" (for really sick code) and good documentation in CodeSkulptor. Rice's IIPP is the best MOOC I have taken to date. Oh, and the Professors who teach (created) this course deserve awards -- they are truly second to none. Not all MOOCs have such engaging personalities as these teaching them. I learned so much from this course and every moment was a blast, especially clearing my local neighbourhood of asteroids at the end, but I still also have fond memories of the simple console version of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock we created right at the start of the course. I was really quite sad when I completed the course as there were no more mini-projects to tackle!!! I plan to take all of the other courses in this Rice computing specialization as they become available.
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