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An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)

All-Time Top 50

Rice University via Coursera

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Earn A Credential Part of the Fundamentals of Computing Specialization
  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Programming
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 7-10 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 5 weeks long

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Overview

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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".

Taught by

Joe Warren, Scott Rixner, John Greiner and Stephen Wong

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Reviews for Coursera's An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)
4.9 Based on 3085 reviews

  • 5 stars 94%
  • 4 stars 5%
  • 3 stars 0%
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  • 1
Anonymous
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 reh…
52 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 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…
10 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
4.0 5 years ago
Ajeeth 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…
14 people found
this review helpful
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Charlie C
5.0 5 years ago
by Charlie 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), ma…
29 people found
this review helpful
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Mike S
5.0 4 years ago
Mike 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 …
26 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 5 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 alrea…
5 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 5 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 pro…
4 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 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…
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 5 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 y…
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 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"…
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 5 years ago
Jade 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…
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 10 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 c…
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Anonymous
4.0 5 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, a…
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
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: pon…
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 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 …
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Anonymous
5.0 8 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Before starting this review, I'd like to provide some context about myself.

I am a medical student with no prior programming experience. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that prior to ~2 years ago, I really disliked computers. However, something clicked in my head and I realized that everything I believed about computers was essentially wrong. Computing is a fundamental skill that every professional should have, at least at some level.

That being said, this course (part 1 and 2) has been simply amazing. It was one of the first courses I took when I began my journey i…
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Adelyne C
4.0 4 years ago
by Adelyne 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!).
4 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 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, …
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
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 CodeSkulpt…
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 9 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Awesome class! I just completed the course and highly recommend it.

I had minimal programming experience coming into this 2-part course and I managed to successfully complete all of the projects and quizzes. The projects are cool too: you build games like Memory, Blackjack, and Asteroids (called RiceRocks in the course) as a way of teaching you how to program in Python. As a beginner, the projects took me a long time, but with guidance from the profs and teaching assistants, it's definitely manageable. The instructors did a great job of introducing concepts and programming methods, providing practice exercises, and ultimately challenging students with a project that puts these new tools to use. They're funny, too.

I want to take more classes taught by Joe and Scott. Highly recommend this course.

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