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Coursera: Functional Programming Principles in Scala

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Functional programming is becoming increasingly widespread in industry. This trend is driven by the adoption of Scala as the main programming language for many applications. Scala fuses functional and object-oriented programming in a practical package. It interoperates seamlessly with both Java and Javascript. Scala is the implementation language of many important frameworks, including Apache Spark, Kafka, and Akka. It provides the core infrastructure for sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and also Coursera.

In this course you will discover the elements of the functional programming style and learn how to apply them usefully in your daily programming tasks. You will also develop a solid foundation for reasoning about functional programs, by touching upon proofs of invariants and the tracing of execution symbolically.

The course is hands on; most units introduce short programs that serve as illustrations of important concepts and invite you to play with them, modifying and improving them. The course is complemented by a series programming projects as homework assignments.

Learning Outcomes. By the end of this course you will be able to:

- understand the principles of functional programming,
- write purely functional programs, using recursion,
pattern matching, and higher-order functions,
- combine functional programming with objects and classes,
- design immutable data structures,
- reason about properties of functions,
- understand generic types for functional programs

Recommended background: You should have at least one year programming experience. Proficiency with Java or C# is ideal, but experience with other languages such as C/C++, Python, Javascript or Ruby is also sufficient. You should have some familiarity using the command line.

Syllabus

Getting Started + Functions & Evaluation
Get up and running with Scala on your computer. Complete an example assignment to familiarize yourself with our unique way of submitting assignments. In this week, we'll learn the difference between functional imperative programming. We step through the basics of Scala; covering expressions, evaluation, conditionals, functions, and recursion

Higher Order Functions
This week, we'll learn about functions as first-class values, and higher order functions. We'll also learn about Scala's syntax and how it's formally defined. Finally, we'll learn about methods, classes, and data abstraction through the design of a data structure for rational numbers.

Data and Abstraction
This week, we'll cover traits, and we'll learn how to organize classes into hierarchies. We'll cover the hierarchy of standard Scala types, and see how to organize classes and traits into packages. Finally, we'll touch upon the different sorts of polymorphism in Scala.

Types and Pattern Matching
This week we'll learn about the relationship between functions and objects in Scala; functions *are* objects! We'll zoom in on Scala's type system, covering subtyping and generics, and moving on to more advanced aspects of Scala's type system like variance. Finally, we'll cover Scala's most widely used data structure, Lists, and one of Scala's most powerful tools, pattern matching.

Lists
This week we dive into Lists, the most commonly-used data structure in Scala.

Collections
After a deep-dive into Lists, this week we'll explore other data structures; vectors, maps, ranges, arrays, and more. We'll dive into Scala's powerful and flexible for-comprehensions for querying data.

63 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 5-7 hours a week
Calendar 6 weeks long
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Reviews for Coursera's Functional Programming Principles in Scala
4.6 Based on 63 reviews

  • 5 stars 79%
  • 4 stars 11%
  • 3 stars 5%
  • 2 stars 3%
  • 1 star 2%

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  • 1
5.0 4 years ago
Mark Wilbur completed this course and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This course assumed no background in Scala. It was a self-contained course involving some hard problems. I had plenty of headaches while working on the homework assignments, but not once did I run into a problem related to environment set-up or unspoken pre-requisites. I wish all Coursera classes were like this! Though the instructor (who happens to be the creator of Scala) did make references to Java, no background in Java was necessary for the class. I suspect it was a class that was very hard for different students in different ways. While I probably found the functional aspects a lot easier than some students coming from pure OO backgrounds, the type-system was mind-bending for me! The only statically-typed language I’d used before was C and Scala’s type system sure is a lot more complex
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5.0 4 years ago
Kartik Kukreja completed this course.
The programming assignments complement the course material and are much harder than your typical MOOC assignments. A single assignment can easily take anywhere from 5 to 10 hours. It does not appear to be a watered-down version of the course taught at EPFL and looks like the real deal.

This is not a beginner level course and is not meant as a first introduction to programming. It expects students to have at least one year programming experience. It is a hectic course which will keep you engaged throughout. I would recommend it for everyone serious about Computer Science.
1 person found
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This class was excellent. This was my first attempt at learning functional programming after having spent the past 13 years doing OO programming and the 3 years before that doing procedural programming and it was much more challenging than I expected. Thanks to this class I have rethought the entire way I approach programming and I feel like I am much more effective because of it. Keep up the wonderful work at Coursera and EPFL! Your efforts are most certainly appreciated!
1 person found
this review helpful
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2.0 a year ago
Anonymous dropped this course.
This course is not for beginners and I would say it is not even suitable for some intermediate programmers. There isn't a sufficiently good introduction to recursion, which makes the exercise problems very hard for anyone new to the idea. While the course assumes little prior knowledge of programming, I feel only people with some experience in functional programming will feel at home attempting the problems.
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
An excellent course. Very much appreciated the simple to install and use Eclipse environment and sbt tool. The classes were very clear and the exercises extremely well described. I struggled on this course, Functional Programming is quite a paradigm shift for me - really glad I made the effort. Looking forward to a future course from Dr Odersky.

1 person found
this review helpful
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course was well designed. The assignment submission tool able to give feedback and pointed out which area I lost point. This was probably the hardest course I've ever taken, provided that it was my first attempt learning functional programming. Nevertheless, it was worth it.
1 person found
this review helpful
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5.0 a year ago
by Mira Chen completed this course.
This course is amazing! The assignments are so much fun and professor Odersky really explained all the functional programming concepts well! I finally understand how to write in a functional way.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Very important to anyone who is using the language and to understand the power of functional programming- this is the place. Be patient with the course. It is excellent.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
5.0 11 months ago
by Tarun Barthwal completed this course.
This course is hard but totally worth it.

Tip: The assignments mention 3 hours but on average it takes 4 to 12 hours.
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1.0 3 weeks ago
Anonymous partially completed this course.
Not for software engineers!

Over 60% of the course and lectures are about compilers and language theory. I have taken those courses in the university already. If you want to learn Scala an how to solve problems in a functional way this course is not for you.

It only about the language syntax and how to apply them. It doesn't go into higher level abstraction. Design patterns or real world problems.

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5.0 2 months ago
Vpm completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
I agree with what many of the other reviewers have said: this is a difficult course and the assignments can sometimes take a while. But it's also one in which you learn a great deal, especially if it's your first exposure to functional programming.
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5.0 3 years ago
Francois Fernando completed this course.
The best class I have taken on programming. This course does demand a lot of work from you but it opens up you to new way to think about programming. I had significant professional development experience in Java, but that didn't make it any easier.
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course. Everything was on time, lectures were great. Problem sets were insightful. Definitely recommend. It is a functional programming language course though, so be prepared for lots of recursion.
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5.0 4 years ago
Yuriy Eremin completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Excellent course for Java developers that want to try something functional.

Also this course doesn't require experience with Java, but it will a big plus.
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5.0 2 years ago
Mark Riker completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Definitely one of the best programming courses I have ever had. It has a great structure and comes with really interesting and challenging assignments.
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2.0 11 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
It's all about recursion. I even ported some parts into Python. If you would like to learn Scala as i then don't take this course.
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5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Very well presented and well designed assignment to help in learning. Come with a fresh mind and will learn a lot of new things
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5.0 2 years ago
Rick completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Was very good. Rating it five stars. I don't feel like typing a text review but I need to in order to submit my rating.
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5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course. A bit complicated specially the last two weeks, but not imposible at all. I've learned a lot with this course.
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5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Really great course. A very good way to know the concepts of functional programming and to catch its beauty.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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