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Peter Kronfeld

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  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
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I found this to be an excellent intro to git and GitHub. It is a fairly short course, only 3 lessons, but the material gets you familiar and comfortable with the basics. Instructor support in the forums was quick and effective. A minor pleasant surprise because I wasn't expecting that level of monitoring in a self-paced class. Another critical benefit was a focus on WHY to use git/GitHub, going beyond the mechanics of how-to. As a programming newbie I've had a few people recommend learning it, but really had no idea what the justification was. Now I do. There was a perfect balance of lecture and exercise. The resources they provide were excellent for getting hands-on experience. For instance, the Lesson 1 challenge to find the version that introduced a bug led to a deeper understanding of the actual process you'd go through using git. An ancillary (but really cool!) bonus are the instructions and files to customize your Terminal or Console: prompt color coding and git command tab completion. Trust me, you'll love it. Git and GitHub really shine when working in a collaborative environment. I'm not doing that yet, but I see the advantages even for an individual programmer. This course gives you valuable skills as a novice coder, and sets you up for working effectively in a collaborative environment.
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Programming for Everyone (PR4E) is the perfect intro class to computer programming.  In a previous review here I also gave Coursera's Intro to Interactive Programming in Python (IIPP) 5 stars.  Both classes are excellent and well worth taking, my recommendation is to take this one first.  The two courses are quite different: PR4E focuses on data analysis, is quite leisurely paced, has straightforward multiple choice midterm and final, and weekly assignments require only a few lines of code.  IIPP has you build graphic games to teach Python concepts, requires a significantly higher time commitment with more intensive weekly quizzes on top of weekly projects that get progressively harder and need many more lines of code.  The different approaches highlight the versatility and power of the Python language.  To reiterate, take both classes, but start with this one!
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Highly recommended course! It was quite challenging but provided tremendous resources to support even novices. My background is in Educational Technology, and I was very impressed with the design of the course. The weekly project assignments were perfectly designed to teach that week's concepts, from the start with "Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock" teaching the basic concepts of logic, conditionals, and functions to the capstone "Rice Rocks" dealing with classes, sprites, and sets. The short weekly lecture videos were entertaining as well as informative. Each week had one or two quizzes that reinforced the concepts and challenged your understanding. Short practice exercises (with solutions provided in case you really got stumped) did a great job of scaffolding the users progress. A major advantage provided by a popular MOOC is the forum. There is a lot of support available here, from other students, community TAs, and even the instructors. Beyond learning to write code in Python, this course is an exceptional way to learn how to learn. You get compelling challenges presented in a fun and engaging way, feedback through both peer assessments and forums, and lots of resources to help you succeed. This course offers the excellent benefits of learning to code: developing your ability to think logically, systematically, and creatively. It would be a shame if the only people who take Intro to Interactive Programming with Python are those specifically interested in writing code for games. Just about everyone could benefit greatly from taking this course.