Programming for Everybody

I was very pleased to see that Dr. Chuck has started up a new Coursera class, Programming for Everybody.

A few things caught my eye immediately:

  • There are six sessions listed that run regularly through next year.
  • The activities are data centered.
  • Material is based on Python for Informatics, which I know and highly regard.

As some of you may know from reading my list of resources, I haven’t been too happy with the “beginner-ness” of some of the Python courses offered by Coursera.  For example, many presume that students can easily catch on to and develop mathematical algorithms for programs with minimal instruction.  Additionally, the skills taught in those classes do not always directly map to the needs of researchers needing Python for data processing and analysis.  Learning how to program by creating interactive games is awesome, if you want to make interactive items, but not always the most useful exposure if all  you need to do is manipulate text.

One of my first exposures to Python was through Python for Informatics, so I am excited to see the perspective of this class as a foundational boot camp and gentle introduction.  This course seems to be designed similarly to the way Py-CU designed the Introduction to Programming workshop, and that worked out well.  Our perspective was to give students enough introduction so that they could dive right into a book or other resource and not feel so overwhelmed.  We found that this worked out well and students left inspired and ready to tackle new things.

I look forward to seeing these types of classes and resources evolve over time, and I am particularly excited they are being designed to run on a regular basis.

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