My Life: Coding in Python

Coursera

As I said in my spring update post, along with working my job, I have been learning a lot computer programming and coding, mainly at the moment Python. Due to the vast landscape known as the Internet, it’s possible to learn just about anything from the comfort of your computer. I’ve taken advantage of this fact to pursue one of my childhood dreams of delving into just about everything in the IT world.

I can’t stress how amazing websites like edX and Coursera are bringing different MOOC’s to one place for us to learn just about anything we wish. I’m currently enrolled in Rice University’s An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python. This course has kept me extremely interested and entertained by having highly relevant videos, a well thought out and progressive amount of course work, and great projects that really make you feel you’ve progressed.

CS50X

I’m comparing this to my experience with Harvard’s CS50X  on edX. My main problem with CS50X was the lectures. While it was great to see a straight recording of the class that is taught at Harvard, it reminds me how much a pain actual lectures can be. The professor, David Malan, clearly loves teaching the course, but he can get off topic. There were two 2 hour lectures a week. Out of the 4 hours of lectures, I really felt like I was only learning something relevant for 30-60 minutes which turned me off from continuing the course (though I definitely plan on going back to it).

The Python course however has roughly an hour of lectures a week, that are pretty much all to the point and teach you exactly what you need to know to program the mini-projects, which are all different games. The end goal of the course is to be able to program a fully functioning game of Asteroids. One of the things I hope to do in the future is program games. So far we have made a basic functioning version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock (from The Big Bang Theory), a Higher-Lower Guess the Number game, and this week have recreated Pong.

All of this is amazing to me since just one month ago I never would imagine I would be programming basic games, but here I am. In a short four weeks I progressed from being able to make Python add numbers (learned from Codecademy) to making a functioning copy of Pong (once I’ve finalized it I’ll post a link).

All in all, I’m happy with my progress and hope I’ll keep progressing at this rate. Coming up I hope to get back to more of my fitness blogging with some exercise ideas and maaaayyybe a review of a Galaxy Gear 2 Neo if I feel like forking over the cash for it.

Have you ever taken any MOOC’s? What kind of MOOC would you be interested in?