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Programming Fundamentals (Coursera)

Programming is an increasingly important skill, whether you aspire to a career in software development, or in other fields. This course is the first in the specialization Introduction to Programming in C, but its lessons extend to any language you might want to learn.

This is because programming is fundamentally about figuring out how to solve a class of problems and writing the algorithm, a clear set of steps to solve any problem in its class. This course will introduce you to a powerful problem-solving process—the Seven Steps—which you can use to solve any programming problem. In this course, you will learn how to develop an algorithm, then progress to reading code and understanding how programming concepts relate to algorithms.

Who is this class for: This course is for learners who have an interest in learning how to program, for people with no programming experience or for people with some experience who would like to gain solid fundamentals and a deeper understanding of how to program effectively.

Syllabus

WEEK 1

Introduction

This module introduces a powerful process for solving any programming problem—the Seven Steps. You will learn how to approach a programming problem methodically, so you can formulate an algorithm that is specific and correct. You will work through examples with sequences of numbers and graphical patterns to develop the skill of algorithm development.

Graded: Algorithms

WEEK 2

Reading Code

In this module, you will learn to read code—this means you will be able to execute a piece of code by hand, and clearly illustrate what each statement does and what the state of the program is. Understanding how to read code is the only way to be sure you can write correct code. By the end of this module, you will be able to read and understand code with functions, conditional statements, iteration, and other fundamental techniques.

Graded: Reading Code

WEEK 3

Types

Everything is a number to a computer, but types determine the size and interpretation of numbers. In this module you will learn about types beyond integers, both their conceptual representations, and their hardware representations in binary. You will learn basic data types, “non-number” types, and complex, custom types, as well as some important caveats, so you will avoid type-related programming mistakes.

Graded: Types

WEEK 4

Project

You have learned a lot about designing algorithms and the programming concepts that will help you implement them. For this project, you will develop and test your own algorithm for sorting data. This module will reinforce the importance of being specific when you write an algorithm and provide an opportunity for you to do so yourself, for a very common computational task: sorting.

Graded: Writing a Sorting Algorithm

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