As expected Martin is awesome in explaining principle of functional programming. I have started reading the book as well to make sure I keep up with the knowledge which I have gained from this course.
It took me much longer than expected to finish the course and sometimes it made me feel stupid and helpless. Diving into functional programming was a mind bending experience, totally worth time spent!
By Endre P•
Really good course to learn the basics of Scala (well). I always thought Scala is simply a better Java, and read a book that followed exactly this approach, since I am an experienced Java developer. However, after taking Martin Odersky's course, I realised his approach to teaching Scala, namely considering it as a completely new language rather than an improved Java makes it much easier to master the language for those who are already experienced in Java or C#. Prof. Odersky is really good at explaining, and leaves no loose ends in the material, which is rare in todays MOOCs. The assignments are also complementing the theory well enough, and makes you practice all that you have learned from the videos. All in all, a great online course.
This is my very first course on Coursera and thanks to their scholarship Program which make me enable to learning from world top faculty in the field of Computer Science. It is like a dream comes true and you will surely feel like you are physically taking the lecture at EPCL ( École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne / Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne). I would highly recommend this course even if you know nothing about functional programming like me. Keep in mind that the instructor of this course is the designer of the Scala language and who would be the best teacher other than the designer itself. Additionally, EPCL is world's top 22 and 8 in general and computer science subject ranking by QS Top Universities 2019.
By Ian E•
An excellent course but tough! It has to be the number one way to be introduced to Scala. I spent a lot of time absorbing the material given in the lectures; the material is pitched just right to keep you thinking but yet not lose you. And the language is big, so there is a lot to cover, but I expect the greater expressiveness of the language to make developing software ultimately easier. I have an OOP background and had just played with LISP and Racket before, so though recursive programming was not entirely new, I found the assignments very demanding. But with perseverance they are doable and you are rewarded with satisfyingly elegant solutions. Verdict: highly recommended.
By Garth J M•
Very good course. Real brain teaser for one experienced in imperative programming. When I thought their tests were mistaken, a little reflection taught me new principles and I found that it was I who was in error. As one who has taught and loves to teach, I think the design of this course is excellent. I especially liked the pause in the lecture where a problem was presented which I could copy and paste into a worksheet and solve. Sometimes my first efforts were fruitless and I was totally clueless but without a dent from experience, a new concept often has no place to go. When you experience a lack, your mind and heart are ready for the solution. Good way to teach!
By Ty B•
I use a lot of Java in my current job, but recently had a chance to dip my toes into Scala for a recent project. I liked it so much, I decided to take this course to get a little more knowledge of the language.
I have to say, I don't think you can get much better of a teacher for an intro to Scala course than the designer of the language itself. The course was easy to follow, featured relevant assignments, and was quite useful. At one point, Odersky mentions basing the course partially off of SICP and that seemed apropos -- the course was sort of a condensed, Scala-based version of SICP.
I'm definitely looking forward to taking the next course in the series.
By Roland F•
This is easily one of the best courses on Coursera. Martin Odersky explains concepts very clearly, motivates them well, and teaches at a level suitable for newcomers. He manages to effectively teach principles of functional programming while also introducing the Scala programming language. Exercises are challenging and require creative thinking that enable them to often be solved in multiple ways, and are very rewarding. I think that taking this course has made me more aware of good programming practices and thus helped me become a better programmer. Would highly recommend for anyone studying computer science or software engineering.
Very good introduction to Scala and functional programming. Some of the exercises are quite challenging and i can imagine that the lectures would be difficult for someone who has never done functional programming before. I think it would be better that when a new concept is explained, it should be explained with a simple example. That way, the learner can focus on learning the new concept in isolation. Sometimes, a new concept is introduced in the context of a difficult or mathematical problem. This means that the learner needs to understand the problem domain as well as the new concept. This is the case in the exercises and the lectures.
By Charles A•
Amazing opportunity to see Scala from the perspective of its author. The explanations and topic sequence are really good. The examples and assignments are quite deep. I learned a lot about FP and the beauty of Scala syntax/constructs. The platform is really good. I will definitely do more Coursera courses. In a few places there's more maths than I expected (but it isn't necessary if you aren't interested). The getting started material is a little dated; I expect most people are using IntelliJ - it's very important to "import" the sample projects (not open them). Sometimes I found the guidance more confusing than the problems.
By Joshua S•
A wonderful course taught by Martin Odersky (Scala's designer.) The lectures are both meticulously crafted and thoroughly engaging. Odersky is that rare professor that's not only an expert but an exceptionally good teacher with a passion for the subject. Don't skip the optional lectures, every video is filled with gems. If you really want to know functional programming (for that matter, if you really want to know object orient programming) this course is for you. I've been a software engineer for more than 10 years, and I can't believe how much I am learning from this course, including subjects that I thought I already knew.
By Santiago A A•
This course was very useful for learning Scala the right way. Everything is perfect but, even for people as me with experience in big data, functional programming, and discrete mathematics, it was difficult to follow up on some exercises, especially understanding recursivity with set combinations or with 'for's with two variables(i,j). However, these very hard exercises were few. The other exercises are just hard, and there is not an easy exercise.
This is an advanced course for people with solid bases on discrete mathematics, data structures, algorithms, software engineering, compilers, and operating systems.
By Niina S•
The videos were a great way of learning: seeing and hearing the way Odersky thinks was mind-opening. I'm an aural person, so video is some 300% more efficient to me than just slides/pure text based web pages. Also the point were the video stopped and the student was really put to use his/her own brain was an excellent idea.
Some of the exercises were too difficult for me. Luckily I have a person I can consult if I'm stuck too long with the same problem. (He didn't write the answers, just gave me some hints with pseudo code.)
Recursion has always been hard for me. I'm sure it got better with this course.
By Fernando G M•
I'm a java developer and I'm interested on Big Data projects because of that I decided to learn a functional language, I choose scala because it runs on the JVM, because there is plenty of info about, but the main reason was because I found this awesome course given by the creator of the language. The course is easy to understand and it invites you to do additional research thru the recommended material, the book "Structure and interpretation of computer programs" helped me a lot. The exercises from week 4 and 6 are tough, and I like that, but definitely additional guidance would be of great help.
By Glenn H L•
The programming assignments are tough, but thinking at different levels while working hard to reach higher levels of thinking makes us tougher. For each assignment I open, I somewhat die inside. And then try to do it. It's both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because we actually become tougher engineers who could think in pure functions. It's a curse because you wrack your brain so much that it hurts and it gets blank, and then check the clock only to find out it's only been 3 hours since you started an assignment. It gets a little bit easier with each successful writing of a function.
By Mark B•
I thought this was an excellent course. I found it challenging and had to re-read lecture notes and work through examples in order to be able to complete the assignments, but I felt that I learned a lot about both Scala and functional programming. My only criticism is that the setup section is unclear. I ended up using Eclipse and did not use IntellJ at all, yet the setup is unclear on this. Also there is a point when using Eclipse and importing a project where you have to type $ sbt Eclipse and if you get this wrong then you are stuck! So if you get stuck - go to the Discussion pages.
By Kedar M•
Martin is a great teacher. There are several positives of this course. Apart from learning the basics of the Scala syntax and semantics from its creator, you learn the functional constructs and functional thinking in a very constructive environment. Martin paces the lectures well and does not dumb down the material. Rather than learning Scala from other sources, one's pursuit should begin with this course and then of course one can do more programming exercises to reinforce. The assignments in this course are very well thought out (although I'd have preferred less of a structure).
By yevhen v•
Very detailed and deep theoretically diving in basics of functional programming. Very pleased to have ability to listen to material which is well structured, though many thing still not clear(from NodeJs developer perspective).
PS: Anagram tasks(Week 6 assignment) does have some variations regarding output results and required running testing with tracing outputs to get required algorithm output. Possibly it would be nice to write down that anagram should match as long words as it can(in order to omit variations with partial matches, which can be considered as a sentence)
By Rishi K•
Functional Programming Principles in Scala is one of the best courses for those who want to start with Scala and learn about it's functional aspects and where to apply them. It introduces the language of Scala and is a great course for those who want to explore into the functional programming aspect of Computer Science. The concepts are explained lucidly and the assignments are relatively difficult and help the individuals to apply the learnt concepts in an incremental manner. I was really excited on taking this course, and it has lived up to all my expectations from it.
By Daniel K•
Very interesting and quite challenging at times. It's not a beginner course, you need a solid understanding of recursion (which is all over the place), knowledge of some basic data structures might help too (e.g. binary trees), knowning some Java would help too for obvious reasons (data types, generics etc.).
Some of the concepts are really mind-bending, mostly because a lot of us are not used to this type of programming.
I highly recommend the course and also the companion book (by prof. Odersky) for deeper look into the Scala guts.
By Syed W R J•
This course takes you through not only concepts particular to scala, but staying true to its title, through general principles of functional programming.
The course is also sprinkled with useful and interesting information and presents ideas (BNF, algorithms for LCF, square root, queens problem etc) that generally expand your understanding and knowledge. The problem sets are challenging. They make you actively apply your mind and provide a sound learning opportunity.
Very well structured and presented course. Highly recommended.
By Robert F•
The course is challenging. There are tricks that I needed to figure out to get past the assignments. But, the tricks forced me to think about functional programming. I started by trying to use accumulators whenever possible, since it feels like looping. The last assignment was a mind bender for me, but once the aha moment hit with respect for for comprehensions, it was only a few lines of code to knock off the solution. I have an idea for a different, perhaps more efficient solution. So maybe, I am not quite done yet :-)
By raphael a s a•
I think this course can lead any programmer into a larger and beautiful way for functional programming paradigm. I think this course was quite difficult for me due to lack of experience with FP. Also, I have no professional experience with FP and besides my Java 8 certification, it does not fulfill all the requirements for doing this course in a smoother way. I think it should be done in 7 weeks (not 6) because of the time required to watch all videos and get some time to absorb it all and do some practice.
By Rachapong C•
As other reviews have pointed out, this course is insanely difficult. It's very challenging, which makes completion all the more satisfying. Finally completed it after 3 weeks! What kept me going though the course was the promise of the capstone project, which is about using parallel computing to plot global temperature data. Imagine what you would be able to do with the power of parallel computing that is only made possible by the (as others have pointed out) mind-bending functional programming!
By Vishnu P•
This course is really awesome. I tried many tutorials, documents videos etc. But in the end I was not happy. I felt an incompleteness. But this course was really great. It helped me to understand the functional programming and how to use it.To move from a OOP paradigm to Functional it was really difficult for me initially. But by this course now I am able to do it and think about a solution in functional programming way. So I am really thankful to the team who made this course. Thanks a lot.
By Matthew S L•
Fantastic course! Functional programming really warps your brain in the beginning, and that's a great thing for any software engineer. Martin Odersky is a fine teacher who has prepared very concise and expressive lectures and examples... Proof of this is seen in how few questions people seem to ask on the Discussion Forums. I'm strongly considering enrolling in the rest of the "Functional Programming in Scala Specialization" because of how awesome this course was. Highly recommended 10/10!