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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Programming Fundamentals by Duke University

6,766 ratings

About the Course

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....

Top reviews


Aug 13, 2020

The instruction provided in this course are very clear and anyone who can learn coding by this course. But the course has more readable content for you to take notes and reading it may take more time.


Jan 27, 2021

It's a very good as a beginning with programing language. It helped me to think like a compiler and how it exactly works. I've finally understood the saying "Everything in computer works in logic".♥

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76 - 100 of 1,741 Reviews for Programming Fundamentals

By Kenneth E

Nov 20, 2021

As someone from an engineering background and not a CS background, I have always wondered “how do computer scientists come up with code? How do they know what code to write?” Thankfully, this course has cleared up that question by teaching me how to “program first then code later.”

This was an excellent introduction to C(which I was already familiar with but not quite gotten the hang of before).

Now, I know how to :

  • think in terms of programming

  • Write basic algorithms clearly

  • Lastly, read and understand C code.

I hope to succeed in the remaining courses of the specialization.

By Joseph J R

Jun 9, 2019

This is a wonderful, wonderful course. I struggled with programming fundamentals for a long time. I had a terrible experience with C-programming as an undergraduate at Purdue many years ago, so I wish I had been taught by this excellent team with this clear, simple, accessible material back then.

The rationales behind applying the best-practices, algorithm construction, and analysis are so much clearer and easier to pick up in this course in nearly any other course I have taken for and using programming techniques. Thank you so much! -J. J. Radler, Seattle, WA

By Caleb K

Jul 12, 2020

This course gave me a lot of useful info that I wouldn't expect. The course gave me a better perspective on how a computer behaves especially as well as the logic and reason why we program the way the syntax is set up for any software or language.

For instance, I've had to use MATLAB for mechanical engineering classes, and at first I absolutely disliked using the software or even coding. But with this course, I got a better perspective of the way things are with syntax, logic, loops, types, and so on. I even look forward to programming more.

By Y. Z

Oct 6, 2021

This course introduces the computation science and mechanism behind the computer, which was not easy for me to understand thoroughly for the first time. I completed the videos and readings first, and the quizzes were done afterwards. The quizzes were sometimes tricky, and I really took several attempts to pass them. However, I am indeed benefitting from this course which enables me to see and think more clearly about programming and computation during daily work. Many thanks to this course and the instructors!

By Leah R

Mar 9, 2019

This course was very well done. I feel like I have learned so much about programming already and I am still only at the beginning! The instructors explain everything very thoroughly and I had no trouble staying motivated throughout the lessons. I also really enjoyed the "Under the hood" lessons where they delved deeper into things like binary code and hexadecimals. You aren't just learning syntax like with some other courses, but they are really teaching you how to start thinking like a programmer.

By Pankaj J

Jan 7, 2021

This course is great if you are looking to really learn computer programming. This is out of box course for me. I expected to write coding right away after completing this course but rather it teaches you the most basic but most important fundamentals. Such as planning before coding and understanding all the basic syntax. And most importantly this course forces you to think on making algorithms. I hope I will be able to write C program after completing the next course.

By Geisson L d O

May 18, 2020

The Programming Fundamentals course at Duke University | Coursera is a great first step for those who do not program, but want to have a very solid base of concepts when it comes to writing algorithms, and also for those who already program, like me. For those who already program in some language, after completing the course, viewing, reading and writing algorithms becomes a much more analytical and fluent experience and less painful. I highly recommend this course!

By Chukang Z

Dec 20, 2020

The course is really cool! I received the MS ECE offer from Duke this year (although I didn't enroll due to COVID) but I heard from senior students that Drew is a real good teacher!!! The course is not only good for beginners to start coding, but it is also suitable for someone wants to take System course using C. It provides some knowledge like how data types stored in bits, which enables me to get fully prepared for the System course in next semester.


Jun 9, 2020

It was awesome to learn C programming through this course except a technical problem of the Coursera Android App. I am currently studying C programming as a part of my curriculum also. In this part of the specialization I learnt a very fewer things respective to my curriculum but it felt like I learnt those few topics from the core.

The only thing that I would like to mention that the app needs more improvement mainly for the "Coursera Offline" part.

By Amira D

Apr 23, 2020

this course was amaaaaazing, it taught me how to think about programs in terms of algorithms to implement, showed me how to write algorithms and test them, erased a lot of false assumption I had about being a programmer. it was a well structured, organized, and easy to grasp course, thanks to the teaching staff and the working team behind the screen for this amazing effort and contribution, linking forward to learn more from you

By Gaurav k

Aug 27, 2020

I think this course is best design for the fundamental of programming . This course taught me how to approach for a programming problem. But this course has a flaws after 1 week this course suddenly take a higher approach so I think for the very beginers , this course will be difficult to understand . But I really don't find any difficulties because I had learnt basics in my college.

Although a good course to grasp the concepts.

By Andrew D

Feb 23, 2018

This course is good for those with absolutely no prior knowledge, given that I have prior knowledge in hoe to cade this is a very slow, boring and tedious class about how the program steps through the math. If you have any type of math skills this class should be extremely easy for you.

Wanted to rate lower but is unfair since my negativity is my fault for not choosing the correct course for my own skill level.

By Nabil

May 8, 2020

The best course for every one that decides to start a career of a computer scientist. This section does not focus on C programming, it is all about algorithmic & critical thinking. Which I see it as a mandatory step before diving into programming.

This course teaches you how to solve problems step by step and how computers work under the hood.

A medium level of math is strongly required to get the most of it.

By Aarjav

Mar 23, 2020

An amazing course taught by even more amazing set of teachers !

The best thing about this course is that it actually forces you to think for the solutions to problems yourself. There are no solutions, hence no easy way out. If you score less in a graded component, it even suggests the relevant material and lectures to refer you to further consolidate your understanding and fill up holes in your knowledge.

By Yu-Cheng K

Jan 9, 2023

This course delivers programming in an innovative fashion. For one thing, it illustrates and places emphasis on the mindset and steps of preparing an algorithm beforehand whenever you are dealing with a problem. Nevertheless, the final exam on sorting in Week 4 is way too easy.

By the way, I intended to take the follow-up course but quit eventually for Emacs is the necessary knowledge for moving forward.

By saaleem p

Sep 6, 2018

I enjoyed this course even though the difficulty level is high for a beginner level course.

I am from India and I had learnt C programming before even then I couldn't be able to solve some examples in first try because the taught some concepts they don't teach here and how to approach problems. I couldn't submit my assignment because I could only afford to audit the course.

Thanks for the knowledge. :) :)

By Himansh S

Aug 29, 2019

This is really helpful as I started to learn programming a bit late and but going through the basics is really helpfulof clearing my lots of doubts and week concepts . When I started coding I was able to perform some of them but not able to understand the terms which is now I get and a lots of ideas of developing algorithm . and most importantly I understand the importance of algorithm.

thank you

By Narendra M

May 14, 2018

Really good course.. lot to learn.. this course teaches you how to think while doing programming or helps you to create logic between the lines.. how to start programming process, this course teaches you. Also it helps you to get feel of coding or programming with the help of C programming..

I advice this course for all the beginners in software/IT industries people... Good Luck

By KietQTHE163599

Apr 26, 2021

The course is better than even some college classes that took place on campus. I couldn't, for the life of me, endure the complete suffering that is the on-campus courses for c programming at my school. Thanks to this, i was able to catch up to speed with the pace of the on-campus course. Massive thank you to Duke University for publishing such useful materials for folks around the globe

By Kateryna B

May 11, 2020

It was the the best of all the courses which I have ever had. Despite English is my not native language, all the materials from the course were absolutely clear for understanding even for person who did not study programming before. Ypur methodology is really great! Thank to all the teachers , especially for the examples about pixels. You inspired me to continue my learning!

By Bill O

Sep 14, 2020

Great course to learn C+ programming. I learn from the content, but needed to go to outside references to learn more procedural activities like converting decimal to binary, binary to hexadecimal. The quizzes were challenging that I really had to bring together multiple concepts from various lessons to get the correct answer. I look forward to take the next class.

By John B

May 13, 2020

Much more difficult of an introductory course - definitely suited for someone who's taken an intro to C already. Lots more reading than lectures, but the information is very thorough and explores important information that other classes don't. For example, the conversion of binary to hex, why float variables require special attention, or what the enum data type does.

By Aamir K

Oct 27, 2018

This is a great beginning point for a programmer just dive in it.A great course, really rich content and easy to digest. Better than most of my lecturers in college. Code samples are provided it would be great to get a walk through on some of the more advanced algorithms and structures with the c language. But I still think this course is brilliant. Thanks

By Anil K C

Feb 2, 2021

Course is supper!

The best thing about this course is, it will teach you read and understand the written code.I am from mechanical background and after going through this course, now I am confident that at least I can read and understand the meaning of the code/program. Course is highly recommendable.

Thank You so much to all the teachers and Coursera!

By Marilene S d C

Jul 11, 2018

I've been auditing the courses of this specialization to review C. This first course is well organized, and I particularly like that it does a great job with explaining fundamental concepts so well ( I wished I had had such an introduction when I first started learning C). I'd recommend this course to all those who want an solid intro to programming.