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Back to Programming Languages, Part A

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Programming Languages, Part A by University of Washington

4.9
stars
1,176 ratings
331 reviews

About the Course

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of programming languages, with a strong emphasis on functional programming. The course uses the languages ML, Racket, and Ruby as vehicles for teaching the concepts, but the real intent is to teach enough about how any language “fits together” to make you more effective programming in any language -- and in learning new ones. This course is neither particularly theoretical nor just about programming specifics -- it will give you a framework for understanding how to use language constructs effectively and how to design correct and elegant programs. By using different languages, you will learn to think more deeply than in terms of the particular syntax of one language. The emphasis on functional programming is essential for learning how to write robust, reusable, composable, and elegant programs. Indeed, many of the most important ideas in modern languages have their roots in functional programming. Get ready to learn a fresh and beautiful way to look at software and how to have fun building it. The course assumes some prior experience with programming, as described in more detail in the first module. The course is divided into three Coursera courses: Part A, Part B, and Part C. As explained in more detail in the first module of Part A, the overall course is a substantial amount of challenging material, so the three-part format provides two intermediate milestones and opportunities for a pause before continuing. The three parts are designed to be completed in order and set up to motivate you to continue through to the end of Part C. The three parts are not quite equal in length: Part A is almost as substantial as Part B and Part C combined. Week 1 of Part A has a more detailed list of topics for all three parts of the course, but it is expected that most course participants will not (yet!) know what all these topics mean....

Top reviews

YZ

Dec 03, 2016

I'm just a beginner for CS or SE classes, and find this course really concise and challenging. It opens a door for me to get deeper into programming language. No wonder it got so high average score.

AL

Mar 22, 2017

Great course!\n\nI think this course has just the right balance of theoretical background, formal definitions, and actual examples to make "just right".\n\nThanks Dan, and everybody else involved!

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76 - 100 of 326 Reviews for Programming Languages, Part A

By Frank G

Apr 02, 2017

Fantastic course. Prof Grossman is an excellent teacher and he has done a great job assembling the subject matter. The course will help you become a more thoughtful programmer, no matter where you are in your career.

By Matt K

Mar 21, 2019

Very approachable with minimal CS background but incredibly insightful with a prior CS education. Sheds light on many forgotten yet important topics and gives any programmer a new lens to view their code though.

By Jayadev H

May 11, 2018

pedagoically great course!

Dan really gets to the point right away and it's nice to take his classes.

Still i dont see much use of the course except to do challanging programming assigments...

Thank you Professor!

By Josh G

Feb 25, 2018

This was a great course. I feel like I can better understand the F# and Elm languages now as a result of studying SML. The sections on recursion and pattern matching were particularly interesting and rewarding.

By Iris H

Sep 29, 2019

Excellent course. Very interesting and well-presented material with a lot of thought put into building up the conceptual framework for functional programming and language concepts. I look forward to Part B!

By Matias A

Nov 18, 2019

Eye opening! You will learn a lot about the theoretical aspects of programming languages, good programming style, and especially how to write simple and elegant code to solve seemingly complex problems.

By Yuchong P

Oct 09, 2016

This course focuses mainly on Standard ML, which provides a great perspective for a PL learner. Something I find most interesting is a comparison between Standard ML and other languages like Java and C.

By Zhixia L

Sep 28, 2019

Perfect course. The professor is very enthusiastic and welcoming. The material is well-organized. The homework is just at that point, not too easy, not too difficult, but still remaining challenging.

By Denis K

Mar 24, 2018

A very good introduction to functional programming. I especially liked how precisely (although not formally) lexical scoping, semantic, evaluation rules, types checking algorithm of SML were defined.

By Sergey Z

Apr 03, 2017

Great course!

One of the few courses I actually finished on Coursera.

Though I think it could be made longer to have less lectures/homework, but that's probably a general issue with Coursera for me.

By Stanislav K

Mar 24, 2017

An excellent course! Make sure you really have enough time to take this course. There are a lot of videos, but they worth watching. I'd recommend this course to everyone involved in programming.

By Maria K

Jun 17, 2017

Good fundaments for learning new programming languages. Well prepared and challenging homeworks. I learned a lot of functional programming concepts fom this course and I am sure I will use them.

By Aayush S

Dec 29, 2019

Instructor's strive for perfection really shows. The quality of content is top-notch; both for the video explanations and the pdfs. Definitely going to check out the other two parts as well.

By Akos L

Mar 22, 2017

Great course!

I think this course has just the right balance of theoretical background, formal definitions, and actual examples to make "just right".

Thanks Dan, and everybody else involved!

By Herb M

Nov 17, 2016

Much much better than I ever expected even though I had already seen how good the instructor's other video lessons are -- definitely worth the time to take the course and do the home work.

By Konstantinos O

Jan 22, 2018

A great course, covering a wide range of topics in programming languages. Very well paces and Dan Grossman is an amazing teacher! Must watch for every programmer, beginner or experienced.

By Jan H

Dec 27, 2016

I took this course about 10 years off the college, and it was excellent refresher on the topics I don't use on a daily basis. Absolutely great lecturer, great videos and study materials!

By Cheng H

Dec 22, 2018

Best ever classic courses! Never learnt so much from any programming courses! Expect to see materials can be published as book even textbook! Looking forward further courses from Dan!

By Jingning T

Jul 04, 2018

Great content. Everything is free to access so really learnt a lot from the homework and the exam. Also the professor is really good at illustrating the concepts with simple examples.

By Sean E

Mar 12, 2018

Exceptionally well thought-through content taught by a highly motivating teacher. Without doubt one of the best courses I have taken on Coursera so far. Demanding and very rewarding!

By Igor B

Oct 10, 2016

This is one of the best courses that I have ever taken before! I have got a good introduction in functional programming and understood a lot of new concepts of programming languages.

By Zhengtao X

Dec 10, 2018

This is a good course. It helps me to understand the same features about different programming languages, so I can get started quickly when I need to use a new programming language.

By Roberto U G

Jun 20, 2017

Awesome course. A wonderful introduction to statically typed functional programming with a simple and concise language. After I took this course, Scala started to make more sense.

By saif

Dec 04, 2017

Exceptionally brilliant course. The instructor, Dr. Dan Grossman became one of my favorite teachers of my life. The contents are solid, illuminating at the same time challenging.

By Sean

Jan 04, 2017

Instant favourite programming course. Great instructor and material, fun assignments, mind-bendy recursion, cool concepts you didn't know you wanted to know about. Learned a lot.