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

1,394 ratings
405 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


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.


Mar 05, 2018

Very interesting course! Superb teaching and homework assignments. If you are interested in functional programming or in programming languages in general, this should be one of the must take MOOCs

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176 - 200 of 401 Reviews for Programming Languages, Part A

By Yusong S

Feb 12, 2017

Learn many fundamental concepts about functional programming! Course material is challenging but rewarding.

By John G

Feb 01, 2017

This is a really fun course. I'm glad that it was split into A-B-C because I just don't have time for B.

By Mustaqim M

Sep 26, 2020

Really tough and engaging but none the less very helpful in understanding the intricacies of programming

By hanrai

Dec 13, 2018

This is a wonderful lesson. Bring a lot of new concepts to me. Functional programming is a big surprise.

By Shen C

Apr 07, 2018

I should say thanks Dan's work on this MOOC. I have learned many knowledge about functional programming

By Deleted A

Oct 30, 2017

Very insightful and logical presentation of ideas that I now see everywhere when I learn new languages.

By Pritesh S

Aug 06, 2020

Arguably the best MOOC on Coursera. I wish professor Dan Grossman would upload more such MOOCs soon !!

By Caleb

Apr 25, 2020

Great intro to ideas behind programs and also a fun way to learn some functional programming concepts.

By Robert M

Sep 02, 2016

Excellent coverage of the topic. Must see if you want to grasp the functional programming paradigm.

By Akash B P

Sep 23, 2018

The professor's enthusiasm for programming languages rubbed off on me. Can't wait to start Part B

By Rizwan Q

Jun 12, 2020

i thoroughly enjoyed the course, the instructor was very good and made the whole experience fun

By Ervin L

Jan 30, 2017

Fantastic course from Prof. Grossman. Would recommend to anyone interested in Computer Science.

By Jeff T

Feb 22, 2018

Course materials and videos very good. A wonderful experience for this old coder! Thank you!

By sai

Oct 15, 2016

Great course. You can learn the most import concepts about the functional programming language

By shaahin k

Apr 12, 2019

the idea of start by sml is briliant and very helpful about the base of programming languages

By Sixiang C

Aug 30, 2017

This is good first course in Funtional programming.

The materials and exercises are excellent.

By Ahmed E

Mar 18, 2020

Very good and organized course material, with really amazing teaching by prof. Dan Grossman

By Orlando S

Feb 13, 2017

Good course to improve software development undestanding functional programming languages

By Vinicius S

Sep 02, 2019

A challenging rewarding course, a must-have for aspiring programmers. I learned a lot.

By Ziyang G

Aug 27, 2018

It was super fun and helpful to get to know the basic ideas of functional programming.

By Stan Z

Dec 16, 2016

Excellent course. I wanted to learn ML for a long time. Planning to take Part B and C

By Vivekanand G N

Jun 10, 2019

This is a fantastic and ground breaking course. A must in every programmer's toolbox

By Patrick B

Dec 19, 2018

Excellent overview of SML and great introduction to functional programming concepts.

By Liao T

Jun 26, 2018

Great content for programming language, but too many videos seem to be overwhelming.