A useful programming course in Python

Submitted by Nicola Rainiero on 2013-07-01 (last updated on 2015-06-14)

Two weeks ago I finished an interesting course offered by Coursera and called "An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python". If you are looking for a funny and pleasant method to learn the basics of object programming and how to create simple interactive games, you have to take it. Below I am going to describe just a little my opinions and to show you a screencast of my mini-projects.

I needed to understand some aspect of the object-oriented programming and how classes, methods, sets could have improved my programming skills. At present I haven't become an expert in videogames, but I have learnt how the use of these structures might improve my programming software.

Pong mini-project "An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python" was my first course at Coursera, "an educational technology company offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) founded by computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford University. Coursera works with universities to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, and other areas"1.

Sometimes in the past I had watched videos by Consorzio Nettuno, however in Coursera the interaction student-lessons-course is more advanced: not only a passive fruition of the contents but also a direct stimulation using quizzes and projects with deadlines and scores. Besides if you have any problems, you can consult the forum and find many solutions. Above all the signing up is free!

Blackjack mini-project In this Python course I learnt some basics to create interactive contents and the theory for moving, showing, creating, exploding objects in the canvas. Besides as you can see in the syllabus, the learning of the course material is helped with enjoyable "mini-projects" in Python.

The instructors are Joe Warren, Scott Rixner, John Greiner, Stephen Wong from the Rice University. Joe Warren is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Scott Rixner is the associated professor who built CodeSkulptor, a browser-based Python interpreter used in this course.

Asteroids (Ricerocks) mini-project It takes 9 weeks and in each one you have to do 2 quizzes relating at the released lessons and to create the assigned mini-project with Codeskulptur. Another good aspect is the evaluation stage of the mini-projects: you have to evaluate five different student projects filling up a form and then to grade yourself. At the end of the course you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment only if your score is larger than 70% in the class.

I can't put my code because it wouldn't be correct for people that want register to it. Anyway I think it's better for you to watch my short screencast and deciding to take or not this amazing course!

P.S. Never mind for graphics and sounds, they will be included in the template of the projects, but if you don't like them, you can ever change them.

A screencast of my mini-projects realized during "An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python"

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Nicola Rainiero

A civil geotechnical engineer with the ambition to facilitate own work with free software for a knowledge and collective sharing. Also, I deal with green energy and in particular shallow geothermal energy. I have always been involved in web design and 3D modelling.