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Learn Programming - An Introduction For Non-Programmers

Learn how to write your own computer programs. This course is a stepping stone into the world of programming.
4.3 (15 ratings)
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113 students enrolled
Last updated 3/2015
$19 $40 52% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Understand the basic concepts of programming
Be prepared to learn any programming language
View Curriculum
  • We will start from the very beginning. We will install the software needed as we go. You will not need any pre-knowledge at all.

This course will help you unlock the mysteries of programming. We will step-by-step look at the fundamental building blocks found in almost all programming languages. We will use Python as our tool, but this is not an introduction to Python, our focus is on the concepts of programming.

After this course you will have a solid foundation to learn any programming language as you will recognize everything you learned during this course.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for anyone who is curios about programming, no matter if you going to study it on university or just want to learn some programming for your own use.
  • This is NOT a course for you if you already have some programming expirience in any programming language.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 63 Lectures Collapse All 63 Lectures 02:52:55
Introduction to the course
3 Lectures 07:02

An overview of the course and its content

Preview 02:18

In this lecture we will download the software we need. There is a pdf-file in the supplemental material for this lecture that you can find here at the side. This file will give the download links you need and some links to installation instructions if needed.

Downloading and installing the software we need

We talk about the programs and the code that will be written during the course and how you can get copies of it.

The code for the programs we write
Computers and applications
6 Lectures 15:21

Introduction to Section 2 - Computers and applications

Preview 00:59

We examine the only language the computer understands; machine language. You will see how programming has developed from writing programs using only numbers, to assembly language and the to what we use today.

Preview 06:47

How can the code we write be translated into something the computer understands? We talk about interpreters and compilers.

Preview 02:37

What is a programming language? Why are there so many of them? How to choose one to learn?

Programming languages

To be able to write programs we will need some tools in the form of different programs. We talk about what we need, and what these programs can offer us as programmers.

Tools for programmers

Summary of section 2

Summary of section 2 - Computers and applications

Test yourself with some questions from section 2

Quiz - Computers and applications
4 questions
3 Lectures 14:55

Introduction to the first concept of programming, the sequence

Introduction to sequence

Now it is time to write some code. We take a first look at what this is all about.

Instructions and statments

The flow of a program is all about the sequence. But in this lecture we will also write our first real program.

The flow of a program
Data and data types
8 Lectures 20:43

Introduction to section 4 - Data and data types

Introduction to data and data types

A variable is one of the most useful things we will find in programming. What is it? How does it work? That is what we cover here.


A variable has a type. What does this mean? This lecture is a short introduction to the ones that follows.

Data types

We will often work with numbers. But numbers will come in different forms. What are those and why will we need to bother about it?

Numeric data types

Life is not all about numbers. The string data type will let us use text and other types of characters in our programs.

String data type

The boolean data type is all about true and false.

The Boolean data type

Other programming languages will handle data types a bit different than Python. We will look at the biggest differences and also talk about types not found in Python.

Data types in other languages

Summary of section 4

Summary data and data types

Test your knowledge

Quiz - Data and data types
3 questions
7 Lectures 10:23

We use operators all the time when we write programs. In this section we will take a closer look at them, group them into to different types and we will also try some of them.

Introduction to operators

What is an operator? When do we use them?

What is an operator

We have seen them before, but here we take a closer look on operation we can perform on numbers.

Operations on numbers

Some of the operators we used on numbers can be used on strings and some can't. We try to see what we and can't do.

Operations on strings

We covered some operators in this section, but there are many more.

How many operators are there?

Other languages have some operators that we don't have in Python. Here we will look at some of the more frequently used operators in languages such as Java, C++ and PHP.

Operators in other languages

Summary of section 5

Summary operators

Test your knowledge.

Quiz - Operators
4 questions
7 Lectures 11:10

Sometimes we want to store more than one value in a variable, but a normal variable can only hold one value at the time. With the help of containers we can store multiple values under one single name.

Introduction to containers

What is a container? When do we use them? Here we will start our exploration of containers.

What is a container?

List is the most common type of container we will use in programming. Here we will see how we can use it.


When we have the need of a container we can often use a list but sometimes we need more specialized container types.

Dictionaries and tuples

A short lecture that will address the question of a string can be considered a type of container or not.

Are strings containers?

In other languages we will find some types of containers that are not implemented in Python.

Containers in other languages

Summary section 6

Summary containers

Test your knowledge

Quiz - Containers
4 questions
7 Lectures 16:41

Sometimes we need to repeat the same thing over and over again
Sometimes we need to repeat the same thing over and over again
Sometimes we need to repeat the same thing over and over again

Introduction to iteration

Before we see how we can repeat something we will need to figure out a way to define a block of code so we know what it is that will be repeated.

Defining a block of code

Sometimes we know how many times we will need to repeat something. Here we talk about how we can do this.

Repeating a fixed number of times

We we have store a number of things in a container we might want to do something with every item. It might be advanced calculations or maybe we just want to print each item in the container. Here we will see how we can make sure that we repeat just as many times as there are items in the container.

Iterating over a container

Imagine a bowl of candies and imagine that I tell you to take as many as you like. You will repeat the steps take a candy and put it in your mouth until you are full (or sick). Here we have a condition and this condition will tell us when to stop repeating.

Repeating until a condition is true (or false)

The syntax we use in Python for repeating will differ from most other programming languages. Here we will see what it can look like in other languages.

Iteration in other languages

Summary section 7

Summary iteration

Test your knowledge

Quiz - Iteration
3 questions
5 Lectures 08:53

If you are thirsty you will drink something. This is a condition. You will only drink if you are thirsty. We will use the same type of conditions in programming all the time. Here we explore how.

Introduction to selection

The if-statement is the most frequent method we will use for selections (or if you want, taking decissions).

The if statement, the most basic selection

If a condition is not met we might want to do something else.

If not? The else statement

There is one type of selection that we will not find in Python. Let us explore it.

Selection in other languages

Summary section 9

Summary selection

Test your knowledge

Quiz - Selection
2 questions
7 Lectures 19:25

We will often group a number of tasks together with a single name and when we know all the tasks that we need to perform we can use this name for them. For example, is I ask you to take the car and drive to the mall you know all the steps needed to drive the car, I will not need to explain them to you.

Open the car door, enter the car, insert key, ...

This is what functions is about.

Introduction to functions

How do we write a function?

Defining a function

OK great, now I have my function but how will I use it?

Calling a function

If we don't want our function to do exactly the same thing every time we use we might need to send some information to it so it can do things a bit different. Here we see how this works.

Passing values to a function - arguments

My function is performing this wonderful calculation. Now I will need a way that the function can tell me the result.

Returning a value from a function

Functions will look more or less the same in any language, but there are some differences.

Functions in other languages

Summary section 9

Summary functions

Test your knowledge

Quiz - Functions
3 questions
Object oriented programming
6 Lectures 23:53

Object orientation is a common way to structure a program. In this section we will look at the most important aspects of object oriented programming.

Introduction to object oriented programming

When we write object oriented programs we will do this with the help of objects. Objects are created using classes. Here we will see how this is done.

Classes and objects

Data and behavior are the two buildings blocks objects are made of. In this lecture we explore this.

Objects have data and behavior

In the previous lecture we wrote a program. In this lecture we will examine it and see how it works.

Classes and objects in use

There are some differences when it comes to how different languages implement object orientation.

Object oriented programming in other languages

Summary section 10

Summary object oriented programming

Test your knowledge

Quiz - Object oriented programming
3 questions
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
4.3 Average rating
15 Reviews
113 Students
1 Course
Professional Programming Instructor

Joakim has been a professional programmer for 20+ years. Even though he might say that his native language is C++ he has used a number of languages such as Java, C#, Assembler, PHP, JavaScript, Python, ActionScript, Visual Basic, and C to mention a few. He has experience as a self-employed programming consultant, method specialist in the financial sector, and programmer for secure financial transactions.

Ever since 1991 he has been teaching programming in one form or the other. He has been teaching kids how to take their first steps as programmers as well as teaching object oriented programming to Ukrainian university professors. He has been teaching graphics programming in C++ at an Indian university.

Joakim lives with his family in Sweden and is right now giving courses for professional developers in the telecom sector as well as giving longer courses at a polytechnic programming education.

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