About a week ago I finished Algorithms, Part I course on Coursera. Few thoughts after completing this course:

  • good course by Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne that is focused primarily on algorithms and their analysis
  • great refresher especially for those who worked in the industry for a while
  • course uses Java as programming language, but having very little Java experience wasn’t a problem, being proficient in C++ and especially C# helped a lot
  • the course focuses mostly on application of existing algorithms but does not focus on the algorithm design which is its biggest drawback
  • Dr. Java IDE that comes with the course is terrible. Instead, I used Eclipse and version of Java that the default course setup installs on your machine (see previous post on how to configure Eclipse for this course)
  • the course does not provide a verified certificate which is a bummer especially after all the hard work
  • all of the programming tasks were fun and challenging
  • lecture and slides are helpful but you obviously need to do your own learning in addition to that

In order to be successful in this class, you need to:

  • make sure you keep delivering exercises and programming assignments before the due date or at least hard deadline. For me it was a big challenge in the beginning due to packed schedule but I had supportive environment and overall experience was smooth.
  • do not study if you’re tired after work – instead, get a good night of sleep and study when your brain is fresh – sounds like a no-brainer but it’s not so obvious until you experience double load – both at work and in the class
  • do not use Dr Java – it’s almost impossible to debug your code fast, especially complex data types. Install Eclipse. Enough said.
  • try to have fun and enjoy every moment of it!

Overall, I recommend this class.