Programming for Beginners

Basic Principles and Practical Experience
Programming is a true twenty-first century skill, allowing you to really explore the wonderful – and crucial – world of data and computers. Aimed at beginners, this course teaches you the basic principles of programming through hands-on exercises.
Course levelAdvanced Bachelor, open to Master, PhD staff and professionals
Session 218 July to 1 August 2020
Recommended course combination in session 1 
Big Data in Society, Big Data Management and Analysis in Linux, Data Analysis in R
Co-ordinating lecturerAtze van der Ploeg, Jasper Veltman
Other lecturerstba
Form(s) of tuitionLectures, practicals
Form(s) of assessmenttba
ECTS  3 credits
Contact hours45
Tuition fee€1150, read more about what's included.
Any student or professional with little or no experience of programming who wants to learn its basic principles.

During this course you will learn how to solve problems using structured programming. We will use the language Python, but the skills and principles taught in this course are applicable in any programming language. The topics covered are:

  • What is a programming language? 
  • What is an algorithm? 
  • Types 
  • Operators 
  • Variables 
  • If statements 
  • Loops 
  • Functions 
  • Parameters 
  • Return types 
  • Scope 
  • Structuring your program 
  • Input/output

At the end if this course, you:

  • Have gained experience in thinking in an abstract and logical way. 
  • Are able to structurally solve simple computational problems.
  • Understand the basic principles of programming.
  • Have acquired some programming ability in Python.
  • Have acquired some expertise in writing code and debugging programs. 
Slides from the lectures and further reading will be provided during the course.
Atze is a programming lecturer at the Computer Science department of the VU. His background is in programming language research, especially functional programming, which was also the focus of his PhD at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica.
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