1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Best Programming courses

  1. Feb 19, 2015 #1
    Im fairly inexperienced when it comes to programming. I realized a lot of internships require knowledge of programming. So, my question for you guys is: Since I'm a new master's student, and looking to become more competitive for jobs and internships, what sort of programming courses would prove most beneficial for me?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2015 #2
    Learn C++ (or Java) and Algorithms. After that you can pick up just about anything else in a snap.
     
  4. Feb 19, 2015 #3
    Would that be roughly 2-3 courses? Im pretty ignorant to what the progression would be like in those courses.
     
  5. Feb 19, 2015 #4
    Have a look at your universities course list for computer science, but 2-3 courses to get a nice introduction seems right.
     
  6. Feb 20, 2015 #5

    donpacino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What field are you in?
    i would recommend C++, java, or python depending on the application. If you had to pick one in general I would say C++. after C python and java should be easy to learn.

    look up code academy
    edit (fixed the typos, wow that was bad)
     
  7. Feb 20, 2015 #6
    For scientific computing or anything requiring matrix manipulation, python is the way to go. C# is more for general purpose. MATLAB has no equal for visualization, but it isn't a real language.
     
  8. Feb 22, 2015 #7

    esuna

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Language doesn't really matter

    A course in data structures (stacks, queues, lists and graphs)
    Algorithms

    Everything after that is down to interest.
     
  9. Feb 22, 2015 #8

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Does that mean that maybe C++ is too hard or advanced and someone should learn Python or Java, first?
     
  10. Feb 22, 2015 #9

    donpacino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    C is the foundation for most languages, including java and python. from C you can transition to almost any other language out there will relative ease.
    That being said, some other languages allow you to take 'shortcuts' or implement their code in such a way that it is very easy to do certain things. This however is a 'gimmick' for that particular language. Users who get comfortable with that gimmick may have a harder time transitioning to a language that does not allow it.

    It also very much depends on your field and how you plan on using your programing.

    note: i prob should have said C instead of C++ as a start.
     
  11. Feb 22, 2015 #10

    donpacino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I was just doing some research to make sure i wasn't talking out of my butt just now, and I found this article stating why you should learn C. Given it is one person's opinion, but it does have some good info.

    http://iel.ucdavis.edu/publication/WhyC.html

    note: I do think it is still IMPORTANT to know the field of the OP.
     
  12. Feb 23, 2015 #11

    symbolipoint

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Nice article. Then the emphasis is on learning C. When does who become ready to learn C? Must the person, student or other, need to have some electrical, electronic device technical knowledge to start learning C? Could someone with a couple algebra and geometry courses to his credit learn C who otherwise has no device/electrical/electronic knowledge? Can a regular person who has a few years of experience working in Basic Education outside of sciences and has in his possession only a laptop computer with Windows operating system, learn C?
     
  13. Feb 23, 2015 #12

    donpacino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I would say the olny prerequisites for learning to code are a good understanding of algebra, the ability to learn and understand logic devices (AND, OR, IF), the ability to proficiently use a computer. After that you might need domain knowledge for specific applications (example: making a program that computes the mean of multiple inputs requires statistics knowledge).
    You do not need electrical knowledge to start learning. It might help you in understanding what is going on under the hood, but that can be dealt with later (if you desire).

    I would recommend using an IDE to start, as opposed to a compiler. It will have built in debugging tools. Also look up the difference between the two. i use eclipse.
    I would find a good tutorial or person to get you started.
     
  14. Feb 23, 2015 #13
    I use Python for my physics class. It isn't too bad and slightly easy to pick up. In terms of classes, you should just teach yourself depending on how high level of programming you are looking for. If it's high, then take the classes.
     
  15. Feb 23, 2015 #14
    I am a Physics Master's student. I unfortunately was unable to get any courses in computation. My undergrad institution offered a course in computer assisted problem solving, which used a lot of Python. I am looking to get internships, and I always see that they want some comfortability with programming. I just don't know where to start.. My department now doesn't seem to offer any sort of computation, so i need to go outside of my physics department.
     
  16. Feb 24, 2015 #15
    Code Academy was already mentioned. They have a variety of courses that could be used to learn the concept of "structured language programming" at little or no cost other than your time & initiative. Language IIRC are Python, PHP, others.
    Another one is Coursera. I recall there was a fully-developed Python class offered by some instructor at Uni of Michigan. Set up with individual class topics, using the freeware Python language, and if you insisted on getting a grade you could pay for the exam and get credit for the course.

    From an old code-warrior who learned his skills with FORTRAN on a mainframe WATFIV compiler in the punch-card era, I can say without reservation: we live in an amazing time and you would be completely stupid not to take advantage of the opportunities presented nowadays.
     
  17. Feb 25, 2015 #16

    donpacino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    for a physics masters student, i would say python and C. Python will most likely be more useful in your application, that being said both will likely be needed.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Best Programming courses
  1. Best job? (Replies: 29)

Loading...