Welcome to 2013, where everyone either is a programmer or wishes they were one. False dichotomy, you say? You’re right…everyone is a programmer.
Really. Some people are just more into it than others, and many discount the things they do every day that count as basic programming. For those of us on the oh-man-i-could-never-do-that-it’s-so-complex end of the programming spectrum, the Web has come alive in the last couple of years with all sorts of sites covering the basics. I can tell you this: they’re fun. And they work. And they’ll make you better at a whole bunch of stuff you already do.
Today’s resource is one that could get lost in the mix — Bradley Kjell’s Introduction to Computer Science Using Java. Now, Java has its admirers and its detractors, but that’s almost wholly beside the point: programming is about much more than the syntax or foibles of a particular language; programming is a way of communicating and of thinking about communication.
We’ve aligned Professor Kjell’s work with our CS101: Introduction to Computer Science course (and he has kindly given us permission to re-use his work). Here’s a quick overview:
A clean, clear, modular, readily accessible web-text that will introduce you to computer systems and architecture, terminology, and the basics of programming in Java (most of which translate pretty easily into other computing languages).
Bradley Kjell, Ph.D. – Computer Science Department Chair at Central Connecticut State University.
The reading is short and to the point, the text is packed with exercises you can try in browser or using very simple software, and well-designed quizzes help you iron out wrinkles in your understanding. The modular format makes it easy to skip around, revise old work, and get some learning done even when you’ve only got ten minutes to spare.
Give it a try…the investment is small, and the payoff more than proportional.
8 thoughts on “We Love Resources – Bradley Kjell’s Programming Lessons”
“the investment is small, and the payo”… the post got cut off here.
Ah. Whoops :-/
Thanks for the heads up!
Re: why everyone should embrace at least a little programming know-how, Belle said it much better here: http://blog.hellocode.co/post/why-im-learning-to-code
Kjell’s web resources are great. The Java program is not just good for learning Java, but modern programming in general.
He has other lessons that are also good. One for vector math, which is necessary in computer graphics, and another for MIPS assembly programming. He also has some graphics programming lessons for manipulating 2d images in C.
The links on this page in the Introduction to Computer Science course on the Saylor.org site are wrong
They seem okay on our end? Are there particular links that are going astray?
I had the honor of meeting Dr Kjell at the AP reading several years ago and I thanked him for keeping his materials up as many of my students have used his materials as a refresher when they get stuck.
Thanks for sharing the anecdote! I’m pleased that you were able to thank him in person. His lessons are so lucid and, in an unassuming way, quite engaging.
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