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Chris Dziewa

I love learning about culture, languages, history, computer science and many other things.

Chris Dziewa
Waukesha
Computer Science
Other

CS50's Introduction to Computer Science

Written a year ago
I thought this was a great introduction to computer science. The instructor David Malan is one of the most charismatic instructors I've ever seen. The team behind this course did a phenomenal job in creating an extremely thought out curriculum with challenging and interesting problem sets. This is not an easy course but was well worth the effort.
My rating
Chris Dziewa completed this course.

How to Code: Simple Data

Written a year ago
Interesting course that has taken much of the guess work out of working with data and designing functions. It teaches a systematic approach for programming with an emphasis on letting the data build the function as well as test-driven development.

This course was different than any I have previously taken. It uses Beginning Student Language which can feel tedious at times, but there is value in this choice. The course was very well organized. There were only a couple topics that could've used more explanation, though this is probably why the course was split into two (taking the second now).

I am glad to have taken this course and only wish that I would've had this available 5 years ago when I started programming because it creates good habits from the beginning. If, like me, you have been programming on your own for a while but feel you could be better, I highly recommend this course. Just remember not to overthink recursion, trust it!

My rating
Chris Dziewa completed this course, spending 9 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

Software Construction: Data Abstraction

Written 11 months ago
I am taking this course now and am on the last module. I do like that this course teaches Java in a very different way. The material teaches the architecture of a Java program before worrying about teaching simple syntax. It quickly moves on to teach test-driven development. It is a nice way to learn a new language (though I have some Java experience with Android).

What is disappointing to me about this class, however, is the ambiguity in tests and exercises and the very short coverage of some of the more challenging material. The previous courses in the series (How to Code: Simple Data and Complex Data) were, in my opinion, much more thought out and limited the amount of ambiguity. In this course I often feel like the quizzes are made up of trick questions, where I understand the program, yet get things wrong due to strange wording. I also do not enjoy how little coverage designing program architecture gets. Often the exercises ask you for one thing but the solution files reflect different expectations. Hopefully this is remedied in the next course. I unfortunately can't wait until this course is done because it just feels tedious, despite some of the positive things the course has going for it.
My rating
Chris Dziewa completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

Software Construction: Object-Oriented Design

Written 11 months ago
This course has the honor of being the worst Computer Science and programming course I've taken to date. It is a shame because the subject material is very interesting and important. I was able to breeze through the lecture and study materials. And therein lies the problem,-there weren't enough of them. I feel like this ended up being a quick summary of the things that were important to software development. It glossed over the important concepts without connecting the themes together in a progressive manner yet required a high level of understanding in some of the quizzes and in the final project.

Quizzes ended up being more guess work than proof of understanding with their use of ambiguous language and a command of the concepts that was not taught. This all came to a head in the final project which required a great understanding of not only the poorly taught concepts but of the Java programming language as well, including graphics- a concept that wasn't even mentioned. Very disappointed as I really enjoyed the How to Code series which is part of the same micro masters program that this 2 course series belongs to.
My rating
Chris Dziewa is taking this course right now, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

Programming Languages, Part B

Written 5 months ago
I will preface this by saying that I liked the first course and the instructor is extremely intelligent. The first week of part B was difficult but more straight-forward. The second week seemed easy but I ended up spending about 20 hours debugging one function, only to find that I had it right but that an earlier function was incorrect despite passing tests. The most challenging thing about this course was wasting time in the forums when I couldn't even post my code to find out where I went wrong. I believe that knowing where to look for information is way more important in programming than attempting to figure out everything on your own when you aren't getting anywhere. In a classroom, I could ask for help and be guided to what I am doing wrong. This isn't possible here. My other gripe with this course is that a lot of the directions and questions in Week 2, several of the lectures, and questions and choices on the final quiz seem confusingly worded as if they are made in such a way as to trip you up. I felt a great sense of accomplishment when finishing Part A. It was very difficult for me. I had to keep extending my deadline but I pushed through. I don't feel the same about this second part. I hope that part C will be more like part A.
My rating
Chris Dziewa is taking this course right now, spending 20 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

Programming Languages, Part C

Written 4 months ago
I was very mixed on these 3 courses. Definitely the most difficult courses I've taken for programming. The professor is brilliant but I often found myself lost in the pace and complexity of explaining the most difficult or abstract concepts. I liked most of the programming assignments but the quizzes were only frustrating. It is hard when you can't have an instructor go over things individually when you don't understand. Coursera's honor code policy prevents you from getting the help when you need it. The final quiz combined 3 courses of knowledge without talking about what to review. I still will never know why I got the questions wrong that I did on the final or even on the practice quiz. Therefore, I will not grasp those concepts with this material. A feedback loop is what I believe is the missing link.
My rating
Chris Dziewa completed this course, spending 15 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

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