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Computer Programming Courses

Learn programming with free online courses from real college courses from Harvard, MIT, and more of the world's leading universities. Pick up essential coding skills needed for frontend and/or backend web development, machine learning, IOS, Android, and much more.

Overview

What is computer programming?

Computer programming is the process of writing instructions that get executed by computers. The instructions, also known as code, are written in a programming language which the computer can understand and use to perform a task or solve a problem.

Basic computer programming involves the analysis of a problem and development of a logical sequence of instructions to solve it. There can be numerous paths to a solution and the computer programmer seeks to design and code that which is most efficient. Among the programmer’s tasks are understanding requirements, determining the right programming language to use, designing or architecting the solution, coding, testing, debugging and writing documentation so that the solution can be easily understood by other programmers.

Computer programming is at the heart of computer science. It is the implementation portion of software development, application development and software engineering efforts, transforming ideas and theories into actual, working solutions.

Learn Basic Programming for Beginners with Online Courses and Classes

edX offers a plethora of classes targeted to new and beginning coders. These introductory classes provide a step by step tutorial on how to code using your favorite language. Harvard's CS50's Introduction to Computer Science, an entry level course, teaches you how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include basic concepts in abstraction, algorithms, operating systems,  data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development using languages such as C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript plus CSS and HTML. Problem sets are inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming.

Learn to code with online computer programming courses

Computer science is the most popular subject on edX and there are outstanding programming courses from top universities and institutions including Harvard, MIT, Microsoft and W3C available to help you get started. Start with an introductory course in computer science such as Harvard’s popular CS50 or MIT’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python to learn key concepts and fundamentals. IITBombay also offers self-paced beginner courses in programming including Programming Basics and Object-Oriented Programming that focus on logical thinking and programming best practices. Online certificates are available for all courses and some, such as Arizona State University’s Programming for Everyone: Introduction to Programming, offer the ability to apply for college credit.

Next, dive into different computer programming languages. Programming tutorials and courses are available to introduce you to coding in Java, JavaScript, Python, HTML, R, C++ and many more. Discover the similarities between different languages and gain an understanding of which language is the right one for a particular task.

Want to go further? Enroll in an advance MicroMasters program to build on your knowledge and experience. Online computer courses are available in software development and testing and provide advanced training designed to jumpstart a computer programming degree or master’s degree in the field.

Jobs in computer programming

A skilled and experienced computer programmer can essentially write their own ticket. There are thousands of open jobs in programming and related fields. For example, a search for available positions for Java programmers on Indeed.com at the time of this article had over ten thousand results. And that’s just in the United States. People wishing to enter the world of computer programming can choose to specialize in any number of popular programming languages and find many entry-level opportunities. Get started as a junior programmer in the language of your choice and gain the experience and skills to move up the ladder to software engineer or even Chief Technology Officer.

Explore a career as a computer programmer

Take a beginner course in computer science or any number of programming languages and see if this exciting, in-demand field is right for you. Introductory, self-paced courses are available now to help you learn to code in many different languages. Enroll and start learning today.

Whether you are looking to accelerate your career, earn a degree, or learn something for personal reasons, edX has the courses for you.