XSeries Program Overview

This XSeries presents a programming method that will enable you to produce well-structured programs — programs that tell a clear story about what they do, are well tested, and are easy for others to improve. This series differs from other online programming courses by focusing on a general design method, rather than how to program in a specific language.

The approach is practical and hands on; most of your work in these courses will consist of you writing programs using the design method. Part 1 begins with simple programs, which many programmers could easily write without using the design method. By the end of Part 1 you will have learned the core of the design method, and will be ready to apply it to more challenging problems. In Part 2 you will learn about more elaborate forms of data and you will begin to learn how to independently expand your understanding of the design method. And in Part 3, you will apply the design method to programs that would challenge even experienced programmers.

The series is designed for beginners who have never programmed before. But at the same time, many experienced programmers have taken these courses, and reported that it made them better programmers. So you can take these courses as an introduction to programming, or later in your career to enhance your skills.

This is a series of 3 courses that are best taken in order. If the current start dates are inconvenient, please check back often as they are always being added.


What You’ll Learn

  • To organize data and represent information effectively
  • Techniques for focusing each part of your program on one task
  • How to use examples to flesh out program requirements
  • Approaches for simplifying program structure to take advantage of common patterns
  • How to combine patterns in complex code
“I have taken and completed tens of MOOCs on programming and computer science, I have even been and I am currently a TA in some of these courses. Among them are a few that deserve without hesitation the highest rate. But if I had to choose only one at the top of them it would be the SPD series.
– edX Learner