Intro CS Resources

A common question for those new to computer science is – where to begin? What is the simplest way to understand about computers? Or to understand about programming? Here are some tips:

To understand computers, understand the command line.

There could be no better advice than this. All the utilities and commands the operating system uses are available from the command line. If you want to understand how a computer works, invest the time to understand the command line. Here is a link to a great tutorial that will work on Linux or Mac.

Unix Tutorial for Beginners:

To understand programming, understand how others solve problems.

Programming is separate from understanding how a computer operates. This is not counter-intuitive. The idea behind programming languages was to abstract away the low level details of how computers operate.

To understand how to program is to understand how to solve a problem, logically. This understanding best comes from exposure to multiple approaches to solve the same problem. Python is the current language of choice to introduce new students to computer science. If you are learning the language for the first time, find a quality hard copy book that you can read. When you learn the basics of how to run a Python program, try out this site:

CheckiO Python Game Site:

This approach is tremendous at growing programming skills. You need to solve challenging problems. Then you get to see other’s solutions. This is the most important part; how did others solve the same problem. What can be learned from these different approaches.