Coursera's Julia Scientific Programming course really sucks!

Coursera’s introductory course:
really sucks! Bad publicity, I would say. Dumb examples and quizes, low video and image quality, coding errors :grimacing: I think Julia deserves better. I mean, compared to the very good R courses they offer.


I pressed “like” by mistake. I do not necessarily approve of the uncharitable description of the course.

But, it isn’t a very good course, true. There are some misleading statements about the language in there ( for instance at one point the presenter states that arrays must be homogeneous). And, it is true that Julia deserves a good course. However, if we don’t like one course, we can create a better one. For a few examples of excellent Julia courses, see


In the beginning, I tried to learn Julia with that course, but it wasn’t appealing to me too!
They explain about the details of some irrelevant example that doesn’t help learn Julia’s syntax.

I learned Julia using this:

It is concise, to the point, and much better than Courera’s lesson!


For Coursera, possibly. I am not sure it reflects on the language.

There are a lot of good quality sources now for learning Julia. A curated list is available at

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This course, or at least, ads for the course, is how I discovered Julia. I never did the course itself - the tutorial at got me up and running.


I know, but Coursera is quite popular and influential, the Julia project should not ignore it, I think.

I am not sure what you are suggesting here.

AFAIK, Coursera is a paid service (if you want to earn grades etc). I am not sure I see the role of this community in improving their courses — they should hire some experts to do this. Perhaps you or others can contact them and share your concerns about the quality of their course (possibly worded more politely), maybe they are not aware of it.

IMO the best this community can do is

  1. make better learning materials available for free (many people have done this), and keep them up to date (this is harder, but there are some nice examples),
  2. maintain a curated list of these materials,
  3. direct people to these.

Also, FWIW, if one is not learning Julia as their first programming language ever, one could do much worse than just work though the manual. It is very nicely written and well-maintained.


I took that course, but I already knew some Julia at that point and found it fairly basic. It would be great to have better online classes, and I think that’s the idea behind Julia Academy. My guess if that, as with everything, more adoption will lead to more available content. Developing a nice MOOC is a lot of work and people and organizations have to really be behind the idea to produce something that is high quality. In Coursera, you learn to recognize pretty quickly which organizations and universities produce nice classes, and unfortunately not all of them do.

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