Started CS50 two weeks ago

I’m seriously looking to change careers with the training available here. After reading around the forum I picked up on how important it was to take the CS50 course. I already had experience with Scratch, so Week 0 was easy enough.

Week 1. Oh, my. I wasn’t getting what I needed from the lecture or additional videos, so I took a quick break and I’m using the CS50 IDE with C Programming: The Ultimate Beginners Guide. It’s really helpful to work through each example code, building difficulty as I go.

Did anyone else have this experience, or am I just reeeeealy slow picking this stuff up?

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It’s ok you will know what you need when you start problem set 1

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When i did CS50 i already had programming experience, so i remember things only got hard at problem set 6. But expect the pattern to go throughout the course, it’s challenging but not impossible.

The book i used, and i highly recommend it, was “C Primer plus”. It’s really well written, i used it as a reference, it was particularly helpful when trying to understand structs.


Are you just watching the Lectures or are you following along and coding with David? I find that helps tremendously… since Im not just looking at him do it, but actively working on the examples. I almost always mess up and get error messages or things dont work like it should have, so I end up having to go through my code to compare it against his to see what I did wrong which helps a lot to understanding it… A lot of if is repetition too…I have been so tempted to just copy and paste stuff I keep writing over and over with each example since for the most part they build on each other and esp since he types so fast!!! But Ive resisted since I know thats a good way to build up muscle memory.

At least in Week 1, the psets were pretty much a combination of all the things he taught during the Lecture, it was just a matter of putting it all together. The walkthrough helps a lot too so make sure you watch that as well cause it filled in the blanks…kind of a push in the right direction with hints to what to use from the lecture to solve the psets. So, if you are not already doing it, maybe it would help if you open up the IDE and code along with David during the lectures.

I hear you. I actually took a break from CS50 and plan to go back to it when I feel a little better prepared…

That said, I did manage to complete pset1. I bogged down in pset2. It sounds like you are doing the right thing, giving yourself a foundation in the material. Good luck!

I’ve only just done pset2 myself, but make sure you watch the Walkthrough videos. They don’t give away the answer and can include functions you’ll need that haven’t been covered in the lecture. I’ve had to search to see what’s possible to do in C, since I’m learning it alongside JavaScript and it’s a bit more rigid.

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Thank you :slight_smile:

That’s a good idea. It’s what I’m doing with the book I found. I have the book open in the Kindle Cloud Reader and the IDE in another tab. Very helpful.


Sounds like a plan! Yeah, definitely for books I have to code along too… Im reading the You Dont Know Javascript series… its just so much info and I dont understand a lot of it, but if Im coding the examples it helps me stay focused.

Yeah, this stuff is pretty challenging, thats for sure. But it wil alll be so worth it in the end :slight_smile:

CS50 is meant to be hard, in fact I think he had posted on the CS50 blog maybe a year or so ago that only 1% or so of people actually finish all the way through from those that start.

So don’t get down on yourself if you get stuck. In fact I did C.S. in college, and the course was honestly probably worth a good semester and a half on coding.

Make sure to pay attention to the lectures, they really do contain helpful hints for solving the problem sets.

I’m going to get that Java series when I return back to my study on FCC. I stopped to work on the CS50 course, which I’ve now paused to work through a text on C. On one hand I feel like I’m not getting anywhere, because I keep jumping back to study something more in depth.

I’m enjoying it, so that’s a good sign. :slight_smile:

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That’s good to know. I do like a challenge, but I hate feeling like I’m missing something. So for now, I’ll work through what I need of this book so I can successfully complete pset 1. I’m almost there!

Just keep swimming, right :slight_smile:

@renmew Ooh remember not Java… JavaScript… Im like you though, Im bouncing around quite a bit, but trying to keep progressing through on everything so I try not to take pause on any one thing for more than a day or two. Also, every time I complete a sub task, its really motivating.

So very important that you are enjoying yourself, thats a good thing! Def dont want to stress yourself out to the point of burnout and back away altogether… Like my relationship with the gym for example :laughing:

But yeah, I dont see anything wrong with hitting pause and using another resource to delve deeper. Don’t forget though, that there are a ton of CS50 resources / communities to get some help and guidance for the Psets. Studying can feel so solitary, necessary even…Ive only ever learned on my own til now but Im starting to see the value in the community learning vibe.

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I’m taking it a step further (I guess I’m just a masochist) and am writing the psets in C#, since I’m already learning it in college :stuck_out_tongue:

ya this discipline is no joke… and to be good takes loads of practice…

its really hard, and to make thing worse most humans don’t speak/think like computers so this is not natural… some younger people pick up things naturally and easier so I try to remind myself that they have been at it for years… I think David said he’s been at this for 20 years… also, he talks alot (shoves a tonne of context into his lectures so its easy for a lay person to get spun around).

Remember also, its a Harvard course so most of the audience are outliers in terms how intelligent/disciplined they are… they want to be challenged, walk away with an exceptional understanding…

Ya’ like you said just keep swimming, and hit it again and again, over and over, small bites

its not magic, and its not impossible… just really different from what non CS people are used to… when you finish you’ll be glad you stuck it out, and when/if you get the Harvard CS t shirt… you can wear it with pride knowing how many hours (of blood sweat and tears) went into it… :slight_smile:

this was on the resources section

Sometimes I forget the fact that it’s a harvard course, so it’s meant to be the top of the top! Cause compared to my college CS courses it was WAY harder, but also way better taught.

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Hi @renmew,

I failed my first college CS101 course, but just stuck with it. I graduated about 5.5 years ago now, and have been programming ever since that first failed class. It’s tough, but doable :slight_smile:

Hey man, I stumbled upon your recommendation by chance and just wanted to drop by to say thank you. This book is a excelent resource. I am starting week 5 and this book is helping me a lot in reviewing the most difficult concepts.

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you coming back here and saying how good the book was helped me. thank you all <3