I've (quite literally) started to learn programming through CS50 and am currently at the end of the week 2 lectures.

I'm having a problem that I seem to miss some concepts not explicitly explained in the lectures. For example, week 1 lectures don't explain pointers, but I suddenly see them everywhere, including a WEEK 1 short (https://courses.edx.org/courses/HarvardX/CS50x3/2015/courseware/b2f7d86728354866a2c4438e76c3ec55/4e7caab4e40f4e539ba6d1031d808972/).

David seems to just skim over the concept of command line arguments(week 2) or the existences of escape sequences, such as \n \r \' to printf(week 1). I can't find additional information, but suddenly everyone seems to know them. Is there some part of the courseware I'm missing, by any chance?

Oh, I'm taking this course through edX by the way. Thanks!

  • 1
    pointers are issued in more detail later the course (I think in week 4 or so). Also there's a short on command-line arguments. And you probably shouldn't expect everything to be issued in the resources. You have to do more effort to find answers to the questions that you have.
    – kzidane
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 14:33
  • If you haven't done so already, I would get an electronic copy of one or both textbooks, and do the suggested readings for each week. Some of the shorts/walkthroughs are delivered out of sequence, but you can always go back to them. Commented May 22, 2015 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


Think about it like this...

One, the point of the lecture is too give you just a broad understanding of how things work in programming. He wants you to understand concepts used for the problem sets. If he were to try teaching you everything in the lecture, it would go on for hours and hours. The shorts are what teach you more in depth/detail. Same with CS50 fourms and the textbooks.

Two, since this is a Harvard course, like many of the best schools, they expect you to find answers out yourself. That is the underlying principle for being successful.

  • Thank you for the comment. For a long time I've been forgetting about the merits of 'finding answers by myself' Now I'll stick to it.
    – JinSunYoo
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 23:51

I am just about to start pset1, After watching just the lectures I too had problems understanding some concepts, but after going through the suggested chapters of the text books, things are a bit more clear.Would really suggest to go through the text book too.

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