Friday, February 3, 2012

Udacity - Learn IT from the Best... for Free

I've always placed programmers at pretty much the same level as Superman, Batman, Captain Planet, etc. As fascinating as the science/art of programming is and has been for me, I never seemed to be able to activate those regions of the brain necessary to be a part of it. Sadly. 

But, never say never, as a fat cartoon mouse once taught me; come February 20th, I shall develop a brand new search engine! Eh, how about that? OK, actually I will TRY. How is that possible with 0 programming background you ask? Udacity, the latest hot startup from Palo Alto, California promises to bring the greatest computer science teachers in the world in one place and share their immensely valuable knowledge to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Courses can be attended for free, and, at the end, if students successfully graduate them (through assignments), they will receive some sort of diploma that will recognize their newly acquired information. 

I know there are multiple video-lecture online portals out there, but this promises to be more personal and more interactive and I certainly can't wait to begin. Of course, as the company grows, more courses will be made available, but, for now, you can choose from two: CS 101: BUILDING A SEARCH ENGINE and CS 373: PROGRAMMING A ROBOTIC CAR. The latter sounds WAY cooler, but it does require a fair amount of programming experience, so yeah... THEORY OF COMPUTATION, OPERATING SYSTEMS, COMPUTER NETWORKS and DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS are also announced for 2012. 

So, do you think this is the future of teaching? What are the pros and cons of such a system? Please feel free to discuss in the (greatly improved BTW) comments section below.

See you in class!

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