What are MOOCs ?
– Massively Open Online Courses. Its an amazing not-for-profit initiative from Top Universities like MIT, Harvard to impart education to wider audience across the globe.
– These courses are of top-notch quality usually led by some of the finest Professors. In many cases, these are parallel/same courses as in the Universities.
– The same video lectures, curriculum is followed as per the University Course. So its a great opportunity to pursue a course for the ones who can’t join regular university course.
– Another interesting thing is some of the courses are given by the creators of the language/frameworks, themselves.
Eg: Scala Programming Language, MongoDB
and the no. of registrations are mind boggling, eg: over 100,000
– These can be taken at our own pace.
– The popular organizers of MOOCs are edX, coursera, udacity. mooc-list and CourseTalk are the aggregators who collate all the courses info and from here we can get a good view of popular courses and reviews about them.
The course I did was CS-169.1x: Software as a Service, a course of study offered by BerkeleyX, an online learning initiative of The University of California At Berkeley through edX.
The course had interesting topics like: Agile techniques, SaaS, SOA, Cloud Computing, Ruby on Rails, BDD, TDD, which are highly desired technical skills and most of them complement my day work. Other key driving factors were practical exposure and strict schedules, to stay focussed. The course was intriguing, demanded attention and challenged with assignments and quizzes.
The lecturers were David Patterson and Armando Fox. David Patterson’s experience counts and Armando’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious.
Lecture videos were excellent with succinct and very effective coverage of the concepts. It was indeed difficult to catch up with the accelerated pace of the course around my day job. Used free time in weekdays to go through the lecture videos and weekends for learning and finishing assignments & quizzes.
Along with the core topics, many finer aspects of modern programming features like meta programming and reflection which can improve productivity and code maintainability were covered. There are many takeaways from the course to be applied at work. Also, I could clear the required criteria and earned the certificate, which gave immense satisfaction after completing the course. Looking forward to take more MOOCs.