This week is the end of the Udacity CS 101 class I have been taking.
If you are willing to work hard and concentrate this class will provide a very solid ‘first cut’ foundation.
It is an accelerated course and I don’t think it should really be called beginner level. It is true the level of the first couple of units is beginning level material but the pace is so fast there isn’t any time to practice what you have learned. On the other hand I have been able to finish it so it can’t be all that hard. I only way I was able to stick it out is to go into serious triage and try all different type of tricks to help me understand the material.
I think David Evans is sincere in his motivation and he certainly knows his material. He also has a passion for imparting it. I had some criticisms before but after reading some more about him and watching him teach for the past 7 weeks I have changed my mind. I recommend him but not if you want an easy class.
This is where the nature and character of the class and Udacity come through. I participated some in the back and forth but for me it was way too rah-rah. If you have ever been involved in a back and forth with an Apple fanboy you will know what to expect in the forum, i.e., Udacity/Apple is the best and the simple fact that you have a question proves you are clueless. For the people who dared to ask about what the grade might be for the course the rah rah fanboys would loudly chirp ‘You aren’t a true Udacian, don’t worry about the grade, just learn.’ Passion and loyalty isn’t lacking at Udacity.
From the forum.
There is an excitement about taking one of the maiden Udacity courses. Udacity is a leader in the revolution underway in higher education and by taking this course, we can say we were there at the beginning. The downside is that there will be bugs and issues like the grader. If you want to avoid the grading and other frustrations, wait several months and re-take the course when the bugs are ironed out. I’ll stay, learn, help out and be part of the revolution.
I recommend the course but be prepared for a lot of very hard work and a lot of professional programmers in the class. I have no idea why people with 20 plus years in programming would take a beginning course but they are there in force.
The final part of the class is a contest. I put out a call for a team of people who have never coded before and have 4 other people I am working with. If you like, here is our blog, http://circularcode.wordpress.com/