More and more classes are focusing on teaching real-world skills, however few of them are very successful at it. But, the Coursera class Startup Engineering did just that.
It had its drawbacks, such as the under-emphasis on lecture videos, but it was able to focus on the key goal, which was getting every student to wireframe their web app idea. Most students did not deviate from the generic templates that Balaji set up, but we still got our feet wet by pulling, pushing, and deploying. It glazed over many of the programming details, yet slowed down to focus on key ideas and best practices. This course is a MUST for any technical or non-technical individuals who want to have any relevance in today’s day and age.
My own app project, AppLoquent, did not deviate from the generic template either, but some like StartupHub demonstrated a fair amount of effort. A list of nearly all the app projects is available at http://startupmooc.org, which was used for the final competition in the class.
Throughout the class, we got to develop a deep real-world understanding of the following technologies:
What was the most important thing I learned? For me, it was properly using GitHub and setting up development, staging, and production environments. But of course, all the other things I learned will come in handy as well.
Last month, Business Insider published a nice list of some of the best online courses. Unfortunately, their post is directed at business classes, so it doesn’t include some of the other great classes available. I do commend them for finding some of the great MIT OpenCourseWare classes that aren’t on a major platform yet (edX). Below is my personal progress through the business classes on BI’s list.
Classes I’m currently taking:
Classes I’ve completed:
Classes I eventually “un-registered” from (but hope to take again in a future offering):
And, all the other classes:
My biggest hesitation about their list though, is that some of these classes are being taught for the first time and have not even started, so no one knows how the quality of the class will translate to an online platform. Though unlikely, it’s always possible one or more of these new classes will end up like UC Irvine’s Microeconomics or Georgia Tech’s Online Education class. Only time will tell us how the classes actually turn out.
(via Business Insider’s 16 Free Online Business Courses That Are Actually Worth Your Time)