Udacity currently has 29 courses, focused mainly on the math and sciences. Most of them are computer science courses. I’ve taken five courses on Udacity:
- Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
- How to Build a Self-Driving Car (now called Artificial Intelligence for Robotics)
- Web Development
- Software Testing
- How to Build a Startup
This was the site that got me into online learning, and I was deeply interested in the first AI class, followed by the self-driving car class. But these courses can be tough. They involve lots of learning about Probability Theory, learning how to do complex probability calculations, Bayes networks, Markov Decision Processes, and the like. But I did get to a certain point where I was confident in my ability to calculate the probability given the available data and solve Markov chains. I did well on those classes.
Udacity actually has some advantages over their competitor Coursera. Most Udacity courses are “self paced” and can start any time. That means that if you feel like taking the AI class today, you can sign up and take the first lesson tonight. You do not have to wait until January, or longer. Also the Udacity interface is more science, math and programming focused. The classes and assignments are interspersed, and it’s very easy to see that you’ve watched X videos, and answered Y questions, and how far you have to go to the end of the chapter. They even have inline programming windows which allow you to solve a programming problem using code inside your browser, test it yourself, and when submitted it will evaluate how good your code is in real time. Very neat.
I find it very hard to come up with things I don’t like about the platform. Certainly, they only offer 29 classes and not the 500+ classes that Coursera offers. They are also very math and science focused. So if you want to learn about marketing, you will not find a marketing course there. Although I do see one about Philosophy so they are adding a few humanities into the mix.
All in all, I like Udacity and recommend you check them out. Sign up for a class tonight, and start watching some videos right away!