Recently I wrapped up Udacity’s Intro to Computer Science Course, and I thought I would share my thoughts with hope that the information might be helpful to others who are considering which online courses to take.
I chose this course because I felt that I needed a little bit more practice with python before starting the Data Science Course. Previously, I had taken Code Academy’s python course, which was a good start but ultimately I found it a little lacking for my needs. I didn’t participate “fully” in the Udacity course (in that I did not pay for full access– side effect of a grad student income I suppose!). I did watch the lectures and complete the quizzes and problem sets. Overall, I’m really glad that I went through the course materials, and I feel that I was able to learn a lot even without full access.
##Pros: I liked that a number of the quizzes required a conceptual understanding of the material, rather than only requiring a script to execute successfully. I also liked the depth/breadth balance of the material that was covered. I was able to practice and better understand what I had learned from the Code Academy course, and I also learned new information. Another pro, and reason why I chose to follow this course rather than one from Coursera, was that it was available on demand.
##Cons: I was expecting a little more of what I imagined would be covered in an intro course for computer science majors. Granted, I have never been a computer science major, nor have I taken such a class, so the problem could be more with my expectations. Regardless, my ideal course would have gone into more conceptual computer science, independent of python.
##Summary: Given that my goal was to build on my basic understanding of python, I feel like this course was absolutely worth my time. I can’t say that, looking back, I would have greatly benefited from (paid) full access features.