Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Google Q&A: Scalable Apps with Java

Why is cloud computing one of the fastest growing fields right now? Why should you learn to develop scalable apps? What’s the best way to leverage Google’s App Engine and Cloud Endpoints?   

Ask the experts!

This Thursday at 9am PT, Google Developers is hosting an “Ask the Experts” Q&A session with Magnus Hyttsten and Jocelyn Becker, the instructors behind Udacity and Google’s Developing Scalable Apps with Java course. 

Magnus and Jocelyn will tell you why you should think scalably, and answer questions from you and your fellow scalable developers.

Ask & vote for your questions here

Tune in here for the show on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 9am PT.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why Startups Fail: “The Mistakes We Made Boiled Down to One Thing”

Many startups fail by not validating their ideas early on with real-life customers. Entrepreneurs need to get out of the building and validate their ideas with actual customers. Only by searching for the real pain points and unmet needs of the customer, can you find a proper solution supported by the proper business model.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how passionate you are about your idea and how great you think your product will work, all that matters is what your customers think of your product.

For example, according to Business Insider, the startup Dever failed because they focused on ”on building the accelerator while minimizing our contact with users and customers.” The founders reasoned that they “knew how great it (the product) was and time spent talking to customers was time we could be hacking!” In a Lessons Learned blog post, the founders shared that they “should have focused more on customer development and finding a minimum viable product (MVP).”

Building a startup is not about building a business model of what you think works, but the process of searching for the actual business model itself.

How do we nail the business model? The key answer lies in rapidly testing your theories with customers in order to deliver the minimum viable product necessarily to satisfy your customers’ needs. Therefore, you need to get out of the building and constantly ask your customers not about improving your product ideas, but to identify their needs and pain points first. From there, you can then ask yourself whether your product idea can solve your customers’ needs and pain points.

If your product idea doesn’t fit with your customers’ needs and pain points, then you need to ask yourself “why?” and figure out how your product can meet market fit. You may need to pivot and change your whole product idea before you find the one that works. This step is the first crucial process of seeking the business model that works: finding product-market fit.

Once you figure out your product-market fit, you can move on to planning out your distribution model, key resources, key activities and other parts of the business that will help support your product delivery to your customers. Adhering to this process will save you months of work and give you a higher chance to succeed.

For more on the Customer Development process, key tools, and steps to build a successful startup, check out How to Build a Startup, by Steve Blank. In this course, you’ll learn the essential business skills it takes to bring your idea from conception to market.

Friday, August 22, 2014

New! Applied Cryptography Available with Certificates and Coaching

Whether you’re aware of it or not, every time you conduct a Google search, buy something on Amazon, or even log in to your Udacity account you are transmitting private information. 

The only thing preventing someone from intercepting and using that information is cryptography.

Bitcoin (the protocol) uses cryptography to securely transfer bitcoin (the currency) from one person to another
In Applied Cryptography, you’ll learn the science of secrets. Specifically, you’ll learn how to securely send messages and manage accounts securely on websites. You’ll understand the difference between symmetric and asymmetric cryptography and their common applications.

Today, we’re excited to announce Verified Certificates and Coaching support for Applied Cryptography. With the full course experience, you’ll have access to a personal Coach who will help you tailor your learning goals and offer their help if you get stuck on a problem. Plus, after solving some final problems, you’ll earn a certificate verifying your new cryptography skills.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Google Q&A on Android Fundamentals

Why should you learn Android? What are the best practices for mobile development in general, and Android in particular?

Ask the experts!

Next week, the Google Developers team behind Developing Android Apps is hosting “Ask the Experts,” a Q&A session where your two of your fearless instructors, Reto Meier and Dan Galpin, will take questions from you and your fellow Android developers!

The session airs on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 9am PT.

Submit your questions and vote for your favorites here. Ask your questions and cast your votes by Monday, August 25, 2014, to make sure that we get to them.

Finally, make sure to tune in for the show on Tuesday!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ask the Experts: Google Q&A on Web Performance, Android & Cloud Fundamentals

The Google Developer Advocate team - who brings you Website Performance Optimization, Android App Development, and Developing Scalable Apps - wants to answer your questions and share insights and best practices for their fields. 

We’re holding Q&A sessions in the last two weeks of August for you to meet your Android, Cloud and Web Performance instructors and to ask them your burning questions. 

Developing Android Apps with Reto Meier and Dan Galpin

Q&A: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 9am PT. 

Ask & vote for your questions here.

Developing Scalable Apps with Magnus Hyttsten and Jocelyn Becker

Q&A: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 9am PT.

Web Performance Optimization with Ilya Grigorik

Friday, August 15, 2014

Learn Differential Equations in Action

I remember starting engineering school and dreading the differential equations course I’d eventually have to take. Upperclassmen loved to taunt us with horror stories about professors talking a million miles a minute in math jargon and coursework so abstract and complicated that problems felt meaningless.

This is not that course.

Differential Equations in Action will teach you to create solutions to systems of differential equations using numerical approximation methods, which we’ll code in Python. 

The methods you’ll learn in this class are the same ones that physicists, engineers, biologists, economists, social scientists, and professionals in many other fields rely on every day in their work.

We’re very excited to now begin offering Coaching support and Verified Certificates for Differential Equations in Action. With the paid course, your personal Coach will be available to help you set learning goals and work through any problems you may be stuck on. Plus, after passing an assessment completing the course, you’ll earn a snazzy Verified Certificate to show off your new knowledge.

See you in class!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why is Website Performance Optimization Critical?

What is the Critical Rendering Path?

How can you boost your site performance with PageSpeed Insights and Google Chrome’s Developer Tools?  

Ask the experts!

Ilya Grigorik and Cameron Pittman, instructors of Udacity and Google’s Website Performance Optimization mini course, will answer your questions in a Q&A on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 9am PT. 

Ilya Grigorik is a web performance engineer at Google, the author of High Performance Browser Networking (O’Reilly), and an instructor of Udacity’s Website Performance Optimization mini course. Cameron Pittman lives and breathes web development as he creates programming courses at Udacity.

Website Performance Optimization teaches you to optimize any website for speed by diving into the details of how mobile and desktop browsers render pages. You’ll explore the Critical Rendering Path, PageSpeed Insights, and Google Chrome’s Developer Tools.

Ask and vote for questions, tune in for the Q&A, and check out the course. Happy optimizing!