“What You See Is What You Get”: Udacity Talks Welcomes Polyvore Co-Founder & CEO Jess Lee!

Jess Lee Udacity Talks

Our Udacity Talks series is committed to finding those individuals whose lives and stories will move and inspire our students, and whose achievements and challenges offer real-world examples of how successful careers are built, and how dreams are successfully realized.

We’re extremely excited to host our next guest for Udacity Talks, Polyvore Co-founder & CEO Jess Lee! She joins us for a live video chat on Thursday, June 30th, at 4pm PDT. Be sure to RSVP today to watch the event!

For many people, parlaying a Computer Science Degree from Stanford into a great job at Google would count as the kind of success you can rest on for a while. Not so Jess Lee. Jess Lee actually did the seemingly unthinkable, and ultimately left Google to lead a new company. High risk? Yes. Successful? Yes again! Polyvore was recently acquired by Yahoo for approximately $200 million.

Suffice it to say, Jess Lee has an independent streak. She’s committed to disruption at every level—from her own career path, to the company she left Google for. Polyvore is a community-powered social commerce website rewriting the rules of the fashion and style industries by putting curation power and trend-setting influence directly into the hands of its community.

Because our format for Udacity Talks is built around enabling students to drive the conversation —through questions submitted both in advance, and in real time during the event—this will be a unique opportunity to learn a great deal more about the how and why of Jess Lee’s career path to date, as well as what’s next on the horizon. Remember, as soon as you RSVP, you’ll receive a link to submit your questions in advance!

Here are a few things you might want to ask Jess Lee about:

5 Questions You Might Want To Ask Jess Lee

#1 In Fortune Magazine’s recent 50 Best Workplaces For New College Grads article, Polyvore was listed at number 33. Perhaps you could ask Jess about how Polyvore has built such a welcoming environment, and what people interested in Fashion Tech careers can do to better their chances for finding great employment opportunities?

#2 A recent GQ interview with Jess Lee about Polyvore stated that technology is democratizing the fashion industry. Maybe ask Jess to speak to parallels between Polyvore’s goals, and Udacity’s stated mission to democratize education?

#3 In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Jess Lee spoke about diversity in the tech industry. She acknowledged the challenges, but also stated that, “It never felt unusual for me as a woman to run my own business.” Perhaps you could ask Jess about the current state of diversity in tech, and why she’s focused on helping to teach women computer science and coding skills?

#4 Maybe you could ask her who said the following: “Look around at all the people that you work with. Find the people you love being around, who get shit done, who you want to help win, and then treat them right, always,” and why the quote has stayed with her over the years?

#5 Finally, you might consider asking Jess to elaborate on how she encourages her own employees to pursue their career ambitions, even if those ambitions ultimately take them away from Polyvore. In a recent Fast Company article entitled “This CEO Actually Encourages Her Employees To Go Out And Start Their Own Companies” Jess goes into some detail on the challenges of nurturing and retaining top tech talent, and it’s a great read. But, imagine what you might learn if you ask her directly during Udacity Talks!

Jess Lee, Co-Founder & CEO, Polyvore, joins us as our Udacity Talks guest on Thursday, June 30, at 4pm PDT. RSVP today to watch the live chat, and remember, as soon as you RSVP, you’ll receive a link to submit your questions in advance. See you on Thursday!

“It took me a while to figure out how to be a leader while also being myself. I feel like I don’t really fit the classic mold of a CEO. I had to figure out how to be authentic. So I’m transparent. I think people are more likely to trust me because they know I’m just myself all the time. What you see is what you get.”
—Jess Lee, Co-Founder and CEO, Polyvore

5 Sweet and Delicious Reasons to Become an Android Developer

android developer

There are now 1.4 billion active Android Devices in the world, and Android dominates the smartphone market with 82% global market share. These are impressive numbers. If you’re an aspiring Android Developer, this is opportunity knocking.

For many of you, that’s all you need to know. Android Developer, here you come.

But some of you may need more convincing when it comes to considering a career in Android Development. So let’s look at some key labor statistics and industry reports:

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Introducing: The Android Basics Nanodegree By Google!

Android Basics by Google

It’s a great time to become an Android Developer, and there have never been better opportunities to start preparing for a career in this rapidly expanding field. Our new Android Basics Nanodegree by Google offers aspiring developers with little to no programming experience an exclusive opportunity to get started on the path to an amazing career in Android Development by learning directly from experts at Google.

50 Android Developer Nanodegree Scholarships From Google!

The best part? Google will award the first 50 students who complete the Android Basics Nanodegree a chance to win a full scholarship to enroll in our career-track Android Developer Nanodegree program.

Successfully transitioning to this advanced degree program is a critical step for becoming an in-demand Android Developer, and with the support of Google, students now have a powerful financial incentive to pursue their career goals. Enrolled students will be able to monitor their Nanodegree progress on a public leaderboard, and Udacity mentors, coaches, project reviewers, and student support experts will help students stay on track from enrollment to graduation.

Hottest Jobs of 2016: Android Developer

There are currently 1.4 billion activated Android devices in the world today, and that number is growing. In India, China, and the EU5, Android holds a significant market share, and demand for developers is growing dramatically. Mary Meeker’s recently released Internet Trends Report predicts another year of significant gains for Android vs. iOS, and countless employment studies have placed App Developer at the top of their “Hot Jobs” lists, with salary growth estimates running above 20% year-over-year. Right now, there are well over 3,000 open Android Developer jobs on LinkedIn. Indeed.com shows nearly double that.

Do those numbers have you thinking about starting to build your own Android apps? Maybe you even have a great idea for an Android app, but don’t believe you’re capable of building it yourself? Well, think again!

The Android Basics Nanodegree by Google

We are extremely excited to launch our latest Nanodegree program with Google. The Udacity-Google partnership is one of the most valuable and unique assets we provide to our students, and this new program is a perfect example of this collaboration in action. Designed for students who don’t yet have experience building apps, Android Basics by Google will provide a guided, efficient path for new developers to learn the essential skills needed to build apps for Android. This includes:

  • The essentials of the Java programming language
  • Interacting with Web APIs
  • Using a SQLite database

Most importantly, students will learn how to transform an app idea into a technically sound plan that can be implemented successfully. By the end of the Nanodegree, students will be ready to take the career-track Android Developer Nanodegree program, and will have built and submitted 10 projects, 8 of which are functional apps.

What You Need To Know Before Enrolling

The Android Basics Nanodegree by Google costs $199 per month and features all the unique components that are integral to the Nanodegree experience, including:

  • Specialized courses built with—and taught by—Google experts.
  • Learn-by-doing projects that enable students to create real products, and build professional portfolios.
  • Expert project review and personalized feedback delivered within hours of submitting.
  • Mentorship, coaching, and career services.
  • Face-to-face learning opportunities through Udacity Connect.

With the addition of Android Basics Nanodegree by Google, we now offer every single student a point-of-entry into the world of Android Development, whether they’re just starting to program, or already building apps.

AltConf 2016: The Udacity Fireside Chats


Last week, the iOS Nanodegree Team—like pretty much anyone who has anything to do with iOS development—was busy! Some of us, like Kate Rotondo, attended the big Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, known as WWDC 2016. (For some great insights on the all-important Apple keynote, you can read Kate’s conference report here). Others on the team, myself included, opted for an “alternative.” Specifically, AltConf.

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A Passion For Education: Aaron McLean, AT&T and Udacity

Today’s post is guest-authored by Aaron McLean, Principal Technical Architect for AT&T Integrated Cloud.

My name is Aaron McLean. I’ve worked at AT&T for 17 years as a web developer and architect. In fall 2014, our group was in need of high-quality, low-cost training and certification. While we had online training, we needed more specific certifications within our software-centric network environment. Then one day, an email was sent to us from John Donovan (our Chief Technology Officer at the time), asking us to check out Udacity.com.

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WWDC 2016 Keynote: All For One, And One For All!


Apple keynotes are always highly anticipated events, and for months in advance the developer community is abuzz with speculation about what will be announced.

So what did Apple announce? Some pretty cool updates to all four major platforms: macOS (formerly OS X), iOS, tvOS, and watchOS; as well as an exciting new way for beginners to learn Swift on the iPad.

But first, Tim Cook took to the stage to express condolences for the tragedy in Florida, and to make a strong statement about the value of diversity in the developer community.

Perhaps appropriate then, that the ultimate theme of the keynote was one of unification, though in this case, it was platform unification. iOS and Mac development have common roots, but while their roads have sometimes diverged, Apple is leading them back together with updates across shared frameworks, libraries, and the Swift language. This will allow iOS developers to more easily switch to Mac development, and vice versa.

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