A Wall Of Student Success

Udacity Student Success

It is Winter Solstice morning. I am on my bike, headed to the cafe. The air is cold, but clear, and the sun is bright.

I am seated, my laptop on my lap. I have no idea what to write. I need to write. It’s been a long year. The previous 3 months have seen our company on a frenetic pace—launch, announcement, launch. Am I out of stories?

I type “success” into my browser. My browser knows what to do. It loads the page for me. This is what I see first:

“This experience has absolutely changed my life—I wouldn’t have a job right now otherwise.” —OSCAR ESTRADA

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Switching Careers: Advice from a Nanodegree Graduate

Mike Miller, Switching Careers

Udacity students pursue a wide array of career goals. Many are preparing to launch new careers, while others are switching careers—turning their existing skills and interests in new directions. In this post we feature Mike Miller, a Nanodegree Plus graduate who successfully switched his career from mathematics educator to iOS developer. In an in-depth interview, Mike generously shared details about his journey from software hobbyist to full-time iOS developer. He discussed his challenges, described his successes, and explored the role that Udacity played. His answers offer a wealth of advice and guidance to others contemplating similar career changes. Excerpts from the interview follow.

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From Freelance to Full Time

Luis Yoshida - Freelance to Full Time - Udacity Student Success

The move from freelance to full time is a significant transition, and it’s not always an easy one to navigate. In this post we talk with Luis Yoshida, a Full Stack Web Developer here at Udacity. Luis worked as a code reviewer and freelance web developer prior to joining Udacity full time, and in our interview below, Luis details his journey and offers advice on how to ask questions, find your next full-time job, and thrive in a new work environment.

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All I Ever Wanted In A Job: The Mangalambigai Sivaramakrishnan Story

Mangal, Udacity, Student Success

Returning to the workforce after taking time off is challenging, and the hurdles get progressively higher the longer you’re away. Technology presents unique obstacles in this regard, because in addition to the usual challenges of reentry, you also have to contend with the almost inevitable likelihood that your skills are out-of-date. For Mangalambigai Sivaramakrishnan, this was exactly the scenario she faced. How she took those challenges on, overcame the obstacles, and drew on her Udacity experience to build a new career for herself, is the story we’re so excited to share with you today.

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Making A Difference: The Jennifer Person Story


Jennifer Person, Udacity, Student Success

It’s one thing to realize you need to make a change. It’s another thing altogether to actually make change happen. If you’re someone who’s struggled to make that leap, Jennifer Person’s story of life and career change is bound to inspire you. Her Udacity experience has played a pivotal role in her transformation, and we’re so excited to share her story with you today.

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Constantly Learning: The Lauren Smith Story

Lauren Smith, Udacity, Student Success

Career change is a daunting undertaking. It often involves a great deal of risk, and always requires courage, self-confidence, and faith. Some of our favorite stories to share are those in which students bravely challenge themselves to embark on new journeys. Lauren Smith is a wonderful example of this, and we’re so excited to share her story with you today. Lauren very kindly took some time to chat with us, and her thoughtful answers offer great inspiration to anyone considering a new career.

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The Path to Success: Skills, Confidence, Action, and Grit

The Path to Success: Skills, Confidence, Action, and Grit

Skills + Confidence = Action. Action + Grit = Success

It begins with skills. You have to have them to get the job, and you have to have them to keep the job. Skills are quantifiable. They can be measured, tested, and tracked. But when you possess skills, something else happens. Skills give you confidence. When you learn by doing, you experience this directly. You build something, and you directly experience what you’ve built. This experience is powerful. It lifts you, it empowers you, it motivates you.

“The Nanodegree program got me to where I wanted to go. It not only gave me the skills I needed, but it gave me confidence in those skills.” —Ryan Waite, Udacity Graduate, describing his journey to becoming a web developer

When you combine skills with confidence, you get action. Without skills, you’re not as likely to take a risk, you’re not as likely to go for an opportunity, you’re not as likely to undertake a new challenge, because you’re not equipped to succeed. If you lack confidence, all these same truths apply; in short, you won’t go for it, because you don’t believe you’ll get it.

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