Life as a Udacity Student: Mohamed Barakat’s Experience

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This week we launched new support features for our Nanodegree programs designed to help our students master the skills they’re learning. Before sharing these new features with the public, we invited current Udacity students to experience our new and improved learning programs. One of those students is Mohamed Barakat, a biomedical engineer, living in Munich, Germany and currently working as a software engineer in the healthcare sector. He is enrolled in the Robotics Software Engineer Nanodegree program. We had a chance to chat with him about his current Udacity experience and how this program is impacting his skillset.



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‘Jupyter Graffiti’ Interactive Screencasts Make Their Debut in Our New C++ Nanodegree Program

Find the right nanodegree program for you.

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Jupyter Notebooks are fantastic tools for learning any technical topic, from basic programming to data science all the way to advanced artificial intelligence. Like a web page, you can read and review learning content; and like a traditional programming environment, Notebooks can be “hands-on”. Notebooks invite you to experiment with the code and data cells alongside the equations and graphs.

But have you ever wished an instructor was sitting right next to you when you’re stuck on something, to “show you how she would solve it?”

Graffiti brings that instructor into the Notebook, and makes Udacity’s new C++ Nanodegree Program an amazing way for software engineers to learn the C++ programming language!

Jupyter Graffiti are recorded, interactive demonstrations that live inside your Notebooks.

Via Jupyter Graffiti, Udacity instructors show you exactly how to solve each problem. They walk you through the content, pointing, selecting, typing and executing code, adding and removing code cells, and more.  As a student, you can play these recordings as many times as you want, or not at all, and pause and rewind them to see the instructor write and explain the code again.



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C++ Skills and Career Advice from a Self-Driving Car Engineer

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This week we launched the new C++ Nanodegree program, designed to teach students the industry-relevant programming skills to code robotics, self-driving cars, media platforms, servers, and fast-performance applications! We’re excited about this new program and thought our students might be, too. David Silver, head of Udacity’s School of Autonomous Systems, reached out to one of our Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program (SDC) graduates, Jeremy Cohen, to get an idea of how he uses C++ in his work as an Artificial Intelligence and Self-Driving Car Engineer.

Job as a Self-Driving Car Engineer with C++ programming

David: Hello Jeremy, you completed our Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program last year and it’s contributed to some career changes in your life, could you tell us a bit about that?

Jeremy: That’s correct. I think it’s important to give a bit of context around my education experience. I live in France, and here, when you decide that you’re interested in engineering, you are given a couple of education and career paths to choose from. In my case, after high school, I enrolled in engineering school, with a focus on computer science. I enjoyed my studies, and during the last six months, I took part in an internship to gain industry experience. Unlike in America, many of these internships begin with managerial roles. I spent a year or so working as a project manager for an artificial intelligence banking initiative.

It was going well and I felt proficient in my role, but I had this growing feeling that I wasn’t actually proficient in the technology that I was managing. I could manage the project deadlines and lead our team to the next step, but I wasn’t able to speak the technical language, understand the concepts, or review the code we were implementing.

I started to research avenues to gain more technical skills to supplement my university and project management background. I considered going back for another degree, but even that didn’t seem like the way to gain current industry-relevant skills. In talking with my brother about the situation, he said: “Go check out Udacity, they offer the type of skills you’re looking for.”

I landed on udacity.com, watched a video about the new Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program and immediately knew – this was what I had been looking for. It didn’t force me to spend another year at school, was self-paced, and would allow me to grow in skills I needed. I applied for the program within 30 minutes.

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Your Guide to a Robotics Career in 2019 and Beyond

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If you want to work in an industry that will change the world, a robotics career is a top choice. It’s a hyper-growth field, set to revolutionize nearly every industry. From medicine to logistics, agriculture to home gadgets, robotics is going to become one of the twenty-first century’s most important fields.

Guide for robotics jobs in 2019

That makes it a great time to think about a robotics career. The most innovative companies on the planet are currently having to search hard to find the qualified robotic engineering talent they need. If you can offer the experience and skills they are looking for, you can choose from a huge range of roles with interesting projects and impressive salaries.

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Lyft-Udacity Scholarships Drive Women’s Futures Forward

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In September 2017, Lyft and Udacity announced the Lyft-Udacity Scholarship Program, a joint program dedicated to increasing diversity in the field of self-driving cars, and helping people take that first step to becoming a self-driving car engineer. Over 8,000 people from around the world applied for the 400 available scholarships to Udacity’s Intro to Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program.  

Lyft sponsors scholarship for Udacity's Intro to Self-Driving Cars program

According to a recent Boston Consulting Group study, partially autonomous cars will be available in large numbers by next year with the biggest growth in the next two decades. By 2025, the market for partially and fully autonomous vehicles is estimated at $42 billion (and $77 billion by 2035). According to Catalyst, however, women held only 26.7% of jobs in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment manufacturing industry in 2017.

Diversity is crucial for creating solutions that serve everyone. That’s why Udacity and Lyft partnered to create these scholarships specifically targeted to communities that are underrepresented in technology industry roles. The 400 scholarship winners came from more than 30 countries, including Bolivia, Cameroon and Bangladesh, 29% identified as Black or African American, another 29% identified as Hispanic or Latinx, 19% considered themselves a member of the LGBTQ community, and over 40% were women.

In honor of International Women’s Day–a day to raise awareness on women’s rights and equality–we would like to highlight a few of the exceptional women, their personal journeys to success and how they are inspiring change in autonomous systems tech.

These are their stories.

Meya: Recent College-Grad Lands Job as Software Application Engineer at Workday

International Women's Day Udacity and Lyft Student Meye

Meya completed the the Lyft-Udacity Scholarship as she was finishing up her degree in Computer Science at California State University, Monterey Bay. As a student, she interned at the Space Systems Lab of the Naval Postgraduate School, where she programmed a High Altitude Balloon payload using a Raspberry Pi and Python. While she felt comfortable working in an academic setting, learning with Udacity taught Meya what it takes to succeed in a technical business environment: She learned how to review code, collaborate on Slack, and most importantly, solve problems independently. She graduated from college in May 2018 and started a new job as a software developer in July. “The interviewers were really impressed with my Intro to Self-Driving Car Nanodegree, especially my GitHub profile and portfolio of projects,” she said. “It was a real differentiator.” As a next career step, Meya plans to enroll in Udacity’s Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program in order to transition into a role with more machine learning and computer vision skills.

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What Are Flying Cars?

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I work in the field of flying cars. Yes, flying cars, really! It’s admittedly not a common field, but flying cars are very much a reality, and every day we get another step closer to full-scale adoption and application of this technology. That may come as a surprise to some, and I understand that, because there’s a lot of misinformation out there. That’s why, in this post, I’m going to provide a working definition of what flying cars actually are and an explanation of how they cleverly make use of features from helicopters and airplanes. 

What is a flying car illustration

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How Bruno Found His Passion for Robotics–and His Dream Job!

Bruno Santos recently landed a graduate role as an Autonomous Engineer after enrolling in the Robotics Software Engineer Nanodegree program. He was able to move from Portugal to the UK to take up the role, and loves the work he does everyday. It is the happy conclusion to a career journey in which Bruno pursued physics, then data science, before deciding neither field was what he truly wanted to do. It was only when he found robotics that he knew he’d found a subject he felt really passionate about—one where he could go beyond theory to build real projects.

Udacity Robotics Nanodegree program personal story

We spoke with Bruno to hear how he took what he learned in his Nanodegree program and turned it into his new career.

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