Industry Disruptor Q&A: Meet Michael Costa, Medical Roboticist

We recently opened enrollments for the new class of Udacity’s Robotics Software Engineer Nanodegree program. In it, you’ll focus on building a portfolio of five hands-on projects using ROS and C++ (the most important programming language in robotics) and you’ll learn core robotics algorithms.

As we prepare to get started in a few weeks time, we thought it would be useful to speak with someone who already works in robotics to get an insider view on the robotics sector. We recently caught up with Michael Costa, a robotics engineer who has a passion for working with medical devices.

Quote from Medical Robotics Engineer Michael Costa

He gave us a great insight into his career journey and some great advice on how someone new to robotics can land their first position.

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The Udacity Robotics Software Engineer Nanodegree Program Gets An Intensified Career Focus

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At Udacity, we work closely with leading industry employers to develop the right curriculum to support your career advancement. We believe there is no better way to understand exactly what skills top employers are looking for than to speak directly to those companies and professionals. Today, as a result of insights gleaned from our collaborators in the field of robotics, we are announcing the next generation of our Robotics Software Engineer Nanodegree program!

Updated Robotics Software Engineer Nanodegree Program

The changes we are rolling out are expressly focused on today’s intense demand for robotics talent. We know that top employers are seeking engineers with these core robotics skills: ROS, Gazebo, C++, and robotics algorithms. So, we’re introducing a newly streamlined and laser-precise version of our program that will focus specifically on these core skills in a single, four-month intensive term.

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How Nicola Started Off 2019 in His Dream Job

It’s 2019, it’s a brand-new year, and it’s the time when many of us start planning major changes in our lives. Whether you are thinking about learning new skills, changing your career, or landing a fresh opportunity at your employer, this is the time of year to make that happen.

Udacity New Skills Student Success Quote

Nicola Poerio changed his life when he landed a new role in the self-driving car division of his employer, Fiat Chrysler, without any previous work experience in autonomous systems engineering. All after building his skills with Udacity.

Nicola had been working in the automotive industry for over ten years as an engineer. He’d built a career he calls “satisfactory” at Fiat Chrysler, one of the world’s biggest automotive companies. And he’d done well in his work, taking on new projects and management responsibilities along the way.

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The Race to a Machine Learning Career

This Udacity Nanodegree program graduate enacted a full-scale career change to become a Machine Learning Engineer.

Robin Stringer - Machine Learning Engineer - Udacity

Meet Robin Stringer. Robin worked as a journalist, a translator, and a marathon race guide for visually-impaired athletes, before a conversation about coding caused him to reevaluate his long-term career plans.

While he was working for a para-athletics non-profit in New York, he began learning Python online, and in the course of doing so discovered Udacity’s programs. He moved to Seattle and took the opportunity to pursue his coding studies full-time, with the goal of pulling off an audacious career change. After studying some of Udacity’s free courses, he started the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program and got his first taste of machine learning. After a lot of work, he successfully landed a full-time role as a machine learning engineer.

We chatted with Robin to learn how he made his career change happen.

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Amazon SageMaker Comes to Udacity’s Deep Learning Nanodegree Program Classroom

We talk with Dan Romuald Mbanga, Global Lead of Business Development for Amazon AI, about teaching students to use SageMaker for training and deploying deep learning models.

Amazon - AWS - SageMaker - Udacity - Deep Learning

Deep Learning is one of the most exciting technology fields in the world today, and because Udacity’s learning platform is built to allow for maximum adaptability, our Deep Learning Nanodegree program is one of our most dynamic and future-facing programs right now, as we continue to respond to advances in the field by augmenting and enhancing our curriculum.

We are very excited to share details about the latest additions to our program curriculum, which include new content and projects focused on PyTorch and SageMaker. In a recent post by Cezanne Camacho, Curriculum Lead for Udacity’s School of Artificial Intelligence, we discussed new PyTorch content, and today, we’re going to explore how we’ll be teaching students to use SageMaker for training and deploying deep learning models.

To integrate the incredible new content, we teamed up with AWS and the SageMaker team, and in the updated program, students will train and deploy a sentiment analysis model on SageMaker, then connect it to a front end through an API using other AWS services. After deploying a model, students will also learn how to update their model to account for changes in the underlying data used to train their model—an especially valuable skill in industries that continuously collect user data.

To provide a closer look into the world of SageMaker, we spoke recently with Dan Romuald Mbanga, Global Lead of Business Development for Amazon AI, and a leader of business and technical initiatives for Amazon AI platforms.

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Two Years, Four Nanodegree Programs, and a New Career!

In just two years, Ricardo Diaz executed an almost impossibly rapid career transformation. Today, he has a new career as a Machine Learning Engineer in Peru, and this is his story.

Ricardo Diaz - New Career - Student Success - Udacity

Ricardo Diaz is a machine learning engineer. He works for a great company in Peru, and he’s a graduate of no less than four Nanodegree programs! By all measures, he’s a success. But just two years ago, it was a different story. He was still in Venezuela, struggling to learn new skills. He was short of money, and his prospects for making a full-time salary weren’t great.

How did he manage such a rapid and complete career transformation? We chatted with Ricardo recently to find out.

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A Career in Motion: Darien Martinez Torres, and the road to Autonomous Systems

A passion for learning sent Darien Martinez Torres back to the classroom after twenty years as a developer. Today, this two-time Nanodegree grad works on drones and flying cars!

Darien Martinez Torres - Udacity - Student Success - Autonomous Systems

Darien Martinez Torres has nearly twenty years of experience as a software developer. For much of that time, he has worked as a contractor—jumping from role to to role as opportunities have appeared. He enjoyed the new challenges each job brought, but he also had a nagging sense there was something more out there for him.

When he heard about the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program, he recognized an opportunity to reconnect with subjects he’d learned about years before—such as image and sensor processing. It sounded amazing, but also a challenge—he’d need to balance studying with the demands of work; not to mention family life with three children! Nevertheless, he enrolled and committed to studying hard, collaborating closely with a group of fellow students. He quickly realized that much in the field had changed, and there were many new skills he’d need to learn anew.

Darien has now graduated from two Nanodegree programs, and he’s doing something incredible—he’s collaborating with a group of fellow graduates to put his new skills into immediate practice, and he’s building out his own idea for a platform to share advanced experiments.

We chatted to Darien recently to hear about what drives his passion for learning, and to learn more about his exciting new collaboration.

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