After graduating from Udacity’s Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program, Han Bin Lee and a group of fellow alums founded a self-driving car company in Seoul, South Korea. Now, they’re ready to hire more Udacity grads!
As a new Nanodegree program student, you start to feel the power of community right away. Your fellow students make introductions, experiences are shared, the questions start rolling in, and the innovative answers come fast and furious. It’s exhilarating, and it doesn’t stop. While it may be uncommon for incoming students to cite community as their motivator for starting a Nanodegree program, virtually every Udacity graduate singles community out as a highlight of their experience.
We love this! We love witnessing the birth of a new community at the start of a term, we love seeing bonds and connections develop as a term progresses, and we especially love it when those connections carry on past graduation.
Han Bin Lee is a graduate of Udacity’s Self Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program, and he and a group of fellow alums have some exciting news to share—they are the founders of a promising new self-driving car company in Seoul, South Korea! They’ve already signed up their first customers for their Lidar software, and now they’re looking for other Udacity graduates to join their team.
Lyft is committing its vast transportation expertise to building safer, cleaner, and more efficient communities through the development of self-driving technologies. This is tremendous news for everyone who shares Lyft’s vision for a better future. Their commitment is a significant one—in the past year alone, Lyft announced the launch of a new self-driving division, opened a 90,000 sq ft Level 5 Engineering Facility in Palo Alto, and made significant investments and partnerships in the space.
Lyft and Udacity: Driving the Future Forward
Expectations for Lyft’s new self-driving team are high, and with demand for skilled talent in the self-driving field already at a fever pitch, the company is laser-focused on attracting the best and brightest to fill dozens of open positions, and to help the company drive the future of self-driving technology forward. Udacity is thrilled to play a key role in their efforts.
A New Approach to Finding Talent
Lyft recognizes that conventional recruiting strategies no longer suffice. What is needed is a future-facing hiring model as transformative as the field they’re hiring for. To that end, Lyft is partnering with Udacity on a new approach to identifying, attracting, and hiring top candidates—engineers that possess the ideal combination of problem-solving ability, specialized skills, hand-on experience, and systems thinking.
This new collaboration builds on previous successes, as the company has already hired a number of Udacity graduates.
The Lyft Perception Challenge
Given the specific skill sets and problem-solving abilities the company is seeking, Lyft and Udacity have designed an innovative challenge to help identify the perfect candidates for Lyft’s open roles on their Level 5 Team. The Lyft Perception Challenge is a software development challenge designed to test problem solving skills in the area of Perception for Autonomous Vehicles. Top challenge participants will earn an interview with Lyft!
This Udacity alum stayed receptive to new opportunities, and followed a unique path to career success in the self-driving car field!
Many of us have a general idea of what we want to do in our careers but we don’t know the specifics of how our career path will play out. There will be twists and turns along the way, and exciting opportunities that appear unexpectedly. That’s why it’s important to stay educationally curious and professionally receptive to fresh challenges.
We spoke with Kyle Martin, a graduate of our Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program, to hear about how this approach has worked for him. Kyle has always kept his eyes open for new opportunities throughout his programming career in iOS development and data science. He has added to his skills and leapt at new challenges. Now he has used the skills he built with Udacity to land an amazing opportunity as a lead robotics engineer working on self-driving vehicles.
Are you interested in building groundbreaking learning experiences for passionate lifelong learners? Consider a career at Udacity!
Bringing a new team member on to a Nanodegree program team is a huge decision, but it’s critical to the process of evolving our efforts to always provide the best learning experience possible for our students.
I’d like to share some insights as to how we go about choosing the right team members for the Udacity Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree Program.
How do the Flying Car and Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree Programs Differ?
There are many similarities in the technical challenges that need to be addressed when building any autonomous vehicle, whether it’s designed to travel in the air, on the ground, or underwater.
But there are key differences as well—different technologies that represent the “big rocks” that need to be overcome—and it is these differences that inform the content and structures of our two advanced smart transportation programs: the Flying Car Nanodegree program, and the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program.
It’s 3:35 pm on November 30, 2017. We’re 25 minutes away from the start of “Crossing the Finish Line,” a special event celebrating the pioneering accomplishments of the first graduates of our Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program.
As I stand now in the event space, I hear microphone checks through the PA, and the clink of glassware as event staff polish the crystal. I see featured speakers going over speech notes in quiet corners, and I catch a glimpse of the cameraman testing the lighting from the back of the room.
It’s a quiet bustle of activity in here, but this isn’t really where my attention is focused. I’m watching the front entryway, where a line of attendees is starting to form.
How Udacity student Megha Maheshwari transformed her early passion for engineering into an autonomous vehicle career
At first glance, it may seem an inevitability that Megha Maheshwari should become an engineer. Both her brother and uncle pursued technical careers, and her mother instilled in her a strong sense of independence at an early age:
“I was inspired to become an engineer and most importantly, my Mother, as a working parent, had always groomed me to become an independent women—carving my own path in the direction of whatever career I chose. That always kept me moving forward.”
But despite a strong family network, early industry exposure, and an independent spirit, it would still be a long and remarkable journey for Megha—from growing up in India, to becoming a student of the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program at Udacity, to landing a job with Volvo Cars Silicon Valley R&D Tech Center in Mountain View, CA. Her dedication, growth mindset, and tenacity would be tested many times along the way. She took risks, faced down challenges, and weathered disappointments, but ultimately, she realized her dreams.
This is her story.