Meet Andrew, a graduate of Udacity’s Front End Web Developer, Mobile Web Specialist, and Design Sprint Nanodegree programs. In 2018 he won a full Grow with Google scholarship in the Mobile Web Specialist track. He works full time remotely as a Front End Developer for a small company called Kynectiv, which helps clients implement simulation-based training. When he’s not programming, he runs a mastermind network for high-performers and blogs about personal development and travel. He’s a full-time digital nomad, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the time of this interview. We caught up with Andrew to learn more about this nomadic life and to answer the most common questions that he gets about his lifestyle.
What’s your travel schedule like as a digital nomad?
I like to really get to know a place when I travel! For two to six months I pick a “home base” and use it as a launching point to explore a region. I also think about what skills an area is best known for, and I’ll practice some of them for as long as I’m based there. For example, while I’m in Thailand I’m practicing Muay Thai, Buddhist meditation and Thai cooking. These learning “challenges” feed my curiosity and stretch my comfort zone. Taking these skills with me for the rest of my life is far more valuable to me than any souvenir.
Marc Andreessen famously said, “Software is eating the world.” And there’s data to prove it: According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 1.25 million software engineering jobs in the US in 2016 alone, and those jobs were growing at a rate of 24% per year. On top of this growth, software engineers enjoy an average annual salary of nearly $100k!
But what does it take to land a job as a software developer? Having a deep and practical understanding of data structures and algorithms is key to acing the job interview and growing your technical career. Whether you want to become a web developer or set a foundation in software development to move into roles like machine learning engineer or data engineer, understanding data structures and algorithms will help you get there.
Today, we are excited to announce the Data Structures and Algorithms Nanodegree Program! From evaluating which data structures to use when you’re building a website, to selecting the right algorithm for a self-driving car, every software engineering problem requires an intuitive understanding of these tools. This is why all software engineering job interviews emphasize data structures and algorithms during coding interviews.
Students will practice solving everything from very well-defined problems, like how to calculate the efficiency of a specific algorithm, to more open-ended problems, like building your own private blockchain or writing a web-crawler. With the launch of this program, anyone with an Internet connection and intermediate Python skills can practice these in-demand interview skills with over 100 problems.
During this program, students will complete four courses and over 100 practice problems. Throughout the program, students will start by practicing with well-defined problems and then move into open-ended problems that will require them to make design trade-offs. All practice problems and projects require that students have intermediate Python knowledge.
Having a deep and practical understanding of data structures and algorithms is key to acing the job interview and growing your technical career.
Here’s a course-by-course breakdown:
In a continuation of celebrating this year’s Women’s History Month, we would like to introduce Ayşin Taşdelen, an artificial intelligence professional and three-time Nanodegree program graduate. She has let her curiosity and desire for new skills lead her through three Nanodegree programs, new jobs, and side projects.
We recently had a chance to speak with Ayşin to hear about her motivations and interest in pursuing cutting-edge technologies.
You studied mathematics during your university years and then became a programmer, what were some of your initial career goals?
I really enjoyed my university studies, so much so, that I initially looked into becoming a full-time researcher. Leaving academia was a tough decision, I loved learning but also knew that starting a traditional career would help me financially. I decided to go the career route and follow my interest in computer science. My initial career goal was to land a job and improve my programming skills.
As your career has developed, how have you satiated your desire to learn?
Over the years, I have tried to keep up with industry articles and books about the latest computer and tech trends. As the internet surged, I started using online library subscriptions and video learning paths. Reading and watching videos were great, but they only get you so far; I never felt like I was learning enough about a subject or concept, until, Udacity.
Udacity is excited to announce the release of a new R Programming track within the popular Programming for Data Science Nanodegree program. Now students can choose to learn either Python or R as they begin their journey into data science. Both the Python and R tracks also include courses on SQL, Command Line, and GitHub.
Udacity’s Data Science track begins with programming as it’s an essential skill for most data science and analytics work. In terms of popularity in the data science field, R and Python dwarf most other programming languages, and much has been written comparing the two. In fact, if you Google “r vs. python” you’ll get over 55,000 results! So rather than give just one more opinion, we’ve pulled together some of the key takeaways on the topic to help you make a decision on which language to learn.
For both R and Python, I’ll begin by introducing the programming language then describing some of the most significant advantages to using it.
What is R?
The programming language R was first released by a group of statisticians in 1994 and has since become widely used by statisticians, researchers, and data analysts around the world. It was created “for statisticians, by statisticians,” and has a wide array of built-in functions and third-party libraries enabling data scientists to accomplish tasks at every step of the data science process.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’ve introduced you to numerous women who are balancing their dedication to re-skilling, growing their careers and the demands of everyday life. Marcy Bursac has successfully made a mid-career change in the midst of raising a family.
When Marcy realized she wanted greater balance in her work-life schedule to allow for more time with her kids and husband, she was faced with a dilemma about her career. She took the time to reimagine what she had done previously, and what she could do next. Over the course of a year, she enrolled in an intensive local tech program, the Udacity Front End Nanodegree program, and became involved in the local tech community. Her experience is marked by motivation, dedication, and hard work. We recently chatted with Marcy to learn how she changed the direction of her career in the midst of an active personal life.
Thank you for chatting with us, Marcy! Can you start by telling us a little about your educational and professional background?
Hi Caroline! As we chat, I am in my home studio having just finished the final assignment for my first MBA course, Accounting. Milestones are so fun!
After receiving an undergraduate degree, I began work in a non-profit pediatric clinic. I was immediately taken with non-profit work, and thus began an incredibly meaningful chapter in my life. I spent the next 12 years working with several organizations on behalf of underserved populations such as individuals who were homeless and individuals who were unemployed or under-employed. It was during my time with one organization, Dress for Success Midwest, that I learned about the underrepresentation of women in various STEM-related fields. I was intrigued.
At the same time, a friend of mine worked at MasterCard Foundation, and we were able to collaborate to create a local non-profit tech program with the mission of aiding single moms to rapidly propel their career into tech jobs, to achieve a living wage much more quickly than through a traditional college degree. Seeing women who had never coded building their own program over just a few short weeks, I found my own interest in the tech sector, coding, in particular, growing. In the evenings, I began a free online program which lasted a few lessons until I was lost and I totally put that wild idea to the wayside.
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.
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.
The numbers paint a pretty compelling picture, and all the press articles certainly add to the sense of excitement. Everywhere you look, there’s another story about the incredible demand for skilled data scientists. Just two weeks ago, a story from Bloomberg noted that job listings for data scientists on Indeed.com have increased 75% in just three years. Glassdoor has named Data Scientist the best job in the U.S. three years in a row. IBM is predicting a demand increase of nearly 30% in the next two years.
In short, it is an incredible time to become a Data Scientist.
That’s easier said than done, of course. But that’s where Udacity comes in. No matter where your skills and experience are today, we offer a point-of-entry into the world of data, and at Udacity, every data learning path ends with you being ready for success in the field.
Whether you want to master data science programming with Python and SQL, launch a Data Analyst career, or explore business and predictive analytics, Udacity offers world-class programs, expert instructors, and the opportunity to start building relevant skills right away. We’ve partnered with industry leaders like Tableau, Kaggle, and IBM Watson, to ensure you’re learning the in-demand skills recruiters and hiring managers are looking for.
In this post, I’ll walk you through all the Nanodegree programs in our School of Data Science. I’ll show you what each covers, make clear how they connect, and help you choose the program that’s right for you. In the process, I’ll describe the projects you’ll build, and the skills you’ll learn.
Let’s get started!