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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What You Read in 2018

In a year of inspiring student success stories, exciting new scholarship opportunities, and groundbreaking Nanodegree program launches, these are the stories that truly captured your attention.

Udacity - What You Read in 2018

Summing up an entire year of learning, achievement, and success, is an essentially impossible task. That’s perhaps why we never end up producing just one definitive Year-in-Review post—there’s just too much to talk about, and too many perspectives from which to view a year’s worth of accomplishment.

Already this year Sebastian Thrun has written “The Audacity to Change,” which included a wonderful “2018: Udacity by the Numbers” infographic. And last week it was our honor and pleasure to publish “2018: A Year of Student Success,” in which we revisited 12 Udacity students previously featured on our blog, to see how their lives are progressing today. (Spoiler alert: they’re doing great!)

Which brings us to this post!

Here, we’re going to look at the blog articles we published in 2018 that resonated the most with you, our community. These are the stories the greatest numbers of you read, re-read, shared, and commented on.

Before we look at specifics, however, I would just like to take a moment to thank every single one of you who’ve read something we’ve published this year. Thank you for giving us your attention, your time, and your trust. As a learning institution devoted to your career success, we know we only succeed when you succeed. The same can essentially be said for our writing efforts—we only succeed when what we’ve written means something to you.

So with that said, let’s look at the articles you read the most! And why not start right at the top? This is 2018’s most-read post:

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A Moving Career Change

20 years of hard-earned experience managing the logistics of military relocations led to a programming career helping other military families move more easily!

A Moving Career Change - Udacity - Student Success

While it’s not necessarily thought of as a conventional “career,” 20 years of organizing regular house moves for her military family (including four children!) has been a LOT of work for Kimberly McCaffrey. She has managed a constant cycle of organizing movers, schools, housing, and logistics, in whatever location the Navy sent them next. When her husband decided to retire, Kimberly knew everything was about to change, and so she started on an exciting new journey—embracing her childhood fascination with computers and launching a career as a programmer. Along the way she won a hackathon, and is now building a new app focused on a subject she knows very well—helping military families relocate!

We were lucky enough to chat with Kimberly to hear about her experiences learning to program, and what she plans to do next.

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2018: A Year of Student Success

Join us as we catch up with Udacity students previously featured on our blog, to see what they’re working on today. 

The end of a calendar year is traditionally a time for both reflection and prediction. At Udacity, our reflections and predictions focus on you—what you’ve done, and what you’ll do next.

Below, we revisit twelve Udacity students previously featured on our blog, to discover how things are progressing in their lives today.

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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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Networking with your Network: Walk it, Talk it, Work it

Learn how to network like the whole world is watching in the third post of our three-part series on career change.

Udacity - Networking with your Network - Career Change

In our two previous posts, we’ve discussed three key principles related to the process of career change. We’ve explored “Walking the Walk” and “Talking the Talk,” and today, we’ll look at our third principle: “Networking with your Network.”

We’ve had two wonderful Udacity alums joining us for our conversations on these topics: Jamaal Davis, a graduate of our Digital Marketing Nanodegree program, and two-time Nanodegree program graduate Xi Palazzolo. To get started on today’s third principle, we’ll turn to Xi for a perfect opening statement:

I love using LinkedIn, and when I felt that I was ready to make my next move, I reached out to a lot of my LinkedIn contacts to ask them, “What kind of skill set do you think is important for someone to succeed, or excel, in this position?”

Now, let’s take this process one step at a time.

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The Audacity to Change

How a 6-month technology course at Udacity helped Anna Preis — and thousands of other people this year — change her life through a new career in tech.

Udacity - The Audacity to Change

Eight years ago, Anna Preis, originally from Poland, found herself in Dublin, Ireland, in a dead-end job working the phones for a payday lender. She hated getting people to take out high-interest loans she knew they could never afford to repay, but she had to meet her quotas to keep her job. “It was heart destroying,” she says. She talked to customers all day long but was never able to truly help them. A string of customer service and customer retention jobs followed, until late last year when a particularly awful day at work caused her to question everything. “I wanted to do something about my life,” she says.

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