Code2Lead — My Journey with Udacity to a meaningful striving for recognition10 Dec 2017
Learning is a never ending process
Especially in the field of computer science and technology, it is very important to stay top with trending skill set. As the need for learning and updating the skills/knowledge increases, the same way opportunities to update the skills also getting increased.
This blog post is about how Udacity courses helped me to up-skill, get recognized and increase the confident. I do follow many other sources to keep my skills updated, But this blog post is only about Udacity courses that played a big roll in my up skilling process.
I have been developing Android applications since 2010. It is almost close to 7 years of Android application development. There were a lot of improvements in Android SDK each and every year from beginning of my career. I have never seen a phase to stop learning. The updates and improvements are keep on increasing and increasing as the platform itself gone through lot of improvements horizontally and vertically.
The need for adding more discipline and perfection in coding standards, designing, tools utilization, testing, release processes, bug reporting, performance monitoring, analyzing, user retention and growth hacking…etc requires everyone to learn more and more regularly. It is very important to learn and practice the new techniques and new methodologies for the developers like me especially. Also, it is important to keep on getting recognized by proving the skills.
When I say developers like me, I stressed it because I work for a product based startup from last 6 years. The developers who believes in a product Idea and settles in a company for long term may not have many applications to list under their portfolio.
As like the fellow Android developers around the world, I also do follow Google’s announcements on Android very closely. The SDK and it’s best utilization formula can be explained better by the creators itself to the developers like me. So, I always prefer to learn from Google’s materials and Google developer advocates open sourced advice’s and techniques.
Back in 2013, I came across Udacity courses for Android in one of my favorite Android developers Meetup BAUG(Currently referred as GDGBlrdroid) from [Amrit Sanjeev] (https://medium.com/@amsanjeev). I realized that the gap between Google (The creators of API’s) and developers (The consumers of API’s) is reduced now and these courses will make both work more closely than before. I saw this as an opportunity to horn my skills and started utilizing the free materials created by Google and Udacity. The materials helped me in lot of ways and kept me going on my Android development up-skilling. Most of my perfection with Android development improved from these course materials.
Free materials to Code2Lead:
The materials that Udacity allows us to access looked very much enough to develop skills. But at times it looked like peer programming mattered for me to get more confident in what I am good at (That’s because most of the early stage in my career, I worked as an Individual contributor).
I was looking for a right time to get enrolled and get peer reviews for the projects involved in Nanodegree Program. That will help me to get some more insights on my coding standards.
May 2017, seemed to be the right time as Udacity introduced a new program called Code2Lead. It looked like a perfect fit for me at the expected time. As I was looking to get recognized and looking to get more exposure with more projects, I immediately applied for the program.
Finally decided to show up with the right opportunity
As the program is designed to compete from the very beginning, I got more interested to start ticking the milestones and challenges in the Code2Lead program. Here is the phases that I have gone through in this competitive program,
+ Eligibility to apply is 3+ Years of full time work experience. + Application goes under Udacity’s scanner to pick the right kind of candidates for the program. + The scary part in the very beginning was, Udacity Code2Lead allows only 25 Candidates to be shortlisted. + Code2Lead is for 5 different areas(Android, iOS, Fullstack Web, Machine learning, Data analyst). So totally 125 candidates gets shortlisted to compete. + Starting from June 2017, participants needs to finish the course and certified before 31st October 2017. + After Course completion and certified participants will get invited to compete in Hackathon. + Two winners of the hackathon from each Nanodegree will be announced as Udacity Technology Leader. (Apart from mentioned in the beginning, one more Interview process has been added here for us). + From the ten winners, there will be one more round of shortlisting process Interview. The two winners of this Interview will get a chance to go trip to Silicon Valley.
So that is the recognition that I strive to get from this Code2Lead program.
My journey: My journey with Code2Lead was full of excitement as I was climbing steps one by one by getting shortlisted. I was happy to see When I received a mail for my application approval and shortlist confirmation to participate and compete. When Udacity mail read “You are the kind of disruptor thaw we look for”, obviously I have no reasons to not get excited.
The learning: Each and every course process was amazing with interesting learning in each time. With hands-on projects it looked really energetic process for me. I enjoyed each project milestones and reviews. I did not try to do anything extraordinary apart from the course materials. Because the outside world learning with blogs and open source projects were different from the course materials. It was a good unlearning and relearning for me.
Hack before hackathon: Slightly I have tightened the process in the October end. As per the program guidelines, candidates should have finished the course and get certified on or before October 31st. So, my final project and one more project was 24 hours continuous hack each.
October last week looked exactly alike.
Eligibility of hackathon participation: The hackathon shortlist results were announced in November 1st week. The Invitation to participate in the hackathon made me feel the fruitiness of the course completion hard work.
Forgot to mention, Yes I got certified. Android Developer Nanodegree certificate.
So the date of Nov 18th is the hackathon day. The same time, Nov 17th Udacity conducted Udacity Propel (a hiring event). As both Hackathon and propel happened in Bangalore, I had the chance to attend both. But for me, from the second week of November was a Hackathon preparation week. As I was keen on staying till the end of Code2Lead as Winning participant, I did not attend the propel on 17th and kept my hackathon preparations going on.
Hackathon: The problem set for hackathon and arrangements in 91SpringBoard, JP Nagar, Bangalore was really good by Udacity. Managed to happily finish the 12 hours hack by completing mandatory hack requirements, Good to have requirements and Advanced level requirements. The level of hack in 12 hours was really a good experience for me.
Hackathon shortlist: One more shortlist mail from the hackathon results received from Udacity and I was confident enough to see my name gets included in it. It happened as expected.
The expectation towards the recognition: Received an Invitation to go through an interview process with Udacity India MD Mr. Ishan Gupta.
Excited and eagerly looking forward for the interview day. So far I like the toughness and level of process that Udacity follows to filter out the right candidates to shortlist. Udacity keeps on tightens the competition all through this program.
Finally, I am still waiting to get surpassed two more goals to achieve the final recognition.
1. Result of technology leader recognition by Udacity. 2. Result of final winners to Silicon valley trip.
Other courses that I utilize from Udacity/currently doing:
1. Firebase Essentials For Android — By Google 2. Passwordless Login Solutions for Android — By Facebook 3. Designing RESTFul API’s — By Udacity 4. Design of Everyday things — By Don Norman 5. UX design for Mobile developers — By Google 6. Machine Learning For Trading — By Georgia Tech 7. Building a Startup — By Steve Blank 8. Product Design — By Google 9. Rapid Prototyping — By Google 10. Get Your Startup Started — By Google 11. Progressive Web apps — By Google
All of these courses in different areas will help me to get ability to involve and comment on most of the product development processes.
In one word, Udacity courses helps me a lot in up skilling