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Gabriel Candal

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  • 18 reviews
  • 14 completed
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I gave the Part 1 of this course 4 stars, but this part was amazing. I don't know if the reason for this change of hearth is my perception changed or not, but between MOOCs I took a course at college regarding this same subject and that helped appreciate the contents of this MOOC. This is not a technical course per-se, but it is (as the name says) much more focused on processes. Don't take this as something negative, on the contrary: it helps you understanding how to build and deploy reliable software. Lectures are great; they're pretty useful while remaining a joy to watch. Even if you are not planning to complete this course (as far as certification is concerned), just watching the lectures is a great head start in developing some necessary skills to build software products. Anyway, bear in mind that to retain all this information you really have to put in practice in real projects, otherwise probably you'll forget everything.
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First of all, I must say I have already completed a course at college regarding distributed systems, so the subject is familiar to me and my review is written from a point of view of who already knows most of the material being taught. If that is not your case, my opinion may not matter. Also, I only watched the first 2 weeks of lectures (did no homework, since the first one is at the end of week 3). While it deals with a really interesting subject, with sub-exploration in the MOOC space (I believe this is one of the first courses addressing it), I believe there is a poor delivery of the material: this may be harsh, but I felt the lectures where neither challenging enough nor clear enough. Probably the fact that I have had issues listening to the instructor contributed to this feeling (the audio didn't seem very good, it makes focusing hard). Overall, I felt I was learning nothing new, neither revisiting what I already knew; but you experience may differ if you have a different background, I advise to try it for yourself.
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Great, great, GREAT course. Pros: -Complete lectures, they're everything you need to understand the material and do the homework/exams. -Thought concepts, yet explained thoroughly, making them absorbable. -Challenging programming assignment. -Decent peer review system, the rules don't give much room for injustice and it is an opportunity to assess yourself beyond the "it works" metric. -High quality in every other aspect: complete handouts, no problems with the grader, great support by the TAs in the forums. -Relevant material for both academia and industry-related work. I believe this will surely improve your programming. Cons: -Yet to be discovered. Overall, I believe I have used around 3/4h per homework (not counting with watching the lectures, which depends on your playback speed).
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Pros: -Complete introduction to functional programming -Some challenging quizzes -Multi-language (you don't have to use Haskell) -You can use Haskell :D -The instructor seems like a great guy -Formal exposure to the theme, which is properly assessed in the homework, like a decent MOOC should do. -There are several optional segments, called 'Jam Session' where you will be shown extra material (related to functional programming, but not funcprog stricu sensu). I'm sorry Erik, I admire you and your work, but I can't help myself but to share my honest opinion: Cons: \- Video lectures are, and I can't stress this enough, NOT enough if you want to fully understand the material. \- As a consequence of the previous point, some homework questions seem like as if they have fallen from the sky. \- Homework is divided into programming exercises (~10%) and quizzes. The programming exercises (except for the last lab) are WAY too easy compared to the quizzes, which is the real deal regarding pushing your knowledge on this to the limit. If you try to do the quizzes without trying out the answers in the interpreter first (like I did, at first), you WILL have problems. \- Some of the questions' difficulty is related to small details, which can be frustrating, especially since you only get 1 try. I just failed a question where we had to pick the right proof by induction for a given equality, and the difference between my answer and the right one was 1 + x vs x + 1 (missing usage of commutative property in the 1st one). It is said several times throughout the course that you will need to either read the book or google the subject by yourself and that is COMPLETELY true. I had a reasonable informal exposure to the topic but still struggled to make it trought the homework. If you plan to gain some knowledge, even if you don't get to 90%+ grade, this is a great course, but you won't be able to understand the material just by the MOOC itself, extra study will be needed.
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As a CS student, I ended up finding this course useful, even though it is clearly below the level of most MOOCs on Software. It is more of an overview of Android's features rather than a place where you could learn this stuff in a solid manner. Even though the lectures are well organised and the instructors are available on forums, the quizzes are too easy and you will learn little from it (this was half-solved during the course, when they introduced extra exercises), since they're based on filling TODO's with just a few sentences. It is not easy to identify what went wrong, but even as someone who completed everything until ~week 5, I do not feel I do comfortably know Android by know, besides an overall knowledge on what can it do. Despite all this, it is great material to keep around (mainly for future reference, to consult while you develop).
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For someone who already studied Philosophy in high school, this is not new material; nevertheless, the world would be a better place if everyone knew the basics on identifying (and producing) credible arguments. In a lightweight way, all the fundamentals are covered, providing students with more than sufficient knowledge to start questioning what they read and hear in their daily (or professional) lives.
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If you know programming (no need to be an expert, not even close) and don't know what MapReduce is, this is a nice place to start. If seen as a brief introduction to MR, to the point where you can write your own solutions to simple problems, it fulfills its role. Nevertheless, it won't make you an expert and it's fairly easy to complete (an afternoon is enough). No free certificate.
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As a CS student, I have no experience on this subject. That was one of the reasons why did I enroll, being the other just convenience: it's a short course with a small workload. Nonetheless, I'm SERIOUSLY amazed by the quality of this course, it is way above my expectations (from my previous MOOC experience, every time I tried to start a course on Management/Finance/Economics I gave up in the first week due to poor material). Even my the standards of the best MOOCs I've attended, this one is above all of them. The video production is JUST GREAT (seriously, sign up and watch the first two videos, you'll understand what I mean - perfect audio, engaging teacher which you don't have to 2x to avoid falling asleep, frequent quizzes, notes which appear on the side, interesting SUBTITLED participation from the students in the live class). Now, on the subject, I believe this is both great for people with previous formation (formal or not) on the subject, as it will make you reflect upon the foundations of business. Personally, I find it really interesting (even if it was not quite what you may expect, given the title). However, it may not be fit for everyone (as it is not very technical nor complex), so please read the syllabus before you jump in (which I strongly advise you to do!). Up to this point, I have nothing to highlight which could be improved.
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The title is misleading, this is a course on understanding the business behind turning an idea into profit, no more no less. And it sure does fulfill its role. For someone who doesn't have contact with business, taking this course will guide you on turning common sense into common practice, as you will see some ideas you already had on a more formal and systematic approach.
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Had some contact with Scheme has a 1st programming language. I can't recall anything which could be corrected on this course, together with MITx's 100x it's the most flawless MOOC offering I've ever experienced. -Fun assignments -Unconventional yet relevant subject -Teaches a new way of thinking rather than just a new technical skill -Very competent and eager to teach staff (both Prof. Odersky and the TAs) -An optional formal approach to FP
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-Completed FP Principles in Scala -2 years of formal CS studies Pros: -Relevant subject -Challenging Cons: -Errors on assignments: one of them handed out the solution in the "question", was fixed later. Could be better explained (without relying so much on FAQs). Overall, it has the potential to be a great course once it is mature enough. Also, don't start the course unless you have a good amount of time to work on it; usually I spend an afternoon/morning with online courses, and it tends to be enough, but in this case, it won't. You'll need time to grasp the concepts. The bright side is, if you give it enough time, you'll really learn A LOT on one of the most current topics on the field.
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While studying engineering, I've always found social sciences to be interesting, and thus used MOOCs to learn something outside formal education. This being said, I'm doing this MOOC while studying for college and, for someone who does not have much time, this course is not appropriate since it demands you to read around 50 pages per week to get the full grasp of the material (lectures aren't enough). For me, it is not easy to keep focus, after a full day of work, to go and read an extensive PDF. Took Inspiring Leadership prior do this course, which also had "mandatory" readings, but these ones are just too much. Other thing which I didn't like (not a reason to drop) is the continuous advertisement to an website authored by the teacher. Other than that, I found the material very interesting.
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Engaged on this course as a way to learn Rails for a MOOC, and it really made things clear. I totally recommend this one!
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Prior experience: Python and statistics. The course started out really good (even if I played the videos with 2x speed, since the instructor speaks really slow and explains well enough to be able to understand everything at the first time), and the instructor participated A LOT in the forums and really used student's feedback. Another plus is the fact it uses open-source software(did not have any troubles on setup on Windows), Now, the bad: -Even if you have programming experience, you will waste a lot of time getting used to QSTK (unless you already know Panda and numPy), even if you already know how the problem should be solved. -Coherence between videos vanishes since the middle of the course. What I mean is, even if the videos are well designed individually, it's hard to maintain an idea of the bigger picture. -The coherence of each -Evaluation is based on 2 questions with 4 options and you got 5 tries, so even if you don't make the assignments you can complete the course by just answering randomly. And, trying not to be picky here but... the music+photo+"Tucker Balch,Phd" at beginning of the videos is really unnecessary and the sound quality on some videos should be fixed.
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Knew SVN before doing this. Nothing you cannot learn alone by reading a web page, which ends up being faster and most effective (since it's more about memory than anything else).
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Prior experience on this subject: none: As an engineering student, I've always enjoyed this kind of subject, so I decided to enroll on a MOOC about it, since there was no way I could get formal education at this point and felt that reading a random book on my own wouldn't be the best option. After completing all the assignments I must say that the course title is misleading, what it is really about is how should you help yourself and others to find which future do you want to have (so to say) and why is that important in organizations (all backed up by studies, which I found to be very interesting). If you engage in this course, be prepared to: read ~3 articles/week, engage in forums (which are part of the evaluation, because of lack of time I didn't do this and probably that damaged my learning) and reflect on yourself (which was also a bit hard to me, since it's hard to define a future path if you still hadn't touched all the subejcts of your area of study, I ended up not doing that particular assignment - but there are many others, around 10). There's also optional learning assignments which suggest you to practice what you learn on real people and then evaluate the results, which was something I did not do (unfortunately, due to my social context it was hard to find people willing to participate) but found to be very interesting.
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Prior experience: 1 year of computer science education. This was my first MOOC, and up to this point, the most rewarding one. The way it approaches CS is the best I've seen so far, giving real examples of usage of all the concepts, it's really motivating. Regarding difficulty, it has the perfect balance: the challenges are demanding but not so hard that you feel frustrated or can't complete it. I totally recommend this one, but I advise you that if your only goal is to learn Python, maybe it is not the best choice, as you will use a lot of time on others subjects rather then just programming.
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Background: C++, Python - 2nd year computer science student. The course is well organized and you don't lose much time configuring your machine since they provide a ready-to-use VM. It is more of a general software engineering course than a SAAS one, that isn't necessarily bad, but you should be aware. If you do not know Ruby, be ready to spend a few hours learning it, the first homework is very challenging (in the good way, great job there!). Regarding other homeworks, I've heard they accept faulty code but my experience says otherwise: it evaluated what I did accurately. They use Rails as a mean to teach SAAS as well as some development practices (BDD and TDD), but I don't know to what extent it was a good call to mixture those two subjects in such a short time; this way you can only grasp the concepts and even if you complete all the assignments that won't make you comfortable using them.