My Time at Udacity – Part 1 of 2

My Time at Udacity – Part 1 of 2

In the build up to starting my Android Developer Nanodegree at Udacity I was fairly unsure where I wanted to take my development career.  It was whilst watching the 2015 Google I/O conference that made me think that building Apps could be a really interesting direction to head in.

I decided to view the prerequisites for the Nanodegree on Udacity’s website and found a few red flags for why maybe I shouldn’t jump straight in. Here are a couple quotes:

  1. This is not a “Zero to Hero” program. Entering students are expected to have prior experience building applications (web or mobile) in Java or another object-oriented programming language.”

I didn’t have experiences building web or mobile applications in Java (or another OOP language)…

  1. You should have at least 1-2 years of experience in Java or another object-oriented programming language prior to enrolling.”

I also didn’t have 1-2 years of experience in Java (or another OOP language). I had learned a bit of C++ a couple years back though so… that should do right?

  1. Grit: Ability to work through challenges and persevere when code breaks and tests fail.

Hells yes I have grit! I’m all grit! I’m built of grit! Grit is my middle name… it’s Steven Grit Blakemore; a name I had considered a curse up until this point!

One out of three ain't bad

I decided, after asking the opinion of a few valued friends, that I wouldn’t let being painfully inexperienced stop me so I committed to learning Java alongside Android and I jumped straight in.

The prerequisites also mentioned that “This will be a challenging and rewarding journey that will take a novice programmer 9 months or longer to complete, spending an estimated 10 hours per week on the coursework.

This course took me 12 months to complete, spending an average of 20 hours a week (sometimes less, sometimes a lot more) and when I handed in my final project at 2:30am after a 100 hour work week (32 of those at my actual day job) I felt and looked like this:

The next few days at work I don’t think I was good to anyone (fortunately my Boss was very understanding), and I still feel fairly exhausted, but I did it and came out the end having learned so much and having created something I’m really proud of.

On Monday I’ll go through some examples of the work I completed during the course and explain where I struggled the most.


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