Blog Career Guidance Intro to Computer Science: Udacity’s Most Popular Course Rebooted

Intro to Computer Science: Udacity’s Most Popular Course Rebooted

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Dave and me (and champagne)
Dave and me (and champagne) celebrating the course launch in 2012

Hi, I’m Kathleen, Director of Content Development at Udacity. Today, I’m proud to announce the reboot of Udacity’s most popular course: Intro to Computer Science. In this introductory Python course, more than 400,000 students have enrolled to learn fundamental concepts in computer science and program their own search engine.

Since we launched this course in February 2012, it’s been a life-changing (and career changing) experience for students all over the world, and we’re thrilled to add two key components that will give many more students the best learning experience possible.

First, we’ve added an additional project for diversity in skill mastery. Second, we’ve opened up access to our personal Coaches and Verified Certificates.

Learn by doing: Projects

Tens of thousands of students have completed this course, building search engines and other neat projects like, KickSaver, where you can find and save Kickstarter projects before they end, and Youdacity, a search engine for specific topics in educational videos.

Kicksaver, a project by student Connor Mendenhall
Youdacity, a project by student Sascha Coenen

Now, we’re excited to release a brand new project where you will apply your new CS skills to program your own social network. We’ll give you a set of relationships (i.e. strings of phrases like “Dave likes Maria, Muhammad and Kristy”) and you will programmatically organize them into a social network. With the social network you create, you can explore relationships and gain insight into how you fit into your own social networks.

Learn with us: Coaching

We’re proud to open capacity in Coaching for Intro to Computer Science. You can think of Coaches as your personal programming trainers who help you across the CS-skills finish line, in the best shape possible.

Udacity Coaching starts with an on-boarding interview where you’ll tell your Coach what your goals are for the course and beyond. Together, you’ll come up with a learning game plan that includes pacing, milestone goals, and anything else that might help you learn. Inside the course, you’ll have access to on-demand chat tutoring, and you’ll be able to schedule video sessions for extra in-depth tutoring.

Udacity Coaches
Udacity Coaches (and a Squishable)

When you reach the end of the course, you’ll submit your final project (in this course, the Social Network project) to your Coach, and we’ll give you detailed code feedback. For many students, this personalized feedback helps them take the leap from writing proficient code to writing truly elegant code.

Join Our Community

Making a career change is no easy feat; this is why we are so proud of our many students for whom Intro to Computer Science was the first step down this impressive road.

You might recognize Megan from our homepage. Megan was a medical researcher who took Intro to CS and pivoted in her career to become a software developer. She says, “Transitioning out of research and into tech was a big step! In college I majored in kinesiology, and I worked as a researcher at UCSF. After taking Intro to CS with Udacity, I was able to pivot and I started at a position as a junior developer.”

Megan Marsh
Megan started her career as a software developer after taking Intro to Computer Science

Coming from a non-technical background myself, learning to code unlocked doors for me in my non-tech career. As a data analyst on Google Maps, it became clear I needed to learn to code in order to increase my team’s impact. With Python, I was able to build lightweight automated tests to help us work more efficiently, and I was able to build prototypes of tools I hoped to get developed by our engineering team. I’ve been promoting coding to everyone I know ever since (lucky I found this position at Udacity!).
I hope you are as inspired as I am by the many Udacity students who’ve taken this course as a first step towards changing their careers, and that you’ll join us.

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