At Udacity, we’re thrilled that our courses are taught by some incredible, brilliant women. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we sat down with five of our Nanodegree program instructors to hear about their experiences in their respective fields.
In these interviews, we asked the instructors about their careers, experience working in tech and advice for breaking into the industry.
Learning something new is a difficult process, but teaching yourself something new is even more challenging. Abhinav Singh, Founding Engineer of Amazon Web Services Strategic Security Transformation team, took on that challenge and became an accomplished, mostly self-taught cybersecurity research and development expert.
In this post, we talk with Abhinav about why he became a Udacity Instructor and his experience creating the System Security course within the soon-to-be-released Security Engineer Nanodegree program.
Growing up, Gabe Ruttner was incredibly curious. He’d go into his family’s small business and find ways to improve things with technology. In one case, he replaced their paper-based serial number system by writing a solution with PHP and SQL.
Today, that curiosity is what drives Gabe as a professional. He’s the co-founder and chief technology officer of an early stage startup called Feather Docs, as well as an instructor for Udacity. As an instructor, Gabe has found a unique way to satisfy both his creative drive and natural curiosity.
When Udacity first approached me to be an instructor, I was at a chaotic point in my personal career. I had spent the majority of 2019 building a brand new team at my company, I was working towards a promotion, and I was trying to hire several new analysts, and oh … I was also five months pregnant.
I almost turned it down. Between work and my commute, there were 60 hours missing from my waking hours every week. Udacity was upfront about how big of a commitment it was to be an instructor, and I did the math.
Some people have such an innate understanding of a subject that being in their very presence makes you feel like you’re learning something, almost through osmosis. Udacity Instructor, Melissa Hui, is one of those people. Talking to her is a revelation. Melissa is the founder and principal of Context Leap, an agency specializing in employing human-centered design to help organizations manage culture transformation, empower leadership, and discover how to work in more productive, creative, and innovative ways.
Jean Luc Godard said, “Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” And while a quote from the French New Wave Film director might be an unusual place to start a blog about one of Udacity’s instructors, Michael Dedrick would, no doubt, agree with the sentiment.
“Storytelling is key to all aspects of teaching and working in tech,” says Michael. “From the portfolios, you create while searching for a job, to the curricula you create while teaching a class, everything is a story. Your portfolio tells your story to employers. It shows how you created the work. And, ultimately, you hope your story is more engaging and more pleasing to the employer than the stories told by others who are competing for the same job!”
One of the many visionary experts we’ve been able to speak with is Bill Maurer. He is the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, and a Professor of Anthropology, Law, and Criminology, at the University of California, Irvine. He is also the Director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, and his most recent books include “Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff” and “How Would You Like to Pay?: How Technology Is Changing the Future of Money.”
We spoke with Bill recently about the history of currency, the ways currency represents responsibilities and obligations, the emergence of record-keeping, and the critical role of trust. We also explore the ways in which cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are a logical next step in currency’s evolution, and what the future holds in terms of how these innovations and technologies will be applied.