Udacity VP of Content Explains the Future of Teaching

Teaching is a critical role in society. Teaching nurtures the next generation of learners and, in return, enhances the teacher’s skills. At Udacity, our world-class instructors bring enduring value to our students. And in the process of teaching their expertise to others, our instructors are given the chance to sharpen their skills through new technical and networking opportunities.

Kirk Werner, VP of Content at Udacity, works with our instructors frequently to create content for learners of all abilities and experiences. Werner has more than 20 years of experience working in educational publishing and digital education. He has also worked with some of the largest and most successful companies from McGraw-Hill Education to lynda.com/LinkedIn. 

In this article, he offers insight into how being an instructor at Udacity is an opportunity for career development, relationship building and personal growth.

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Celebrate Women’s History Month with Udacity’s Ground-breaking Instructors

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.

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Udacity Instructor Interview: Meet Abhinav Singh a Self-taught Security Expert & Community Advocate

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.

Abhinav Singh, successfully adapting to our new world of work and busy in his “home office.”

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Tapping into Creativity and Curiosity with Gabe Ruttner, Udacity Instructor

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.

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Taking on Teaching — Answering the Call

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. 

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Designing a New Path – Melissa Hui, Udacity Instructor

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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.

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Learning Through Storytelling—Michael Dedrick, Udacity Instructor

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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!”

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