By Nick Such
When we started Awesome Inc U, our vision was to simply offer 1-2 day, in-person courses in the basics of software development. These “Crash Courses” are great because they provide a hands-on experience for our students, with lots of interaction with our instructional team, and they happen 2-3 times per month. While this was a great way to get started, we’ve learned a few things from our students since we launched in June 2013. Based on feedback from our students, we decided to share our courses through the online training site, Udemy in addition to our in-person courses. Here are a few benefits that we hope it will offer:
Our Crash Courses typically run on Saturday afternoons for about 6 hours. If your Saturday afternoons are open, then this works great. It turns out, this is not the case for everyone. There are quite a few University of Kentucky basketball games on Saturdays, and both our students and instructors here in Lexington are pretty avid fans. We don’t want people to have to choose between cheering on the Wildcats or creating a web app, so this allows our students the opportunity to take our courses when they have the time to focus on learning to code.
“So, what did the instructor say to do after we declared that function?” We’ve found several of our students asking questions like this. During a 6-hour course, typing hundreds of detailed lines of text, you’re bound to miss something. That’s why we’re recording not just video from an oft corner of the room, but full-resolution screencasts so you can see exactly what the instructor is typing. Pause, rewind, repeat, all to your pleasing. And participants in our in-person courses now get free access to their respective course video.
Our goal is to teach 500 people how to code in our first year. We’re at 293 Crash Course attendees with about 3.5 months to go. With about 7 more courses, each with 30 students, we’ll meet our goal. But what if we could teach 5000 people how to code? What if they didn’t have to travel to Lexington, KY to do this? What if we could offer free and reduced-price courses to those who need it? By offering our courses through Udemy, we can have a much bigger impact around the world. This means more entrepreneurs who can build their own apps, more students creating their own video games, and more people pursuing a promising new career.
We currently have 3 courses up on Udemy:
The first two of these are our most popular Crash Courses, while Jekyll is a tool that we use internally to manage the Awesome Inc and Awesome Inc U websites (and if WordPress isn’t doing the trick for your site, you should check out Jekyll, too). We’ll continue to add more courses as time goes on. If there are any topics that you’d like for us to cover in future courses, please let us know. In the mean time, you can follow us on Udemy to keep updated as courses roll out.