I’m taking SAAS at UC Berkley through www.coursera.org. SAAS stands for “Software As A Service.” It focuses on the strategies used in software development on “the cloud” as well as introducing students to some current Agile web standards and technologies. In this class, I hope to gain a handle on Ruby On Rails and Rspec. I’m very excited for this class. First of all, because it’s specifically WHAT I want to learn, and also because the instructors from UC Berkley are directly involved with it. We get weekly video casts from our Professors about how the class is going and what to expect. The pace moves pretty fast – only 5 weeks long – at which when finished you’ll be able to make your own Rails App in the cloud (a twitter mock app, I believe). What’s even more amazing is this class is FREE and you get a signed certificate at the end of it (though you don’t get college credit for taking it). However, college credit be damned, because I already have 2 degrees, and no job has ever asked me about my college credit before.
So far I like the class. I bought the $10 eBook text for the class. There’s just nothing like finally having certain things explained to you. For example, after reading the first three chapters, I feel I have a better understanding of relational databases and why scaling them is difficult, about how Model View Control structures came to be, and why it’s smart to use them, about other methods for delivering web contend (alternate to MVC) and a better understanding of natural expressions.
Though part of it is like drinking through a firehose. It’s obvious that every subject can be it’s own textbook, but for the sake of covering important information, we breeze through a lot of topics, all pointing to our end goal – to make a Rails App in The Cloud!
This class also brings up an important reality – the paradigm of how we educate ourselves is changing. And it should!
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them” – Albert Einstein
The internet has brought forth a wonderful plethora of knowledge at the fingertips of anybody who has a device to access it. I want everybody to have this opportunity. Learning, when done right, is AWESOME.
I recommend online learning to anybody who wants to learn. It’s by no means perfect right now, but the more people we have participating in it, the more we can improve it and bring better knowledge to ourselves and future generations.
Here are some other learning resources I’ve found online: