Introduction To Programming Nanodegree
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 06 May 2015

Enrollment opens today for Udacity's Nanodgree programs. This month's line up includes a new set of courses: Introduction To Programming. There's also a one-time offer of a reimbursement of half your tuition fee.


Unlike the other nanodegrees on offer from Udacity, this one doesn't relate to a specific job role and it doesn't have any prerequisites. In common with the others enrollment in the program costs $200 per month after a 1-week free trial and for this you get:

  • Verified Nanodegree Certificate
  • Interview-ready project portfolio
  • Access to Office Hours
  • Access to Coach-supported forums
  • Technical assistance

When Nanodegrees were first launched students were offered a personal coach to help customize a learning plan and provide career-related guidance. This no longer seems to be the case and the coaches now provide feedback with the forums rather than on individual basis.




An offer that is currently on the table  is that students who enroll in any of the five Nanodegrees before May 12, 2015 and graduate within 12 months of your start date without cancelling can claim back 50% of the fees they have paid (unless their employer is reimbursing their tuition).

So now is a good time to enroll in any of the programs we have previously covered on I Programmer, all of which are for those who have some relevant background and experience:

The new Introduction to Programming Nanodegree is at Beginner level and is expected to take 4-6 months with a minimum of 10 hours per week. 

According to its description:

If you have zero programming knowledge, completing this Nanodegree will give you enough to be an effective programmer. You won’t just learn to code, you will learn what it means to “think like a programmer” and you'll have your own web page and a portfolio of programs you've built to prove it.

As students go through the Nanodegree they will build a web page and use it to document what they are learning. This entails, for example, learning the CSS styling language and embedding videos using Python. In its fifth and final stage, by which point students should already have a solid understanding of most of the essential concepts and skills that programming requires, there's a rapid sampling of some of the ideas not covered elsewhere including: 

  • JavaScript: the language of the web.
  • APIs: "Application Programming Interfaces" give programmers a way to easily incorporate data from all over the web into their applications.
  • Recursion: This may be the most mind-blowing idea in programming.
  • Parallel Computing: How to use many computers to solve really big problems more efficiently.
  • How to Solve Big Problems: You run into new challenges when you write large programs (or building substantial web pages).
  • Responsive Web Design: How to make your web page look good on a computer, tablet, or phone.

At the end of each of the stages of Nanogrees there is a "project checkpoint" where students apply their new skills by adding functionality to their web pages. For the last one they can choose between these topics.

This Nanodegree has an attractive structure and it should be exciting to be among the first cohort. If you miss the current enrollment window, May 6 - 12, enrollment will open again shortly - but the 50% tuition fee reimbursement may not be offered again another time. 



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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 May 2015 )