Coursera and My Alibi


Wow, it has been two month since my last post. Now it’s March and I’ve finished my language training and just started my life as an ordinary salaryman in Japan by the first of this March. And yup, during these two months, no new code or new tutorial or new anything was added in this blog. Yup, I was unproductive although I have been stating in my resolution for this years that I’m going to be more productive. Well, at least I going a good reason alibi to be unproductive for this blog. So, here it is my alibi:

In order to keep from wasting my free time with movie or 9gag, I decided to take an online course from Coursera. I heard about this site from a friend 2 years ago but never have the chance to try it. Now, that I have quite free time during my language training, I decided to try to take one course in there.

For those of you who do not know what Coursera is, here is its logo.

coursera logo

And here is a brief explanation about it:

Coursera is a web-based learning site where you can take an online course from several respectable university from all over the world. The great thing a bout this website is that it is free of charge and no admission test is required to join course (which is good because there is no way I pass the admission test for these major university). There are a lot of courses on different subject in Coursera, ranging from engineering to art. For every course you take, you must watch a weekly posted video lectures, do some quiz and assignment on weekly basis, and do the final exam at the end of the course. The length of courses is relatively short, it is like around 8 weeks but might be different for each course. While it is free and no admission test , I still don’t know if I will get some kind of distinction or recognition if I pass the course, because up to now, all the courses that I took hasn’t finished yet (Well, one course almost finished, and I’ll let you know how it goes).

After looking at a very long list of courses available to take, at the end of December, I decided to take Game Theory because I thought I could learn something about making video game and so on. However, I was wrong. Although the course revolves around game playing, it is more about decision making and making some strategy. Nevertheless, it turned out to have its own interesting point and I ended up finishing the entire course (I just did my final exam and are waiting for the result now), although at first I think I may quit in the middle of the course.

In the game theory course (or should I say in most courses available in coursera), I  just downloaded and watched several video lectures that are posted weekly and did the exercise and assignment to be done every week. This turned out to be not as time consuming as I think. I just spent around 1 hour a week to watch the lectures and probably around 2 hours to do the exercise and assignment. So, somewhere in early February, I decided to take one more course.

So, once again, I looked at a long list of available courses and finally decided to take Algorithm (part 1) course. This class revolves around programming and I found the course really interesting, because it taught us to be concerned about run-time and memory when doing some programming, hence the algorithm comes into play. In this course, besides weekly exercise, there are also weekly programming exercise in Java. Then I taught this course was good for me because it will force me to learn Java, yet another programming language that I haven’t touched. Unfortunately, the programming assignment turned out to be very hard for me. Maybe it is because of my lack of fundamental in OOP, nonetheless, these programming assignments made me spent quite great deal of time to finish. Thus, become my alibi for my dormancy over the last two months.

Me Before Coursera

Me in My Free Time (Before Coursera)

Me After Coursera

Me in My Free Time (After Coursera)

Fortunately, the game theory class will end on the 10th of this month and I’ve cleared everything that I have to do. So, I will be having some free time and will start being active in this blog (hopefully).

Nevertheless, I think that Coursera is a good place for those of you who have some free time and want to learn something new and I really recommends it. It is free so you got nothing to lose. Even if they does not give any recognition or distinction or something if you pass the course, it shouldn’t be a problem because you got whole new knowledge from it. So, I recommend you to try it.

Well, that’s all that I’m gonna write for this post. After this, I’m gonna have to get back to do the weekly programming assignment (Hiks). Note that although I might seems to be pro Coursera in this post, please keep in mind that I’m not associated with Coursera in anyway. I’m just a member trying to share:D

Regards,

0X_R (not a Coursera Associate)

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