47

I've found sites like Udemy/Khanacademy/Codecademy/Brilliant/Edx to be very useful — possibly more useful than expensive education.

But they still need:

1. Better correction/update mechanisms. Human teachers make mistakes and material gets outdated, and while online teachers are rectified faster than classroom teachers, the procedure is still not optimal. Knowledge should be a bit more like a verified wiki.

2. Some have great interactive coding environments, some have great videos, some have awesome texts, some have helpful communities. None has it all. In the end, I don't want to learn a new language by writing code in my browser. It could all be integrated/synced to the point where IDEs have plugins which are synced to online videos, with tests and exercises built in, up to a social network where you could send snippets for review and add reviews to other people's code.

3. Accreditation. Some platforms offer this against payment, but I think those platforms often feel very old school (pun intended), with fixed schedules, marks and enrollments. Self paced is a must.

4. Depth is important. Current online courses are often a bit introductory. We need more advanced courses about algorithms, theoretical computer science, code design, relational algebra, category theory, etc. I get that it's about supply/demand, but we will eventually need to have those topics covered.

I do believe that for CS, full online education will eventually win from the classroom — it's still in its infancy, but has more potential to grow into correct, modern education.

Comments
  • 3
    I found YouTube and stack overflow are most useful sites by far. And you don't have to pay. 😎
  • 4
    Hm, I agree with all of your points except IDE integration. To my experience the courses are targeted at beginners which might not even know what an IDE is.
    At least that's the case for codeacademy which is the only service of this kind I have experience with.

    After having learned multiple different languages I don't think you need these courses anymore and you might find them too slow paced.
  • 3
    @theCalcaholic I just meant that it could be useful for such sites to provide a video course, and include things like a VS code plugin package (for example) to make "coding along" and practice exercises more integrated. Just a random idea.

    I feel like the technology for digital education could be further fleshed out, if you compare it to how automated things like deployment pipelines or twitch streaming bot stuff can be.
  • 1
    @bittersweet True, I think I failed to see the bigger picture here. It wouldn't be necessary to have IDE integration for what these services provide today, but it might be a good addition for what they could become.
  • 2
    I couldn't agree more. As someone who frequently takes a course or two on those sites I know personally how each service is flawed.

    1. Most of the courses indeed cover only the basics, while always forgetting numerous topics. Another course, on the same topic but on a different site will most likely fill the holes but miss out on other topics.
    Conclusion - finish the same course on at least three sites in order to be sure that you covered all the basis.

    2. The material in the courses is often outdated.
    Remember that and take it into the account when studying. Reading the official manual after finishing the course is warmly advised.

    3. Diplomas of any kind (from online schools) are mostly not recognized by employers so pursuing those are irrelevant currently.
  • 0
    Social network for open source code:
    https://utopian.io
  • 1
    I love the original documentation of the language itself and books.

    The documentation gave me lots os information I'd need (reading it like a book). And some books, as clean code, made me understand and organize all this information I learned.

    Now I need to read Code Complete. :)

    And devRant, of course! Here I found out what I needed to read.
  • 1
    @brunofontes There's such a difference between docs though. PHP... awful. Even the comments/corrections are often awful.

    Go on the other hand, you could consider yourself a senior after completing the tour, and could write a compiler after reading the specs.
  • 1
    @bittersweet hahahahahahaha I learned PHP reading the documentation and testing on my free time. Today I love to use PHP. :)
  • 1
    @brunofontes Them are fighting words 😜
Add Comment