Brilliant, brilliant Training
I’d heard some time ago of a couple of Stanford Professors running an online course in Machine Learning, with over 100,000 students registered for their course worldwide. Fortunately for me, 10gen - the company behind the wildly successful MongoDB database - started doing free training using the same delivery method.
I joined over 6,600 other hopefuls to do their free, 7 week long, 10 hours/week M101P “MongoDB for Developers” course. This included examples in Python, which we learnt as part of the syllabus. I also joined over 6,400 other students doing the equivalent M102 “MongoDB for DBAs” course.
What a fantastic experience. You can learn from short videos with frequent knowledge test quizzes each week, in gaps around your other commitments. You then have a set of homework exercises to run on your own machine, which have to be completed and answers posted on their portal within a week of issue. New weeks videos were released every Tuesday morning at 4am UK time, and the matching homework had to be in within a week. At the very end - week 7 - you had a final summary and a final 10 or 11 final exam questions to answer that week.
There was plenty of help on hand from the instructors and a small number of teaching assistants on each courses forum, though many of the queries were answered by fellow students.
I was delighted to have finished both courses with 100% ratings - something achieved by 2.2% of the intake of the programming course, and 5.1% for the DBAs. 10gen, after 7 weeks, now have an extra 9,000 or so professional advocates who’ve passed their exams since they started last year (this was the second time they’d be run). There is another Developers Course (for Java programmers) in progress as I write this.
The product itself is very, very impressive, built to scale out as your needs grow. I was no less impressed with 10gen’s execution of this training on the edX platform, as described eloquently by VP Education Andrew Erlichson in his blog at http://ed-blog.10gen.com/.
That’s him in front of their New York Office above (he took the Developers Course). The other person in front of the lecture equipment is 10gen Chairman and Co-founder, Dwight Merriman, who took the DBA lectures.
Class work, and I can do no less than tell you they will shortly be re-running new versions of the same training:
April 1: M101P MongoDB for Developers, taught in Python but no previous Python Experience rqrd
April 29: M102 MongoDB for DBAs
May 13: M101J MongoDB for Java Developers. Java experience is a prerequisite for this course.