Last week I was attending the IDC FutureScape, an annual event where IDC, a leading market research, analysis and advisory firm, shared their top 10 decision imperatives for the 2015 CIO agenda.
The keynote speaker, Sandra Ng, Group Vice President at ICT Practice, went through the slides mentioning the newest technologies and keywords like Big Data and Analytics, Data Science, Internet of Things, Digital Transformation, IT as a service (ITaaS), Cyber Security, DevOps , Application Provisioning and more.
Eight years ago when I’ve completed my M.Sc in Computer Science, most of these technologies were either very new or didn’t exist at all. Since the IT landscape is evolving so fast, how can we keep up and stay relevant as IT professionals?
There is obviously the traditional way of registering for an instructor led training, be it PMP, Prince2, advanced .NET or Java, sitting in smaller groups for a couple of days, having a nice lunch and getting a colorful certificate.
But there are other options to access a world-class education.
A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs).
Are you keen to learn more on how Google cracked house number identification in Street View, achieving more than 98% recognition rates on these blurry images?
Why don’t you join Stanford’s Andrew Ng and his online class of 100,000 students attending his famous Machine Learning course? I took this course two years ago, and this guy is awesome! So awesome that Baidu, the Chinese search engine, just hired him as a chief scientist to open a new artificial intelligence lab in Silicon Valley.
You can also join Stanford’s’ professors, Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani, teaching Statistical Learning, using open source tools and a free version of the text book An Introduction to Statistical Learning, with Applications in R – yup, it’s all free!
There is a huge variety of online classes, from Science to Art to Technology, from top universities like Harvard, Berkeley, Yale and others – Google the name of the university plus “MOOC” and start your journey.