Linked by Howard Fosdick on Wed 21st Dec 2011 00:39 UTC
Editorial M.I.T. has just announced it is expanding its list of free online courses anyone can take. Attendees earn completion certificates. M.I.T.'s OpenCourseWare project already offers 2,100 courses used by 100 million people. OpenCulture, Free Ed, E-learning Center, and Alison offer competing free online courses, including many on computing and IT certification.
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RE[5]: certificates
by Alfman on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: certificates"
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"Back then physics also included nuclear energy and some binding energy stuff as well, enough to do rough calculations on energy which I have mostly forgotten. I want to get that back in my head to follow what is now coming along like SMRs."

I would have enjoyed more of an engineering background. I opted for CS early on because I was thrilled I could do just about everything on my own personal computer without prohibitively expensive equipment. However I hadn't considered that the low costs of computing would eventually enable third world countries to displace so many IT jobs. The barriers to entry are just too low to have comfortable job security.

"The last time I met a UK prof, they were very sad about the decline in University enrollments in physics, like 20* down over the 70s, nobody wants to study hard for it anymore."

To be fair, there may be other factors contributing to that. How many times over has the cost of education multiplied since those days? I went to school at a yearly expense which was 20X more expensive than my parent's, and I earn a fraction of what they did in medicine. I started courses during the IT bubble and graduated when it popped, pot luck I guess. I kind of regret that decision, but it seemed the perfect fit for me back then, so I doubt I could have known better.

"Kids I know that went the soft side into web dev haven't fared well either, easy degree means competing with kids from India."

I agree completely, competing in low barrier fields is extremely difficult when such different costs of living are factored in.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: certificates
by lucas_maximus on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 12:45 in reply to "RE[5]: certificates"
lucas_maximus Member since:

It depends how good at web dev. I get paid well even though I am only middle weight. If you are actually good and know your stuff you can make quite decent money.

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RE[7]: certificates
by Alfman on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 18:01 in reply to "RE[6]: certificates"
Alfman Member since:


Agreed, with the caveat that it depends on who you work for. Web dev is larger than any other CS market, which makes it easier to find work. But on the other hand, many web devs are not well paid because the vast majority of clientele are cheap. I find that for most clients, price is the number one criteria over quality, consistency, security, etc. I was even arguing with a manager at an insurance company about the need to fix security issues, but they declined.

I've had some clients come to me having had a terrible experience with offshored projects, but when it comes time to fix the mess, the companies still don't want to pay to do it right. As much as we like to bash Indian IT shops over quality issues, more and more I think the companies should be faulted for not rewarding good quality in the first place. They may be getting exactly what they pay for - not very much.

Ideally there would be enough work at good companies to hire all the good devs. CS isn't the easy street it used to be.

Reply Parent Score: 2