Photo by Dhruv Mehra on Unsplash




I've long been interested in cars, ever since collecting toy cars and playing on the classic road carpet.

I also love everything that's automated. So I'm indeed curious about the self-driving technology and thought this program would be a good starting point.

To buy or not to buy

However, there was still the question of investing time and money into it.

Even though I had more free time due to the lockdown situation, the estimated time to finish was 2-3 months.
Could I be using my time in something else?
I already have a bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering, would I be learning something new or just wasting my time and money?
Should I maybe just straight to the 'Self Driving Car Engineer' program?

When investing your time and money into something, it isn't easy to know whether it will be worth it in the end.

So, what to do?

To help me decide, I made a pros/cons list, did some research for online reviews and studied the program's syllabus and overview.

I didn't find many reviews, but I did see this one. It's quite a thorough review, and I recommend you read it if you're considering joining the program.

Taking the plunge

I decided to give it a go.

My main reasons were that it would help me refresh my Python and C++ skills, which I hadn't used much since university, and learn the basic concepts behind the self-driving technology.

After a couple of weeks, things were going better than I had expected.

I was dedicating at least an hour most weekdays on it, and also a few hours during the weekend.
It also helped me that the material wasn't new to me; I had learned most of it in university.

I'm not going to go into the material, but if you're curious about it, I suggest reading the above mentioned review.

Halfway through the program, I realised this wasn't going to take me 2-3 months, and before I knew it, I had completed the program in about a month and a half.

Conclusion

Even though most of the content wasn't new to me, I don't regret investing in this program. It was nice to see that I was still able to program in Python and C++, and seeing that I hadn't forgotten everything on statistics and probability from the university.

I also liked the tasks of optimising my LinkedIn and GitHub profiles. It forced me to go over those profiles and improve them.

Overall I happy with the program, how it's structured and the quizzes and projects in the program.

I'll definitely consider Udacity's programs again in the future, but I think for now I want to try to do some personal side-projects by my self.


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