Standford Startup Engineering online course – completion & experience

Finally it is over, after 12 weeks of long campaign. The course had few interesting turns, but in the end I learned what I wanted to learn. Most of all, collaboration with friends are very unique experience. Before the course, I thought about taking the course together with others and suggested to my coworkers. When I suggested the idea, 6 other people at work showed interests. We were all motivated and enthusiastic about the course. However, it was very difficult to manage time in summer and some of us couldn’t complete the course. I had a week long camping scheduled during the course and I managed to handle it by working late on a weekend before the camping. At work, we had a weekly meeting to encourage and discuss the idea. The course offers the forum to discuss the issues and idea, but I felt offline meeting was really helped me focus on the course. Also, knowing other coworkers’ progress gave me enough peer pressure to stay on the course.


Michael Jo Certificate

Course Content 

The course was extended to 12 weeks from 10 weeks. Up to 3 weeks, all the videos are posted on time, but things got delayed as summer approached. With over 125,000 students, the professor and his team did the best they can do, but I felt it was quite difficult to cover all the topics for all different levels of experience. Topics that I learned were Entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, Node.js, AWS EC2, Heroku, Unix commands, emacs, Git, GitHub, BitCoin, and Bootstrap. Not like what I expected in the beginning – I thought I will have a product at the end of course, the course duration was too short for the actual product development. I think the purpose of this course – my own interpretation – is to open up the door for different possibilities by knowing what’s out there and provide basic knowledge to follow on our own. In the end, the course ran out of time to cover the DB and Coffeescript in more detail.


I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to understand how modern web technology is evolving. Especially, someone who is thinking about their own product to sell. This course shows both technical and philosophical aspects of starting up business in the modern web environment. From the Enterprise Java application development/support perspective, I learned the benefit of using Cloud and potential power of server side Javascript.

Lunch & Learn presentation : AWS EC2, Heroku, BitCoin

Upcoming courses

I am at my final week of MongoDB for Node.js developer from MongoDB University. Also, week 5 of Creativity, Innovation, and Change course and Disaster Preparedness from Coursera. My next courses are Data Analysis course and Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence course starting in the end of October. I felt that I need to understand how to analyze Big Data and also need to learn more about leadership skills.

Most anticipated course, at least for me, is Programming Handheld Systems with Android starting next January. Already 8 coworkers are signed up for this course. Although it is not easy to manage your own time and balance with your family life, it is worth taking advantage of free online courses.

Let another collaborative learning begin!


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