Android for Beginners: Coursera

Coursera is one of those absolute gem that I have found indispensible for new android programmers. The courses there are given free of charge by various universities which contribute through making MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) available to the world so anyone, anywhere, can learn. Coursera really does a wonderful job in making education freely assessible. 

Coursera courses come with video lectures that are dished out on a weekly basis. Watching these videos can take about 1 – 2 hours, depending on the level of proficiency / knowledge you have on the subject. After watching the videos, there are quick quizzes and assignments you can do to test your knowledge. These quizzes and coding assignments which are both graded automatically by the Coursera system. All you need to do is to upload your code onto the site, it grades it for you, and within a few minutes, the system comes back with your marks.

There is also a massive support community on Coursera forums consisting of both students who are doing the course, teaching assistant (TAs) and of course, the lecturer. You can post a question on the forum and within a day, you are almost certain to have your answer. Don’t be scared to ask a question there  – people there are available and willing to help you with your problem and most importantly, people understand where you are coming from as a beginner as they are also in the same boat as you.

I’m currently watching the videos for Programming Cloud Services for Android Handheld System ( Dr Jules White does an excellent job at explaining the basics of HTTP and the communications between the app and the cloud. It is definitely worth a look at.