Friday, January 17, 2014

Introduction to Databases : Online Stanford Course

Its been a real long time and I know that this particular post should have come out long back, but well, its better late than never ;)

I don’t always promote or endorse studies but this is one thing that I really wanted to.
A friend of mine told me that Stanford University offers courses that can be taken online without any payment and there is so much that we can learn from them. I immediately checked the website and it was true. Thank you Sudheesh.

Anyways, I took up a course of networking but I really didn’t continue it seriously. Later, I left that particular course. Then in my vacations, I found a course that required no second thought - Introduction to Databases. The moment I knew that this course was being offered, I knew that this is one course that I would enroll into and also sincerely complete. Therefore, I took this course.

I know DBMS is not exactly the subject to interest everyone and it is definitely one of the major subjects of CS / IT branches, which requires a lot of efforts from our side. If it matters, even I would tell you that, yes, this course will take some input from your side but it is one course that will not bore you. You would enjoy it thoroughly and complete it honestly.

The best thing about the course is the teacher - Jennifer Widom, and she is just fabulous. Her way to
explaining each and everything is simple and makes even difficult topics sound real easy. Yes, for non-english speaking people you might feel that her pace of speaking is quite fast but to overcome that we have subtitles or if you choose to see the lecture in vlc player, there is the slow playback speed option (which I am sure will be in other players as well), that proved quite helpful.

I am not here to provide any answers (sorry, if you were looking) but if you need any help, feel free to leave a comment or drop in a mail… In this post, I sincerely recommend this course to all the students and professionals in the CS / IT sector. I know that this course is a little long (10 weeks) but this is useful worth of a lifetime. You can always save the videos (like I have) for future use and references.

The format of the course is pretty simple. There is a weekly syllabus which needs to be read before a specified deadline. Weekly tests and other assignments need to be submitted before their deadlines in order to earn some marks. There is a mid-term exam at the end of 5 weeks and a final exam, at the end of 10 weeks. For all the tests, assignments and exams, you get more than one attempt but only limited number of attempts… therefore, I advise you to seriously you to seriously study the content before you attempt any of the papers.

So if database is something you need to look at or you are looking for an online course - take my word, this is one course you wouldn’t wanna miss.

To join the course - Current (2014) session
and if the course is over, you can look at the Stanford Online Courses, to find the schedule of the next session.

Enjoy learning!!

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