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Completing a Coursera Specialization for Free

Coursera provides continuing education just like Udacity and offer the full learning experience that I am accustomed to, including lesson videos, reading materials, projects, discussion forums, and graded projects which are peer-reviewed. I recently completed the Full-stack Web Development in React specialization from Coursera, all for free. It’s called a specialization because it is made up of three courses below each with their own certifications and which takes 4-6 weeks each to complete: 1. Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools: Bootstrap 4 2. Front-End Web Development with React 3. Server-side Development with NodeJS, Express and MongoDB I started the program in December 2021 and finished it in June 2023 however. The intent of this post is to explain how I was able to fund the entire specialization for free. In December 2021, I read on social media that Coursera allowed for one free course per year if you were a student and had an email address from a partner school. I gave my stu

Udacity Front-end Developer Challenge Daily Sprint Updates

As per the Next Generation Tech Booster Challenge Program, we are asked to submit a daily progress report on slack. We just need to answer these three questions in the post:
• What did I work on today?
• What I will work on tomorrow?
• What issues are blocking my progress?

I take this logging opportunity to also report on the progress I am making with my Coursera course “Server-side Development with NodeJS, Express, and MongoDB”; and my Linux Foundation course “LFS258 Kubernetes Fundamentals”. 

To help with completing above, here are some links posted by the slack moderators that I try to use to get through my workload:

There are two sprints for the Udacity challenge but if I make it past the challenge, then I’ll continue with the sprint updates on this blog, which is chronologically sorted with the newest updates first.

Day Feb 20, 2023:
I finally took the assessment exam today. The moderators said that we had a 44.8% completion rate, which means that out of 17K participants, 7616 students will be writing the assessment exam today. I attempted to calculate the probability of getting picked assuming all 7616 test takers do well with the exam. We are talking about dependent random events without replacement, i.e. 500/7616 for the first pick, 499/7615 for the second, 498/7614 for the third, all the way to 1/7117 for the 500th pick. Since these are all dependent events without replacement, we multiply all these fractions and the result is 0 to nil unfortunately. Crossing my fingers.

These are the exam instructions and dates for notication.

Day #10:
• What did I work on today?
Signed the sprint 2 completion form.
Installed MongoDB and MongoSH for Coursera:Week 2.
Submitted Assignment 1 UML class diagram for cs6310.
Continue with 3.Installation and Configuration for lfs258.
• What I will work on tomorrow?
Coursera: Week 2 - Node and MongoDB
cs6310 quiz.
• What issues are blocking my progress?
Sign up with GCE or install lab locally via VirtualBox? Decisions.

Day #9 (Sprint #2):
• What did I work on today?
Made it to Viewports.
Started with Week 2 lesson videos for Coursera.
• What I will work on tomorrow?
Read chap 2 of SWEBOK.
Peer-review students for Coursera Assignment 1.
• What issues are blocking my progress?
The <meta> tag properties name="viewport" and content="" was in the resource link not in the lesson videos. I found it also wasn't in the lesson videos in the HTML section. Is it because it is simply common knowledge?

Day #8 (Sprint #2):
• What did I work on today?
Signed the sprint 2 form.
Completed Week 1 lesson videos for cs6310.
Completed and submitted my Coursera Assignment 1: Node Modules, Express and REST API.
• What I will work on tomorrow?
Read chap 2 of SWEBOK.
• What issues are blocking my progress?

Day #7 (Sprint #1):
• What did I work on today? 
Finished up to "9. Advanced Grid Playground" in CSS Grid section.
Paid for GT tuition and completed up to module 2 of cs6310.
Started with "03. INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION" for LFS258. 3/16 completed.
Working on "Exercise (Video): Express Router" in Week 1 of Coursera course. 

• What I will work on tomorrow? 
Fill out Sprint 2 form and finish online CSS exercises.
Fix conversion and deserialization of SOAP XML to JSON in C# function.
• What issues are blocking my progress? 
When using grid-template-areas and "sd sd sd main main main main main", why does the sidebar take most of the real estate? There are more main content in this column. Also don't understand why grid-template-columns: 300px 300px 300px is picked, why not specify 8 columns as well to match the grid-template-areas?

Day #6 (Sprint #1):
• What did I work on today? 
Finished "5.Ordering Elements with Flexbox". 
Signed up for Jetbrains student pack and setup Inteli IDEA on my host computer for GT SAD.  
Coursera "Node Modules: Callbacks and Error Handling" exercise.
Signed up for AWSEducate but I can't spin up EC2. Also don't have free tier for GCP. 
• What I will work on tomorrow? CSS Flexbox, Coursera week1 to assignment, LFS258 lab prep in VirtualBox.
• What issues are blocking my progress? Time. Looking at Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy.

Day #5 (Sprint #1):
• What did I work on today? Finished CSS section. Now onto 1. Introducing Flexbox. 
Also finally made it to Lesson 2: Basics of Kubernetes for LFS258.
• What I will work on tomorrow? CSS Flexbox, Coursera NodeJS, and LFS258 lab prep either in GCP or AWS. Looking for student subscription credit $$$.
• What issues are blocking my progress? Where did the lesson cover the <meta> name and content attributes? I must have missed it.

Day #4 (Sprint #1):
• What did I work on today? Got to Debugging the CSS exercise. For the Coursera class, made it to Week 1: Understanding Node Modules
• What I will work on tomorrow? CSS section. Pickup from where I left off with LFS258 class.
• What issues are blocking my progress? Too much on my plate. The class starts Monday at GT.

Day #3 (Sprint #1):
• What did I work on today? Passed Also got to CSS - The Box Model.
• What I will work on tomorrow? CSS section
• What issues are blocking my progress? What does this ">" mean?

Day #2 (Sprint #1):
• What did I work on today? Completed AZ-104 classes and registered for the exam next week.
• What I will work on tomorrow? AZ-104
• What issues are blocking my progress? AZ-104

Day #1 (Sprint #1):
• What did I work on today? Made it to "6. Text Elements II"
• What I will work on tomorrow? Break
• What issues are blocking my progress? Taking an AZ-104 Bootcamp this whole week 


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