Udacity AWS Cloud Architect Nanodegree Review

There is no doubt that everything is finding its way to the cloud these days. With advancing techniques and codes used in developing complex architectures, businesses are realizing lots of opportunities. To get started in a promising and exciting career, you need to acquire skills in cloud development. But how do you start?

Thanks to online learning platforms like Udacity, you can create your own schedule and learn from anywhere at your pace. Udacity’s online Cloud Developer Architect Nanodegree program dives into this field, equipping learners with hands-on experience due to its projects focused nature. This review seeks to provide you with enough information to help you decide whether this online course is right for you.

About Udacity

Udacity is a popular online learning platform with an established reputation in the field of technology. They let anyone interested in the field acquire industry-tailored skills from the convenience of their homes or workplace. Today, Udacity have a large number of successful graduates, some of whom are employed by high-ranking multinationals. All Udacity’s online courses are developed in collaboration with technological giants and taught by industry experts. Read Udacity review here.

About Udacity Nanodegree Courses

When you sign up for an online course with Udacity, like the Cloud Developer Nanodegree program, you will not only get an in-depth curriculum but also attractive extras. These Udacity’s signature extras have brought the platform a lot of attention. Here are some of these extras:

  • Community support – you will get to interact with learners like you
  • Mentorship – Tech challenges will be no more with a mentor that is ready to give you a hand
  • Career help – your resume will be polished, LinkedIn profile reviewed, and taken through a mock interview in readiness for the job market
  • Projects – you will access real-world inspired projects to reinforce the skills you have learned.
  • Freedom – you will get to design your own learning schedule and learn at your convenience.

Course Instructors

Another important feature that draws attention to this online learning platform is their teaching staff. Udacity has assembled a team tutors that are experienced in both educational and industrial matters. The following tutors have years of experience in AWS field:

Kesha Williams

Kesha have a sound understanding of the power of the cloud, systematically using it to solve complex problems for businesses across different industries. With over 20 years of experience, she’s got a thing or two to share with you, plus, she is currently part of the giant Chick-Fil-A franchise as a software engineer.

Gabriel Ruttner

Gabriel has perfected his skills to become a cloud architect expert. He is passionate about helping start-ups realize their goals. He is a Tech Advisor and currently on staff with CTO.

Justin Lee

Justin’s work in modern system designs have taken him around the world. As a consultant for several top-notch Fortune 500s, there is no doubt that he been exposed to a wide range of industry issues, working to provide tailor-made solutions for them.

Ivan Mushketyk

You have probably seen Ivan giving instructions on a handful of cloud concepts. Besides making a name for himself online, he has also worked directly with Amazon Web Services in building features that cloud architects have come to know and love. Besides working with the cloud, he has also ventured into the world of Blockchain.

Course Prerequisites

Throughout this online course, you will be creating code as well as cloud constructions. While there is a bit of an introductory to AWS cloud building specifically, it is important that you come equipped with a couple of skills to ensure success. Experience with these skills is recommended for this online cloud developer course:

  • Git and GitHub
  • JavaScript – Entry to intermediate level
  • Linux Command Basics

If any of these skills are a little out of your league, or maybe you would love to brush them up, you can find a list of free Udacity courses or check out their course catalogue to build a solid basis in any of the skills mentioned above.

Course Breakdown

This online course is all about Amazon Web Services and application building with a cloud backbone. It presents plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on experience with micro-projects that come at the end of each module. At the end of the course is a capstone project to help you apply the skills you have mastered in solving a real-world problem. The course contains four modules providing you with the basis you will need for the final capstone project. Here is a breakdown of the modules and everything you will learn:

Cloud Foundations 101

Prepping you up for the concepts to come, you will be introduced to a breakdown of cloud computing alongside a crash course on topics like power, storage, and advanced management systems that form the fundamental components of the cloud. To test your knowledge, you will work on building and launching your first website with the goals of transferring content from area to another faster.

Full Stack Apps with AWS

Amazon Web Services comes with the ability to build up architectures that can be used for creating full stack applications. You will learn how modernized blueprints work to create applications with a long list of functions. At the end of this module, you will create your own Instagram-like application Udagram!

Learn Scale from Monolith to Microservices

This module is all about microservices. You will learn the best ways of creating microservices and getting them ready for launch. This module also introduces you to different patterns of architectural structures, getting you ready for a range of possibilities. At the end of the module, you will take the Udagram you created in the module above and revamp it into a microservice.

Serverless Applications

Here, you will work with advanced applications to learn how you can deploy a “learn by doing” type of technology. This module focuses on the theory of the concept and concludes with a bit of hands on as you build your first serverless application.

Capstone Project

Now that you have mastered AWS like the back of your hand, it is time to let your imagination flow. For your capstone project, you will be asked to create an application of your choosing, making sure to include the scope as well as the feature list.

Course Duration

One benefit of learning at your pace is that you will be able to take as long as you would like to complete this online course. You will be provided with due dates for your projects but, you get to set your pace, with total freedom to choose when to log into your portal and learn. Udemy claims that you can complete this course in 4 months if you are setting aside 10 hours per week for learning.

However, it is important to note that the time you take to complete the cost has a lot to do with the overall cost. Therefore, before signing up for this course, be sure to set a clear schedule, one that you can stick to with minimal distractions.

Course Cost

As already mentioned, the cost of this, like other Udacity courses, is affected by the time you take to complete it. The platform charges for the course by monthly access, which is why you are free to take as long as you would like, as long as you are willing to pay for it. To make their Nanodegrees available for a wide range of learners, they have set up a few payment options.

Pay Per Month

This is set at $399 per month. This payment option can add up if you take longer to complete the course. This is why it is important that you decide how much you are ready to set aside for the course before committing.

The Udacity Deal

The reason the course duration is set at 4 months is the bundle pricing. The Udacity deal is set at $1200, which you must pay upfront when signing up for the course.

Both payment plans come with their share of merits and demerits. If you are looking to get started with the course now, you can take advantage of the free month deal that is currently running. This means you will get the four-month access for the price of three.

Previous Learner’s experience with the course

Udacity enjoys a positive online presence. Though they have previously received questionable reviews, most learners had only positive things to say about this online cloud developer course. You can visit Quora or Reddit for specific reviews, or even find more feedback on the website. Here is what learners had to say about this course:

“The Cloud Developer Nanodegree program is comprised of content and curriculum to support 5 (five) projects. … School of Cloud Computing . Last year from March to August I participated in Udacity’s Android Developer Nanodegree program and here I want to share my experiences.. I’m going to be working as a software developer at athenahealth starting in April. Sign up. We launched 14 new Nanodegree programs, a machine learning course and scholarship with AWS, and a Private Artificial Intelligence course with Facebook. It’s worth the money.” – David L.

“Intermediate coding and web development experience are required to get the full benefit of the lectures. The topics covered include cloud foundations, full-stack apps on AWS, and monolith to microservices at scale.”–Amber T.

A Look at the Cloud Computing Job Market

According to Tech Republic, the number of employers seeking employees with cloud-based skills has grown by 33% over the past couple of years. And with more and more businesses taking to the cloud, this percentage can only be expected to grow. An entry level position comes with an average salary of $91,000 according to PayScale.

Final Thoughts

Preparation for an entry level job as a cloud computing professional requires a certain skill level. These skills sets combine with experience to evolve with technology. With more and more businesses taking to the cloud, the demand for those with the skills necessary to build complex architectural systems is on the rise.

Udacity’s Cloud Developer Nanodegree program aims to get graduates ready for the job market by walking with them from start to finish as they make the all-important steps into the exciting world of IT and cloud computing. If an industry-focused online program that you can finish in four months or less can help you launch a career in the cloud computing field, then Udacity’s Cloud Developer Nanodegree program is the one for you. Happy learning!

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