Last December, I was awarded an opportunity to become a Udacity Mentor & Project Reviewer. This started as an interest to me while I was working on my 3rd Udacity nanodegree, one of the motivations for me to apply was the idea of learning from other individuals and disseminating what I have already learned.
This is my first post of 2021, I want to give you some insights on how I landed the role and a brief overview of the program I reviewed.
It was mid-November 2020 when I received a Slack message from the Udacity Alumni channel about a few opportunities for Mentors for new programs being introduced in 2021. Before we go on, I'd like to point out some of the benefits of becoming a Udacity Mentor that motivated me.
But, what does it mean for me to become a Udacity Mentor?
- Through-out my life, I have come to understand that the sole purpose of life is to pass on what you have learned and,
- This opportunity will help me create relationships and network with people from different parts of the world.
- Most importantly get to help, guide and motivate other aspiring learners while,
- Gaining valuable communication, teaching and leadership skills and most importantly people skills.
So, as I mentioned Udacity was looking for mentors that would help guide and review projects for upcoming programs and one of those programs interested me; After applying I received and completed the situational and technical assessment to verify my skills.
My application was successful and I was accepted to become a mentor on a new program "Cloud Native Architecture Nanodegree Program". This meant that I was one of the few people that had access to the beta version of the course and I could review the course while giving valuable feedback on the content and projects.
But before that could happen, I needed to complete and graduate from their onboarding Udacity Mentorship Nanodegree Program. The course gives you a better understanding of what it is like to work as a Udacity Mentor and learn how to apply various tools and strategies to provide high-quality student support. In the end, you are assessed on your understanding of course materials through both multiple-choice/short-answer tests and projects where you are asked to apply what you've learned in the courses to real-life examples of student questions and project reviews.
That 8 hours course took way longer than I had anticipated... Of course, I had my reasons (Me coming up with excuses!)
So, coming back to the course I am reviewing and you are probably wondering what is the "Cloud Native Architecture Nanodegree Program" all about?
Anyways, about the course
The course introduces you to:
- What Cloud Native computing is; which can be summarised as an approach to building and running applications that fully exploit the advantages of the cloud computing model and,
- The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)
I found this video useful, in understanding what Cloud Native is:
It also gives you an in-depth understanding of how to construct a CI/CD pipeline that will containerise an application and deploy it to a Kubernetes cluster; using Cloud Native tools such as Python, Git/GitHub, Docker, Kubernetes (Both minikube & rancher's k3s), Vagrant and VirtualBox.
It also offers some of the foundational concepts that would help you understand;
- What message passing is? and when to use it.
- The difference between a Monolith and Microservice architecture, the trade-offs and implementing/refactoring these applications.
Finally an introduction to Cloud Observability and various tools such as Prometheus, Grafana, Jaeger, Elasticsearch (ELK), Logstash and Kibana.
To graduate (which I haven't) there's 2 project one needs to complete:
UdaConnect: The idea is to refactor the monolithic app into a microservice app while introducing other message-passing techniques such as gRPC and Kafka
This project has been a tricky one to complete, mostly due to the timeframe they gave us between going through the lessons and completing the project.
Building a Metrics Dashboard: This project is about creating dashboards that use multiple graphs to monitor an application that is deployed on a Kubernetes cluster.
This has been a wild ride for me. I personally didn't enjoy my festive as I had to juggle multiple things at the same time. However, I managed to finish off some of the courses and project I was doing towards the end of 2020. Now, I can put my complete (hahaha) focus on the "Cloud Native Architecture Nanodegree Program" before they kick me out. So that I can graduate and become a Full-Mentor and project reviewer for the program.