My personal development time last week was spent completing an online course “Oracle DBA for absolute beginners”.
I wouldn’t have described myself as an “absolute beginner”, but I found plenty to enjoy in the course and came away having learned quite a bit about what is going on inside Oracle, and I assume most other database managers.
Circumstances influence what we do in life and so far I have had much more exposure to DB/2 and MS SQL Server than to Oracle. That hasn’t been a decision on my part, simply the choices that had been made for the projects I was involved in.
In a similar way, I’ve spent much more time “dealing with users” as a Business Analyst, than I have working out how to manage the space requirements and performance of a database. It does me good to learn just a little about the things a DBA has to consider. I don’t have to let those considerations govern what I consider the requirements to be, but at least I can understand where other people are coming from.
Taking the course led me to what you might consider “meta” thinking: thinking about not the content of the course, but the way it was presented and the platform Udemy on which it was presented.
I find Udemy interesting. It seems to work well. It certainly worked for me.
Udemy seem to be aiming to be a “neutral marketplace”. The courses belong to the course instructors. Of course Udemy have standards for courses, but beyond the usual “fit to print” conditions, they are mostly technical standards (quality of video and sound) rather than subject matter related. In a similar spirit, Udemy promote the platform, but the promotion I have seen seems to be fairly neutral with regard to individual courses. On the other hand, instructors or course owners are completely free to advertise their wares elsewhere and direct potential customers into Udemy. It’s a simple model which I think I will investigate further.