Out of the classroom

Get with it In today’s IT industry, it is essential to be versatile  

IIT Madras has a reputation that has stood the test of time for over 50 years. Admission remains coveted and often unattainable. But now, thanks to the digital age, the institutes’ bank of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) give the public a glimpse of what they have to offer.

“We’re trying to bring down the entry barriers,” says Rajoshi Ghosh, co-founder of technological platform Hasura, which partners with IIT Madras for the venture. With their free course, Introduction to Modern Application Development (IMAD), Ithe duo is sharing their skill sets with participants across the globe. The course is a traditional MOOC, one of the many that make up IIT Madras’ online database. And yet its reach has been exceptional. Launched last September, the course has had over 80,000 registrations and the numbers are only expected to grow.

“It’s truly the first-of-its kind. Participants build their own apps from scratch, which is quite rare to find in a short online course such as this one,” Ghosh tells us. Using weekly lectures and an active online discussion forum that links participants from across the world (to learn from each other), it teaches students the fundamentals of application development in both a theoretical and practical setting. The eight-week course also covers aspects of databases, performance and security.

Out of the classroom

Ghosh partially attributes the response to the course to the recent slump in the IT sector, both locally and abroad. “The IT field requires people to be dynamic and multifunctional as workers. You need to be a polyglot of sorts, comfortable switching from one framework to another,” she adds. To be continuously relevant, one has to have a versatile repertoire.

With participants ranging from ages 13 to 74, college students, IT professionals, faculty educators, and even stay-at-home mothers are joining the database of registrants, pushing enrolment to over 1,00,000 for the course’s upcoming version. Not everyone has their eye on the IIT stamp, though. As the course comes to completion, a generic certification exam is offered. Those who desire the IIT degree will need to pay ₹1,000 to sit for the exam offered by the institute itself.

The toppers get to do a product development fellowship with Hasura, where they build products of their choice via a remote mentorship programme that takes them through the entire product development lifecycle. Ghosh says, “We currently have 400 interns working with us to create some amazing applications. We want to build a community of people, and equip them with this knowledge, regardless of profession or background. After all, they’re the future developers of the world.”

The third edition of the course begins on July 24. Sign up here.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 3:30:15 PM |

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