July: Finishing Up TreeHouse

The month of July is at an end, and I’ve completed the main courses I wanted to finish on TreeHouse. I was able to finish Web Design, Front-End Web Development, SQL, and Full-Stack JS. I feel like I’ve got enough of a handle on these topics to start working on some larger projects, instead of checking boxes on course lists.

I had originally intended to work on TreeHouse courses for the rest of the year, but by the end of the past few months, I was burnt out and tired of the fast pace of my plans. The remaining courses I have not taken are tracks that I added out of interest to fill up the year, not necessarily pertaining to my career goals.

The Coming Months

From here on my focus will be on my portfolio, which will be pretty much a requirement since I do not have a degree in C.S. I’m hoping to clear the gap with my next self-teaching challenge: the MIT Challenge.

The MIT Challenge was a study plan designed by Scott Young that uses MOOCs, matched to the MIT CS and EE degree, to learn the same content for free. He bought all the textbooks, did all the projects, and took all the finals until he passed. And he did it all in 12 months.

I plan to do the same with much more focus. Instead of taking most of the extra-curricular or gen-ed classes, I’ll focus soley on pre-reqs and the courses most related to C.S. I will take Calculus and other required math courses as much as they are needed to study algorithms. So far the course list looks like this:

  • Calculus I
  • Intro to EECS
  • Math for C.S.
  • Computational Structures
  • Introduction to Algorithms
  • Software Construction
  • Computer System Engineering
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Automation, Computation, and Complexity
  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • Computer Graphics
  • Database Systems
  • Performance Engineering

It’s a lot to take in, but I think I can do it. Most of the courses are stretched out over two months, while taking two at a time. I should be able to complete this at that schedule in a little over a year. The goal is to complete everything by the end of 2018.

August Plans

I’ve already started working through some used Precalculus textbooks, using the amazing Slader.com (seriously, check this site out) to match answers and homework. I’ve been picking it up pretty fast so far, and I remember Algebra and Trig being MUCH harder when I took college classes in High School. Regardless I hope to finish this up and start on Calculus immediately after, since it’s a traditional First Semester course at MIT, alongside Intro to EECS.

Wish me luck!

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