I think that everyone knows Coursera and Udemy and many other websites that provide online courses. Most of the courses proposed by the websites are free and you can learn a lot from them, no matter what your area of interest is. I would like to present you some courses that I tested on myself; what I liked about them and what made me frustrated. All courses are connected to Python or bioinformatics or data analysis.
- Programming for Everybody (Python) – Coursera
This course is absolutely too easy for you when you already know Python, but I would really recommend it for people that are starting with this programming language. Of course there are a lot of courses for Python beginners; I tried some myself (maybe I would write about them later), but this one was really user friendly. In comparison I didn’t like the course ‘An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python’ (Coursera). I didn’t even finish it, but on the other hand it has really nice reviews. So I guess it’s really personal what courses are best for you to start with Python programming.
- Network analysis in systems biology – Coursera
I have to say that I don’t really remember much from this course. I had to return to Coursera to remind myself what was that all about. It’s mostly because I did not use the information I learned later. I guess it’s because there is just specific problem explained there. For me, it was interesting, but you have to keep in mind that the course is a bit narrow. It’s not really about programming to solve network analysis problem, but how to use proper software to do it. And as I remember, it was quite easy to slip through the course.
- Bioinformatics specialization – Coursera
With this specialization you can extend your knowledge of Python (only if you know the basics, they won’t teach you Python; you can actually use any programming language you want) as well as how to use your programming skills to solve real biological problems. For me it was the best course I’ve taken so far. There is quite a lot of algorithmics and you should learn how to transform pseudo-code to actual code in preferred programming language. They check your solutions not only if they return correct answers but also if your solution is time efficient. It’s really important when you work with huge biological data. If you’re into bioinformatics, this course is a ‘must do’.
- Applied Data Science with Python specialization – Coursera
I’m in the middle (let’s say at the beginning) of this specialization, only after first course (because only one was available so far, can’t wait for more). I think it’s quite amazing. I was looking for data science course in Python which will show me how to work with real data, with wrong formatting or missing data, and this is really great place to start. They give you basics, how it works (videos are really helpful), but you really learn on the examples. Sometimes it is hard to get right answer (sometimes due to vague questions) and it’s really frustrating, but hey! Data science is not so easy in the real life and employer’s requests not so clear as well. People are also really helpful at the course’s forum. So far so good.
- Python for Data Science and Machine Learning Bootcamp – Udemy
I’m in the middle of this course. It nicely prepared, you can even start almost without any Python expertise as the course provides crash course for Python. It has even step-by-step tutorial how to install Python version you need. Everything is prepared with Jupyter – big plus for that. You can try for yourself the code every time you need. It not really challenging most of the time as if something is too hard for you, you can just check the answer in the other Jupyter notebook, but it’s up to you if you do.
To briefly sum up, I really recommend online courses like these proposed by Coursera and Udemy. You can always find something new to learn. I think that you have to be more careful on Udemy, where there are many short, not so worthy, courses, but you can also find really well-prepared stuff. Of course: sometimes you will find a course not really useful for yourself, or too easy or too hard, but it will broaden your knowledge somehow, always.
Funny fact: while my boyfriend was spending his money on games on Steam sale, I spent mine on Udemy sale ;).