Who am I?
If you have asked me this question three years ago I would have replied: I am a coder by profession and a traveller by passion, quite simple. That’s because it was all that I had on my plate, learn ⇄ code, earn ⇄ travel and REPEAT!
Well the life moves on, so have I, having a partner to share my code and a baby to cherish during breaks (that’s a lie, she has pleasantly taken over every second of my life) is an ideal life that I must have dreamed of in the past. I decided to became a programmer by choice as I was a curious soul and a nerd! My school’s computer lab with black screen and some foreign language (GW Basic) became a real deal hence I was hooked for life.
Apart from coding, I love learning in general, I had so many plans to get additional degrees/certificates (one of them being diploma in psychology) just for the sake of learning but I could not do it because you know life happens. But ever since I have got myself familiar with distant learning, life has become adventurous, full of learning and growing in personal and professional life.
What is / Why distant learning?
Google says, distant learning is a way of learning remotely without being in regular face-to-face contact with a teacher in the classroom. I think it is a powerful tool to empower people (specially women) by providing quality education at their disposal in today’s world. I have seen many experienced professionals who do not wish to continue their studies because it gets hectic with work and family hence and give up on their promotions or a new even better job which comes with additional qualification. Also, in many countries’ women are bound to home due to cultural or religious reasons and lack the opportunities to get quality education which leads to many issues at societal level. Hence it is really important that many more opportunities should come in existence and
How it helped in shaping my career and personal life?
Let me burst the balloon just right on time, it does not come easily that you just adopt it and move one with your life. Like I usually say, being at home for both work and education (and managing your family) is a lifestyle change which comes gradually and definitely takes a lot time and patience. It has challenges to tackle and then step up one by one. I will keep a separate post about work-life from home but for now let’s talk about online education.
Online courses usually offer one of the following ways to complete the course: Self Paced and Scheduled Lectures. A person can choose based on their availability and comfort. I prefer self-paced because it gives me the power to learn literally anytime I can/want. This is how I exactly decided to not going for full-time job ever again. I enjoy being with my family while managing my work and studies with less stressful interference such as waking up a certain time, get ready and face horrendous traffic, and in worst cases colleagues/boss too. I can take break from work or even certain personal task at my pace and chill out for a while.
Distant learning is not as cosy as it may sound, but at the end it is the kind of lifestyle which helps you to manage your life the way you want! Sometimes, you feel you are miserable at everything you do and other times you feel like being on the top of everything.
I have been working for past 3 years as a freelancer and also providing services to various clients as a small team across the globe. It is very important for me to keep myself updated with technology if I want to work in the industry. I take breaks from work occasionally, but with distant learning, I am always enrolled into one course or another in which I am interested to work currently or in future. I also get involved with community work, networking and helping random people (friends, friends of friends and their friends).
List of useful resources
I have been doing online courses from different resources and found them very useful and reliable. They are a mix of international and local resource who have been my goto to place If I want to learn a new thing. Listing it down here so you can check them out:
Taking it to the next level
Aside from short courses and programs, there is something called OCW — Open Courseware. An OCW is a free and open digital publication of high-quality college and university‐level educational materials. You can benefit from them in terms of educating yourself as they are actual programs offered by top universities around the world including MIT. These materials are organized as courses, and often include course planning materials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content. You can even complete entire degree programs, for free but the only catch is that they do not offer training and evaluation and hence do not provide a degree or certificate of completion. Nonetheless, these are great resources for self-motivated individuals who like to learn and get a taste of international standards of education.
This is just some of the stuff that I have found by experience over the years. If there are any resources you would like to share with me, please do and I will update the article with them.