The best course I’ve ever attended: Stanford Startup Engineering

Jun 26, 2013

Yes I’m taking this course right now: Stanford Startup Engineering

We’re soon starting Week 3. I can already tell you this is the best course I’ve ever attended.

Most of the students are Computer Science grads, Software Engineers, Web Developers and people with technical skills. Prerequisites for this course are basic programming at the level of Stanford’s CS106B. Exposure to HTML, CSS, and Javascript is also required.

To be honest, I’m still far from that. It’s very challenging and I love it.
Develop your passion for learning, and you will never cease to grow.

Stanford University

The first part of the course will cover modern software engineering principles with a focus on mobile HTML5 development.

Guest lecturers from top Silicon Valley startups including Uber, Coinbase, Meteor, Square, Stripe, AirBnb, Twilio, Taskrabbit, Judicata, Counsyl, Twitter, and Asana will bring these concepts to life with real engineering problems from their work.

In the second part, I will learn how to run a crowdfunder to attract pre-orders and/or social media attention for a startup product. Also I will learn how to progressively develop a node.js-based crowdfunding application which will be prototyped as a simple command line application, exposed as a webservice, and integrated with other students’ webservices to create a simple crowdfunding site. This site will be designed for a mobile HTML5 target via use of Twitter Bootstrap, will support basic social sharing functions, and will optionally accept Bitcoin for payment.

And here’s the syllabus:

  • Introduction and Quickstart
  • Tools: VMs, IAAS/PAAS, Unix Command Line, Text Editors, DCVS
  • Frontend: HTML/CSS/JS, Wireframing, Market Research
  • Backend: SSJS, Databases, Frameworks, Data Pipelines
  • APIs: Client-side templating, HTTP, SOA/REST/JSON, API as BizDev
  • Devops: Testing, Deployment, CI, Monitoring, Performance
  • Dev Scaling: DRY, Reading/Reviewing/Documenting Code, Parallelizing
  • Founding: Conception, Composition, Capitalization
  • Business Scaling: Promotion, CAC/LTV/Funnel, Regulation, Accounting
  • Summary and Demo Week
  • Final Project
  • At the end of the course, I will have to work on my final project. Grading will be based on class participation (10%), homework (40%), and the final project (50%).

    The best final projects in each category (e.g. genomics, transportation, law, etc.) will qualify for prizes sponsored by startups.

    Stanford Startup Engineering

    Introducing our cool and amazing instructors, thank you:

    Balaji S. Srinivasan
    Co-founder and CTO of Counsyl, a genomics startup that grew from a Stanford dorm room to test more than 2.5% of all US births within less than three years after launch. Counsyl won the Wall Street Journal’s Innovation Award for Medicine, was named one of Scientific American’s Top 10 World Changing Ideas, and is now one of the largest clinical genome centers in the world. Prior to co-founding Counsyl, Dr. Srinivasan taught data mining, statistics, and computational biology in the Department of Statistics at Stanford University.

    Vijay S. Pande
    Professor of chemistry, structural biology, and computer science (by courtesy) at Stanford University, the director of Stanford’s Biophysics Program, and the founder of Folding@Home. The project integrates volunteered computers and PlayStations to perform simulations of protein folding for disease research, and is the Guinness record holder for “most powerful distributed computing network”. Professor Pande’s current work includes novel simulation methods for high-precision drug binding affinity calculations, protein design, and synthetic bio-mimetic polymers.

    I’ll write more about and in another blog post.

    Now back to homework assignments!

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