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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Fundamentals of Software Architecture for Big Data by University of Colorado Boulder

62 ratings

About the Course

The course is intended for individuals looking to understand the basics of software engineering as they relate to building large software systems that leverage big data. You will be introduced to software engineering concepts necessary to build and scale large, data intensive, distributed systems. Starting with software engineering best practices and loosely coupled, highly cohesive data microservices, the course takes you through the evolution of a distributed system over time. This course can be taken for academic credit as part of CU Boulder’s MS in Data Science or MS in Computer Science degrees offered on the Coursera platform. These fully accredited graduate degrees offer targeted courses, short 8-week sessions, and pay-as-you-go tuition. Admission is based on performance in three preliminary courses, not academic history. CU degrees on Coursera are ideal for recent graduates or working professionals. Learn more: MS in Data Science: MS in Computer Science:

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1 - 23 of 23 Reviews for Fundamentals of Software Architecture for Big Data

By George B

Dec 17, 2022

The assignments were unclear (random programming exercises with no comments or indication as to what the components are actually supposed to accomplish) and had little to do with the assigned readings. Didn't feel like a college level course let alone a graduate level course, but it also didn't feel like it would be useful for someone just looking to learn about software architecture for big data.

By Abhinash K

Aug 13, 2023

The course content and the assignments felt like they were not related at all at times. It felt like the instructor deliberately avoided making video lectures for concepts that would be a degree more complicated to understand and just threw in links to external articles and research papers - without any kind of overview of the concepts whatsoever.

By David P

Dec 16, 2022

1. They need a bit more improved instructions.

2. The monitors do not monitor the forums at all so if students are not helping others then there is NO help for your questions.

3. They completely rely upon students grading other students (there is no auto-grader e.g. like Univ Calif Sand Diego does).

4. There is "make-the tests pass" grades, but students are able to make one of the tests pass w/o actually doing it the correct way so the tests don't have sufficient efficacy. (The Milk Problem - a few students just copied the update method logic to the decrementBy logic which should not pass).

5. The course does not allow me to attach the certificate to my LinkedIn profile. Instead it asks me for my government issued ID as if I'm taking the course for college credit (I'm not).

By Joseph C

Jan 4, 2024

Terrible. I am not a beginner. Put aside the lack of support from TAs/Instructors, put aside the unclear and disorganized assignment criteria. The code supplied for testing in the 3rd assignment straight up is missing dependencies, rendering the assignment completely unworkable. This is a terrible introduction to the master's degree at Univ at Colorado Boulder. I'm only glad I took this specialization path first instead of the other, so I didn't waste any money paying for credit. It's too bad. I really want to find a good online master's program where the professors/TAs are engaged and the assignments are relevant, albeit challenging, and workable! BROKEN ASSIGMENTS MUST BE FIXED!

By Patrick L

Sep 18, 2023

Maybe i had the wrong expectations. I enrolled expecting a somewhat traditional class content delivery. But it seems like the course is pretty superficial, and quite random? Like, why am I learning about bitcoin in this class? how does that add to my knowledge and understanding of big data systems? I don't get it. Why are we reading and answering quizzes on accidental vs essential? I didn't quite see the value proposition, I guess.

By Jiandong W

Dec 14, 2023

Typically, you will have a short lecture which does not help the assignment at all. Even more, the guide for the assignment is vague. Collectively, if you know how to complete the coding assignment, you don't need to learn this course; if you have no idea about the assignment, you cannot learn anything useful from the lecture. Extremely frustrating about the design of the course.

By Bella G

Jan 8, 2024

As other reviewers have described, there are many more prerequisites required than stated on the course page. If you do not have experience with Java you will be very lost on what to do. Unenrolled immediately

By Rosheen C

Jul 8, 2023

I think the material is good, but I would like to have more ways to interact with classmates, course coordinators, and instructors that are not asynchronous.

For example, a discord or slack group to talk about the class, video calls (i.e. zoom) for office hours, etc.

By Dylan R

Oct 17, 2023

Make sure you have a basic to intermediate understanding of Java to complete the Assignments. The instructions can be vague and implied given the experience you're supposed to already have with Java.

By Filipe P

May 26, 2023

Does not go very deep and some exercises doen't really seem to work software architecture concepts, but merely simple coding problems or completions.

By Pei X L

Jan 17, 2024

I found the video lectures to be uneven in quality. Some of them were good, but many felt cursory and disconnected from the assignments. Some of the slides used in the lectures were also low-effort (i.e. words repeated by the lecturer instead of diagrams or something that added to the presentation). I agree with another reviewer that the course themes seemed random, but I did find the topics and external reading materials to be interesting and useful, particularly around the CAP theorem and its practical applications. As someone who has professional experience in several languages but not Java, I did spend a lot of time independently learning Java and its ecosystem (this is not a knock on the course, more of a F.Y.I). However, I do think the coding assignments could have had clearer instructions. I also noticed that there were unanswered questions on discussion forums from over a month ago from students asking for help, so don't expect any assistance from the course facilitators.

By Michael P

Apr 28, 2024

It is expected that you already have in-depth knowledge of Java and Kotlin. During the exercises, the biggest challenges of the course are setting up and configuring the environment and not the topics actually discussed in the course. There is hardly any help with the setup, the only description is for Mac systems, Windows users are on their own. In general, I have to say that when I pay 500$+ (for-credit version) for a course, I expect much better learning material and better exercises.

By Yao G

Feb 15, 2024

This course is a joke and barely treads above the line of "its a waste of time"

By Daniil G

Jan 22, 2024

The course is optimized for MacOS. If you are using any other OS expect headaches. The theoretical part is nice and clean, practical will require one to remember/understand a lot of Java syntax without any reflexion of theoretical concepts.

By Sean N

May 22, 2024

Thank you for such an intelligently thought out online cadence to projects and learning material. I found it to be a wonderful start to the pathway to enter MS-CS degree track and appreciated the way that I could learn alongside the exercises by spending time in the code examples and structure of how the assignments worked.

By Gerald O O

Apr 23, 2024

Impressive content

By Hidetake T

Mar 28, 2024

good experience

By Minakshi S

Dec 15, 2023

The course is knowledgeable and enriching. The is scope for more peer interaction and virtual discussions/meetings once in a while.

By Sarto G

Feb 29, 2024

Loved-it, great and fun problem solving challenges based on real life situations.

By Juan C C

Oct 20, 2023

Good lectures and code assignments to solidify concepts.

By Jay S

Jun 8, 2024

If you are motivated and a self learner than there is a lot of knowledge to gain from this course. Sure, the assignments are easy to circumvent. If you want to be introduced to core CS concepts though than this is definitely a good course. I know it helped me get a solid foundation on concepts I never would have learned on the job.

By L P

Jun 5, 2024

Lectures seemed to have little correlation to coursework. The environment setup for coursework was often tedious.

By Jesus M R A

May 2, 2024

It seems to be a random selection of topics, but there are some interesting recommendations for further reading.