Online Training, MOOCs and Your Developer Relations Program

Developers tell Evans Data that to be successful in their jobs they need learn about new tools, technologies and techniques that can facilitate their career growth and help their company. Some companies use Online Training MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), Learning Management Systems (LMS), training frameworks and online learning companies to provide continuing education for their software engineers. Companies also leverage these same educational systems to train their customers about their products, services, frameworks, SDKs and APIs. There are many ways that a company can provide training for their customers by providing how-to videos, tutorials, webinars, Wikis, white papers, development guides, and online conferences. In recent years, we’ve also seen the rise of developer focused companies leveraging course offerings by online training companies, universities and MOOCs.

Udacity, for example, has created “Nanodegree” education programs in partnerships with Google, Amazon, IBM Watson, Vive, Nvidia, Mercedes Benz, AT&T, Facebook and others. Universities, including MIT and Stanford, have put some of their degree program courses online. There are also several free, open source MOOC platforms you can use to create your own online developer university including edX and Moodle. At Khan Academy, anyone can create a new course and invite students to participate. Last December, Stephen  Wolfram announced “Wolfram|Alpha Open Code” saying “Every day, millions of students around the world use Wolfram|Alpha to compute answers. With Wolfram|Alpha Open Code they’ll now not just be able to get answers, but also be able to get code that lets them explore further and immediately apply computational thinking.”

Does your Developer Relations Program offer Education Courses for developers? Should you partner with a university, online education company or build your own? Here are a few of the many companies, services, and software that can help you keep your developer community learning and thriving.


Free MOOC Software You Can Use for your University/Academy/Company

You can set up your own training university/academy for your customers using free software. Here are a couple of choices to explore.

Open edX – The open-source edX platform that is used for Open edX was created by Harvard and MIT for their use. It is now used by universities around the world as part of the xConsortium. You can self host Open edX and there are also a community maintained list of service providers who support the hosting of Open edX. Note: Open edX uses both the AGPL and the Apache licenses. There is a blog post about using edX and Open edX for corporations.

Moodle – open source under the GNU General Public License and can be used for commercial and non-commercial use. From the site: “Moodle is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments. You can download the software onto your own web server or ask one of our knowledgeable Moodle Partners to assist you. Moodle is built by the Moodle project which is led and coordinated by Moodle HQ, an Australian company of 30 developers which is financially supported by a network of over 60 Moodle Partner service companies worldwide.”

Online Training Companies

Over the past several years, there has been an explosion of developer related online training companies. The following is just a few of many available companies that you can partner with.

  • Udacity – an online university spun out of Stanford University. Udacity offers courses and nanodegrees in partnership with technology companies including Google, Amazon, IBM, Mercedes Benz, NVIDIA, Salesforce, AT&T, Facebook, Cloudera and others. There is also a Udacity for Business page that describes how you can use Udacity for your employees and customers.
  • Coursera –  universal access to courses partnering with top universities and organizations. Coursera also provides “Coursera for Business“, online courses for a company’s employees and customers. Coursera also has a developer program with APIs that allow you to search for courses and also integrate into courses and tests.
  • Udemy – online learning courses. From the About Udemy page: “Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where students are mastering new skills and achieving their goals by learning from an extensive library of over 42,000 courses taught by expert instructors.”  Udemy also has a “Udemy for Business” corporate learning platform with a list of corporate customers. The Udemy developer program and API allows programmers to create integrations and client applications.

There are many other learning companies that provide online and in-person courses for developers. Make sure you also check out General AssemblyPluralsight, Codecademy, Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda), Open Learning, etc.

Companies Offering Online Education for Developers and Students

Here is a short list of examples where technology companies are providing online education programs directly or in partnership with online learning academies.

What is Your Developer Relations Program Doing to Educate Developers?

Send me an email and tell me what your developer relations program is doing to educate developers on your products, services, platforms, software, hardware, devices, etc.

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99


Internet of Things and your Developer Relations Program

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hottest topics in developer and technology conversations. IoT companies with developer relations programs comprise a vast range of use cases, industries and devices. I’ve personally written code for the personal medical devices including pulse oximiters, blood pressure cuffs, heart rate chest straps and blood sugar monitors. Using code and components I’ve created demos and videos showing how to work with home control devices including Z-Wave based smart switches and door locks. It’s easy to create apps that control home lighting and heating. I’ve created demo applications for department stores using proximity beacons and beacon fencing. These development use cases are only a fraction of the use cases that can be included in the IoT developer space. IoT reaches way beyond what a consumer might experience with IoT. Your IoT developer relations program can help educate developers with sample code, tutorials, how to videos and more.

To look at the larger IoT development opportunities, we can see IoT devices already in use in manufacturing, transportation, retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, homes, buildings, logistics, cities and governments. There is a vast array of opportunities for developer relations programs to reach out to IoT developers. Predictions abound that there will be billions of devices and trillions of sensors connected to the Internet. Recent news stories about hackers taking control of devices points to the need for security skills for developers. Big data and analytics software will allow developers to harness the rapid growth in the number of connected devices and the data streams they will create.

IoT Developer Relations Programs

I should always answer this question with “who doesn’t have an IoT developer program”. We can quickly list the readily identifiable software, hardware, services and platform companies that are extending their reach to include IoT products. This group includes Intel, Cisco, Facebook, HP. Microsoft, Salesforce, Qualcomm, Oracle, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, Amazon, AMD, Samsung, Apple, SAP, Google, AT&T, IBM, Verizon, Huawei, Dell  and others. There is another group of companies, especially in the industrial and automation spaces that are adding IoT layers to their product and services offerings. In this group I include GE, Bosch, PG&E, ABB, Thingworx, Ericsson, Emerson, Siemens, Philips, Orbit, Cypress, Sierra Wireless, Schneider Electric, Rain Bird, Comcast, Honeywell and more. That said, here are links to a few of the thousands of companies that have active IoT developer relations and outreach programs.


Evans Data Internet of Things Vertical Research Service

The Internet of Things vertical research service focuses on developers working on projects for connected devices in the Internet of Things, whether they’re for transportation, home automation, smarter cities, retail, industry or any other type of interconnected application. The service provides year long data delivery with two global survey reports plus IoT focused data deliveries across disciplines like mobility, Big Data, and Cloud. You can view the table of contents and sample pages on the Internet of Things Vertical Research Service page. You can also use the Evans Data Analytics Console to look at Internet of Things developer research data.

IoT Developer Relations

If you have a developer focused IoT program, let me know

I would love to explore your IoT focused developer program. Send me an email with your IoT developer program URL so that I can join and take a look.

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99