Grow with Google Developer Scholarship part 2! How I got the full Nanodegree…

Look what came in the mail…


For those of you who are new to my blog and wondering what this is:


Udacity has partnered with Google to offer up to 9 months of paid nanodegree courses to their Front End Web or Android developer nanodegrees.

The first three months are a trial run – 15,000 students were accepted to complete what was considered a challenge course of relatively easy front end web development courses and projects. From that group, only the top 10% are chosen for the remaining 6 months of courses/projects (full nanodegree).

Click here to learn more!

As I have mentioned in an earlier blog post, I was awarded the first tier of the scholarship in January (the 3 month-long challenge); and on April 26th I started the second tier.

How I got to the second level

And how you can too!

If you’re still reading, you might be a scholarship applicant, or possibly anxiously waiting to hear if you too were awarded the second tier of the Grow with Google Scholarship. Or maybe you are currently working on part 1 and curious as to how you can get that full ride. Below I will point out three factors that weigh into you chances.

TIP #1: Finish the course!

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. This might seem silly, but far too many students dropped off the map after the first week of the scholarship, only a few of which might return at the last minute to cram all the projects in on the last few days. Many never returned.

  • Don’t do that.
  • Set or follow a schedule – one student made a really cool google doc that outlined coursework and deadlines for everyone. Making your own is a great idea too.
  • Work on projects regularly. This means a couple hours each day, maybe 10 hours per week. Depends on how easy the work is for you. You will forget stuff if you don’t keep a regular pace.
  • Learning is a process, don’t give up! Always remember that everyone is on a different skill level. You might need more practice than they do, keep at it! Success is defined by grit and determination, not always intelligence!

TIP #2: Participate in the Udacity Forums

I’ve heard instructors/mentors at Udacity say this, and I remember thinking in January, what does this mean? How much interaction is enough?

I still do not know, and that’s the point!

Udacity wants you to help others, and so does your future team. Concentrate less on the numbers and more on helping whenever you can!

But Caleb! That doesn’t help me! I need numbers!

I know how you feel, so here’s a couple screenshots of my participation as of today:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I made it a habit after completing each code exercise or quiz to visit the forums, and either ask a question, or respond to one. This is a great way to keep the information your learned in your memory as well!

TIP #3: Join the slack channel and meet people!

Ultimately you want to do the same thing here as the Udacity forums, but you also get some leadership support, and important announcements.

But there’s a lot more to slack. Here are some suggestions that I would strongly recommend:

  • Join a state or city-specific sub-channel. I was one of only a few students in Arkansas so we had a statewide channel. Most big cities will have their own channel. This is an awesome opportunity to connect with people near you and form study groups!
  • Post links to your projects, give feedback on other people’s projects
  • Ask questions if you’re stuck, help others if they’re stuck
  • Participate in challenges, and surveys. Student leaders in the slack channel offered up some challenges with a chance to win prizes. Watch for them and get in on the fun!


Best of luck to you if you’re working hard on your challenge!

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