After a few months picking the right moment…

… I finally enrolled in Udacity’s VR Nanodegree.

Udacity VR Nanodegree

A friend told me the right moment never comes, so I just dove head on to embark on this new and emergent field of study.

Seems like VR is at a crucial point nowadays: either it gets very popular or will just disappear like other “revolutionary” technologies. Though I don’t think that the latter will happen, so soon (if ever), since we are seeing that more and more VR related news are being broadcast, ranging from educational purposes to pure entertainment apps and games. Even Sony has comercially launched a VR gear for the PS4 along with heavy marketing by Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Gear VR.

What the VR technology proposes is very appealing, since we are able to experience a lot of things that would not be possible physically, like being inside impossible worlds (reminiscent of Escher works) or even visiting remote places on Earth that would take days of walking on some difficult jungle trail. Of course, the sensation of physically being somewhere else is not yet possible with the current technology, but who knows what it will be able to offer in the future.

As for the nanodegree, it seems heavily focused on developing projects. I hope I can overcome this challenge, since I just had begun learning Unity 3D and game development about half a year ago, as a hobby (though I am a software developer for more than 10 years now). Taking a peek at the syllabus, it seems like you have to develop about 7 projects and successfully put them to work on a cell phone. They claim that the projects will be revised and graded personally by someone on the course staff and a feedback will be given within a few days.

And by the end of the course, you can choose to specialize in Unity, Unreal or mobile development, though for Unity and Unreal, a highend VR gear is needed, for instance, an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive. So I think I can go down the mobile track only, since such highend gear is very expensive here in Brazil. Oh well.

And a tip for people who are intending to enroll in the nanodegree: one can enroll on some Udacity webinar (almost any will do) and after the webinars takes place, most likely they will send you a discount coupon to get 20%, even 25% off the monthly fee. Plus, they’ll give you 50% back if you complete the nanodegree in less than a year. This financial aid motivated me greatly to enroll.

I’ll post more about the nanodegree as I follow along the course.