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Introduction to battery-management systems

Coursera · University of Colorado System · 1 HN comments

HN Academy has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention Coursera's "Introduction to battery-management systems" from University of Colorado System.
Course Description

This course will provide you with a firm foundation in lithium-ion cell terminology and function and in battery-management-system requirements as needed by the remainder of the specialization. After completing this course, you will be able to:

- List the major functions provided by a battery-management system and state their purpose

- Match battery terminology to a list of definitions

- Identify the major components of a lithium-ion cell and their purpose

- Understand how a battery-management system “measures” current, temperature, and isolation, and how it controls contactors

- Identify electronic components that can provide protection and specify a minimum set of protections needed

- Compute stored energy in a battery pack

- List the manufacturing steps of different types of lithium-ion cells and possible failure modes

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Provider Info
This course is offered by University of Colorado System on the Coursera platform.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this url.
I’m taking two courses on Coursera right now but only paid for a certificate in one. I plan to view all content from the other course, however Coursera will not grade the end-of-section quiz for non-paying students.

It seems the only way to “complete” a Coursera course is to pay $50 so the assignments will be graded. At least this is the case for:

Coursera will not grade the end-of-section quiz for non-paying students.

EdX grades exercises for audit students, on every course I’ve done there the free/paid experience is identical, the only difference is whether they issue a “verified certificate” at the end. Often people audit courses and only upgrade to paid once they have a passing grade.

I just found the first couple of courses on edX where graded exercises are only for those who pay for a "certificate". It's all courses in a UC San Diego "MicroMasters" program around data structures and algorithms. That's all the programming exercises, more than 80% of the value of those courses for most people. Unfortunately I found the quality not worth the price, and I would say that is true even for beginners (I have a CS degree from 20 years ago and only watched to remember a few things I forgot, just for fun).

Anyway, I think this might be a sign for the things to come. A lot(!) of edX courses, despite being okay or even good, have very low participation judging by forum activity. I think the course makers at the universities are going to feel more and more pressure from money-counting management about cost/benefit for the institution.

It's sad that to me to see that everyone does their own (often inadequate) little course instead of working together to create something bigger, better. I would like to see platforms like edX and Coursera not as market places like Ebay for lots of still very traditional little courses, but as platforms that encourage jointly working on something better (in addition to the current model, not as total replacement). Of course, 90% of why they don't (can't) do or become that is that those making the courses won/t or can't do it. Everybody works in isolation on their own small course(s).

What’s the purpose of the actual certificate? As someone who has done dozens of interviews - I’m not a manager, but for about two years I was responsible for hiring and I’ve sat as part of a panel- most people don’t take most certificates seriously. Some, including myself, take it as a slightly negative signal. I’ve seen too many paper tigers.

But then again, except for entry level positions, few hiring managers care about any formal education for IT positions.

From what I can gather, the few certificates that companies care about are RedHat, Cisco, and AWS certs. I’m sure there are a few more that are outside of my area of expertise.

I went through the Microsoft Architect Certification track as a commitment device to force me to study, but I didn’t put it on my resume and never told my employer. But I was trying to transition from a C/C++ bit twiddler to an “Enterprise Developer”.

Some, including myself, take it as a slightly negative signal. I’ve seen too many paper tigers.

I take almost any MOOC as a positive signal that this candidate invests their own time in ongoing professional development, but I have encountered some who apparently learned nothing, maybe got someone else to take the tests or used a braindump site.

So if a MOOC doesn’t necessarily show any competence in the skillset that they were studying and you still have to do the same technical screening, then having a MOOC certificate is neither positive or negative.

Also, if you do a proper technical screen, you should be able to find out whether they are keeping up with technology. In that case, why does it matter if they get it through a MOOC, Pluralsight, YouTube, etc.?

Well, it’s a pre-interview signal, like anything on a CV. Previous employers, alma mater, extracurriculars, yadda yadda. If I’m compiling a shortlist to interview, completion of a relevant MOOC from a quality provider such as EdX, the Andrew Ng course, etc, will increase the probability of them being on it. It’s not just the technical skill either, it’s the good attitude of starting and finishing something above and beyond normal duties.
We take certifications very serious in enterprise, but it depends on what type of certification and who issues it.

I mean, I get that a swarm of developers are brushing up on sites like coursea, Udemy, threehouse or whatever, but I’ve seen a few of those courses, and a lot of the instructors really shouldn’t be teaching anyone. I’m not sure a coursea certificate would be an advantage, because the quality of coursea isn’t recognized, but on the other hand, I really don’t see how it would be a disadvantage either. If it’s all you got, I probably wouldn’t hire you, but if you’ve got a CS degree and a coursea certificate, I really don’t see why that would ever be negative.

A Microsoft or Cisco certificate on the other hand is valuable and will get you a long way though. On the organizational site, prince2 is also really valuable even though the prince2 way of doing pm is somewhat dated.

To show you just how valuable they are, we wouldn’t hire a network engineer who isn’t Cisco certified and we wouldn’t hire anyone for operations who hasn’t completed a bunch of Microsoft and Azure certificates. Unless we absolutely had to, but then we would enroll you in the courses and get you certified.

I’m not in operations so I don’t have context. But operations seems to value certs more than development. Why is that? No one really cares if a developer has a certain cert but the infrastructure guys do.

I’m assuming by “Microsoft Cert” you are referring to operations certs and not developer certs.

Like everything on the resume, the point of certificates is to get a first interview. And some people use them to convince others to take them seriously in their daily lives.
If you don't mind me asking, why did you want to change from bit twiddling to enterprise?
Money and optionality.

10 years ago after staying at one company for 9 years and before that at another for three doing mostly C and C++ with a smattering of VB6, Perl, and JavaScript, I looked at where most of the jobs were in my local market - a major metropolitan area with a lot of Enterprise Java/.Net and web jobs.

I had two offers one for $20K more than I was making as a C++ developer and one as a high entry level .Net developer paying only $7K more (yeah wage compression is real). I took the second offer. I knew in 3 years my options were going to be limited for C jobs.

10 years and 4 additional jobs later and making $70K more, it was the right decision. There are very few jobs making what I make now in my local area for C developers, plenty for “Enterprise” developers/architects.

Going back on topic about certificates, I’m again at the same crossroads. I got to where I am being mostly a backend developer/architect with very little modern front end experience. Also, in my local market, “full stack web developers” are becoming a commodity and make less than I do now.

So along with learning $frontend_framework_of_the_week just to check off the box, I’m working on AWS certs, since they are still marketable and the only way I can make the next jump without going into management is by being an overpriced “implementation consultant”.

Aws won’t be marketable for long. It’s the sort of skillset that is a prime candidate for offshoring, and the bar to enter is very low.
There are basically a few parts to dealing with AWS:

Net ops: traditional networking, patching, security groups, manually provisioning resources, web based load balancer, and the kinds of things you do on prem. This part is easily outsourced. Also companies that just do a lift and shift of an on premise mindset usually would be better off with a cheaper VPS solution or even colo.

Devops: CLoudFormation (Infrastructure as Code), Code Deploy, CodePipeline, OpsWork (Chef?). Most of the outsourced labor and honestly most of the AWS support companies don’t have a clue about this.

Development: Databass optimizations with SQL and NoSql data stores (DynamoDB, ElasticSearch), Autoscaling, SQS, SNS, lambda, etc. Again, most outsourced labor don’t have a clue about this either.

Most “AWS Architects” come from a traditional networking background and that’s all they know. They take their knowledge and map it very badly to AWS.

Someone who has done full stack software architecture and knows AWS inside out from a development, devops, and net ops perspective will be competitive.

Just like all other outsourcing, companies keep the “architects” in house or local and outsource the commoditized development.

Straight “AWS Architects” make less than “full stack developers” and wages for both seem to be stagnating in most of the US. Architects/Team Leads are making more but that’s stagnating too. But good “Implementation Consultants” who can combine both are making more. If you can market your consultants as “Cloud transformation consultants” (Yes I died a little saying that) you can make a lot more.

If someone has completed a certification or course, it becomes a potential topic for discussion. It doesn't matter much to me whether they paid for it, if there's proof it was completed (a code repo or documentation could be an alternative to paying for a certificate).

I have certifications that people well below my skill level were also able to achieve, but I know I can speak to the topics much more authoritatively. It's not a binary signal.

I agree that certain industry certifications are more legitimate than most, although I think continuing education falls in a different but partially overlapping area. Nand2Tetris is the first MOOC I have paid for, because it seemed like a very interesting course that's recognized as legitimate by a substantial portion of people with whom I might enjoy working. Paying is also a good motivator to see it to completion.

Nand2Tetris looks really cool. Just signed up to audit the course. Thanks for mentioning it.
If someone has completed a certification or course, it becomes a potential topic for discussion. It doesn't matter much to me whether they paid for it, if there's proof it was completed (a code repo or documentation could be an alternative to paying for a certificate).

Any technology that I’m able to discuss intelligently is usually referenced as part of what I did on a job. I leave off any technology that I know but don’t want to be asked about or come up in a recruiter’s keyword search.

For instance, I don’t mention C/C++ even though I did it for 12 years or PHP.

I want my interviews to be focused on my strong areas and technologies that I want to use- which are usually the ones that I have real world experience with.

Do you not consider hobbies to be real world experience?

Personally I appreciate the opportunity to not be stuck taking on new work that depends entirely on my previous employment. I find that people who pursue interests outside the scope of their day job tend to be good at thinking through problems and maintaining a healthy attitude, so I’m glad to discuss hobbies with people.

Two thoughts:

Every job has “must have” requirements and “nice haves but be willing to learn”. I focus on jobs that will hire me based on the must haves where I can learn the nice to haves.

A lot of times that means the line between “work” and self study gets blurry. I might be “working” 60 hour weeks but producing 40 hours worth of work product and spending the rest of the time learning. That also means now my resume has work experience with the new-to-me technology/framework. It helps to work for small companies. You get more opportunities to learn and do low priority side projects on the job.

If that opportunity doesn’t avail itself, then do a side project and throw it up on GitHub and then we can discuss it.

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