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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Take a Small Course or a Large Course?

Let’s go through the pros and cons of studying a large huge course versus a smaller much more compact course today.

Today, we’re talking about going through a small programming course or a large one.

Now, I’m going to use the example here of two courses that I’ve got on Udemy, the Java Masterclass course which is a massive course, 77 hours of content and a much smaller Java crash course. But this will apply to any large and small course because invariably when you’re starting out to become a programmer, when you’re looking for different programming courses you’ll find that there’s a huge course invariably and a smaller course.

Well firstly, in general it depends on what are you trying to achieve. Are you looking to just brush up your skills? In other words, have you got some programming experience? If so, perhaps, the crash course is probably all you need. The reasoning behind that is you’ve got some programming experience, you don’t need to know absolutely everything about a particular programming language or whatever the topic is of the course.

You’re just wanting to brush up your skills so maybe a crash course is for you. Also if you’re on a deadline and you’ve got a limited amount of time and you need to get up to speed quickly, a crash course can be useful. But bear in mind also with that that if you’re looking for the quickest possible way to become a programmer then it’s probably false economy to just think that, “If I take the smallest course,I’m gonna learn the quickest” because that’s really not how things work.

That will apply more if you’re coming from another programming language or you’ve got some programming skills you can probably get away with a smaller course. If you’re starting from scratch though generally I would recommend you take the larger course. And the reason is that generally they’re more comprehensive and depending on the course but usually they’re aimed at beginners.

So they don’t make any assumptions on what you do or don’t know and they actually include a wide breadth of topics and sub-topics within whatever the course topic is that you’ll learn from. So the Java Masterclass coming back to that analogy teaches all sorts of things that you can find very useful in Java but you may not be using a lot. Like for example JavaFX, there’s a whole section in that course on JavaFX this is the masterclass and that relates to learning how to create desktop GUIs in Java.

That’s a very specialised skill that you may never have to do, you might never get into that situation where you’ll need to learn those skills as a programmer. However having said that, it can be a useful skill to learn plus some of the techniques that are taught in that section of the course are applicable outside or in other areas of Java.

So in general what I would say is that the larger course, if you’re someone who hasn’t programmed before or hasn’t programmed for some time, go for the larger course and just do everything. Even though there’s sections there that you might not be interested in or you think you’ll never use just go through the course and finish that anyway and basically you’re adding it to your resume is what I’m trying to say.

Be able to add it and it’s just a good skill to have should you ever need it in the future. So that’s the pros and cons, in general I would steer you towards a larger course but you have got the option of a crash course or a smaller course if you’re just looking to basically brush up on your skills quickly and you’ve already got some programming experience.

All right so I hope that helped if you’ve got any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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