(Preeti Mudliar a researcher at Yashada, and a PhD student at Austin, Texas, recently decided to pick up some technology skills and attended the free HTML/CSS course conducted by Ozran Academy in Pune recently. Her blog post about her experience is reproduced here with permission)
Let me quickly write about this before the excitement of another field trip descends. Last week, I became the proud bearer of a certificate that attests to my knowledge of HTML5 and CSS. I have long wanted to gain a working understanding of web development and programming, but have really been too lazy to sit down and learn using W3C tutorials. So, I was pretty excited when I learnt of the Ozran Academy thanks to a PuneTech article that was retweeted by @quatrainman. I often find the initial structure of classroom learning a great help when attempting to grasp new ideas and in this, Ozran was just what I could have hoped for with its short evening course. Since I was on a break from field trip to finish a paper, the timing was just perfect.
Ozran has four core courses related to web development that are targeted mainly at freshers. Besides HTML5, they offer courses in ColdFusion, web marketing and analytics, and website design – all free of cost. Since they also use these courses to assess candidates as potential recruits for their start-up, the classes were a great blend of theory and practicals.
The classes are taught by Andor Admiraal who does a great job of it and I thoroughly enjoyed every evening of the course. Other than a cursory recognition of HTML when I see it, I had no other knowledge of the programming language. Yet, I have now gotten a fundamental grasp that I could build on using the W3Cs. The rest of my classmates were all newly minted engineering graduates and I learned a fair bit from my interaction with them as from the course itself. Ozran assesses your knowledge with an hour-long exam at the end of the course. The exam is worth 50 marks and you need to make a minimum of 30 to clear it. It was pretty rigorous even for those with prior HTML and CSS knowledge and 5 from our class of 7 cleared the test.
Learing HTML5 was not the only reason I applied to the course. Ozran has a very novel recruitment idea which completely consumed my curiosity and the research instincts immediately kicked in. I found it illustrative of the hitches that a startup with foreign partners might face when attempting to set up a base in India. Though attractive for its cost benefits, the education system sometimes does not really meet the needs of the industry. Combine that with the aspirational attitude that colors the learning of any kind of software skill in India and you really have an attractive proposition for freshers who jump at the opportunity of learning something new if it will also lead them to a job. If bigger companies offer paid internships to students in a bid to “kick their tires” as a friend puts it, Ozran as a small start-up offers a chance to learn something that will be valuable to both them and you instead. The course content is as much about what Ozran desires in its employees when they are coding and designing a website as much as it is about say the importance of semantics in HTML5. While it is assessing students as a potential recruit, the course also acts as a great socialization tool for future employees.
The courses come with absolutely no strings attached at all and I had substantial takeaways from the course both skill wise and research wise. Check them out here
About the Author – Preeti Mudliar
Preeti is presently studying for a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin. Her research interest centres around understanding government-citizen interactions and the use of ICTs towards participatory and development processes. Preeti has worked as a journalist and taught graduate courses mainly in research methodologies at the University of Pune, India for three years before moving to the United States for further studies. Preeti’s choice of work, activities, and research interests are guided by and reflect my need to make a difference in the larger community.