Since february 2023, I’ve been taking courses at mooc.fi which is a free, open-source, self-paced course platform provided by the University of Helsinki in English. The courses I’ve been taking are:
- Programming in Python, basic and advanced concepts.
- Cybersecurity base, covering introduction, securing software and advanced topics.
Funnily enough, my goal was to only study Cybersecurity base, but I felt it was neccessary to have a grasp of basic programming which led me to the programming course. I’ve been meaning to take it anyway, and it’s been a treat to fulfill the course.
If you have no experience in programming, the course is a great way to get started. The entry barrier is low, and you get familiar with the basics without having an IDE in place. The challenge is ramped up accordingly as you progress, and there is a very active and helpful community that you can ask for help. There are live tests that you need to complete in order to get a grade, but they are doable and you are also able to re-take them should you fail. I have no real complains about the course, except for the final parts where you need to create a project in PyGame. For me who has no interest of writing games, it was hard to find motivation to do it, but there is also a lot to learn from the implimentations of real time events in games. If you have been curious about programming and don’t know where to start - look no further than this course.
As for the cybersecurity base, my experience was mixed once I got out of the basic part and into securing software and advanced topics. Part of the challenge was the lack of community help; it could take days before I got a hint - which was frustrating as I never got to keep momentum. And some of the assignments was quite fuzzy on the requirements, which led me to guess what the desired outcome was even when the logical implementation was correct. Lastly, some parts of the course (mainly cryptanalysis) was very shallow and didn’t give enough of introduction to get a good grasp of the topic. I did pass the course, but chose to skip the projects and the CTF challenge. For those who want to dip their toes in cybersecurity, the introduction is fine, but I would choose another course depending on the topic you want to focus on.
Good luck to all the learners out there!