Welcome to BDU’s brand new blog. It is customary for programmers to begin learning a new language by writing a “Hello, World!” program. In this instance, the world that we’ll be exploring on this blog is the Big Data one, so it felt appropriate to title this first post accordingly.

BDU logoAmusingly, for a site that starts with the word big, we began rather small. A handful of us from the Emerging Technologies team in the Analytics group at IBM decided to create a useful resource for the world at large, and in our spare time we began what would turn out to be an amazing journey.

We believed in the value of the idea of free education that was accessible to everyone with no catches or strings attached. At times we even fought to protect that very idea from those who questioned the value of something that has essentially no direct financial gain.

We hoped that the site would be a success and worked hard to make it so. However, I don’t think any of us truly expected to see BDU grow as quickly as it has. In the last few months in particular, leveraging IBM’s blessing and support, we’ve been able to see huge growth in terms of the number of students who joined us, initiatives we are able to get involved in (more on this soon), and the sheer volume of new courses that were released.

Today we have over 300,000 enrolled students (a number that continues to grow each day), over 100 courses divided amongst eight different languages (though English is clearly the most predominant one), and three versions of the site (International, Brazilian, and Chinese).

Our ambitions for the site have grown just as fast and our current goal is to educate a million data scientists across the globe.

So why open a blog now? We’ve reached a point where there is so much going on at BDU that we wanted an outlet to systematically provide our wonderful community with news and announcements, so that it would be easier for you, authors, and even members of our own team, to keep up to date with the continuous evolution of the site.

It will also offer you another communication outlet. Between this, our Facebook page, and Twitter account, you’ll definitely know how to get a hold of us. 😉

The posts that you can expect in this blog will include new course and translation announcements, hackatons, meetups, livestreams, giveaways, news and articles relevant to the industry, guest posts from course authors, as well as important initiatives such as our recent partnership with the United Nations for their Global Sustainable Development Goals.

Stay tuned, and please consider subscribing by using the RSS link in the sidebar or simply subscribing by email. Oh, and if by chance you haven’t joined BDU yet, you can sign up here and begin taking courses today.