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Henrik Warne

Senior software developer in Stockholm, Sweden. Loves coding, learning, reading.

Henrik Warne
Stockholm, Sweden
Programming
Masters Degree

No courses found

Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1

Written 3 years ago
I took courses on algorithms and data structures when I went to university, and I really enjoyed both of them. Since then I have been working as a software developer for more than 20 years, so I thought it would be interesting with a refresher.

I am quite familiar with several of the concepts taught in this course, for example: big-O notation, quick sort, merge sort and hash tables (I use those pretty much every day). But there were several other concepts that I was not familiar with: I had never heard of the Master Method (for finding the big-O performance of recursive algorithms), and even though I studied some graph algorithms and heaps (the data structure), I had forgotten most of it.

The course turned out to be excellent! The lectures were very clear, and explained the different algorithms really well. And the combination of quizzes and programming problems (five in total), really made me learn the material. The programming assignments all involved implementing algorithms discussed in the course. Even though they consisted of pretty straightforward implementations, you had to take care (as always in programming) to get all the details right.

I still think it is pretty amazing to have access to this many great courses for free. It was definitely a valuable course for me. I learned a lot and I enjoyed both the lectures, the quizzes and the assignments. The only caveat is that it does require quite a time commitment. I spent at least 10 hours a week on the course. All in all a great course!
My rating
Henrik Warne completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

Software Security

Written 2 years ago
The first part covers buffer overflows and related memory attacks. Buffer overflows are really well explained, but the quiz and programming project can be difficult if you don't know C.

Next there was a section on web security, like SQL injection, XSS and CSRF. Again, very well explained. The programming project consisted of trying to break into a web site - great fun!

The final block covered static analysis, symbolic execution, fuzzing and penetration testing.

All in all a very enjoyable course, not least because profressor Hicks is very pedagogical - one of the best lecturers I have encountered in MOOCs. The quizzes are relatively easy, but the first and second programming projects took a bit of effort to complete. However, the workload was quite a bit less than for other programming courses I have taken on Coursera.

I've written a more detailed review here: http://henrikwarne.com/2015/10/20/coursera-course-review-software-security/
My rating
Henrik Warne completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

The Global Financial Crisis

Written a year ago
I really liked this course. It is a detailed acount of how the global financial crisis came about, starting with the housing crisis (including sub-prime) and the global savings glut. It continues with how the anxiety started and spread through the global financial system, turning in to a full-blown panic. Next is the measures taken to combat the crisis, and the course ends with describing the double dip recession in the euro zone.

There are two presenters of the course, professor Andrew Metrick of Yale, and Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury during the crisis. Professor Metrick is an excellent presenter, one of the best I have listened to. He is animated and into the subject he talks about, and takes care to expalain all technical terms he uses.

Timothy Geithner talks about talks about the government response to the crisis, which is very interesting, since he was actually there when it happened. Unfortunately, his presentations aren't as good as professor Metrick's - he is more monotone, and uses some jargon without explaining the meaning (for example, what are swap lines?)

The most interesting parts of the course for me was the section on the cause of the housing crisis (was it moral hazard, government failure, or bubble thinking), and the explanation of the euro zone problems and comparison to the gold standard (as a single currency) in the 1930s.

I spent around one hour a week on the course. I listened to the lectures on my phone while commuting to and from work. After every 5 to 10 minute segment there was a quiz with two multiple choice questions to see if you understood the material. If you failed the quiz you could just re-take it until you passed. After each module (around 10 video lectures), there was a multiple choice quiz with 8 questions (mostly), and you had to get at least 6 right. But if you failed, you could re-take that too. The questions were at a good level, not too easy, but not too hard either. There were no other assignments, so it was a quick and easy course to take. I finished it in around half the alloted time, and only used my commute time to learn the material.

One problem with watching the videos on my phone was that the slides had blue background. When the text was white, it was OK to read, but sometimes the text was purple, and it was impossible to read it on the phone screen. There were also a lot of graphs and charts (very good), but some of them where also very hard to see on the phone screen. Professor Metrick usually talked us through everything in the diagrams anyway, so it was not a big problem there. Timothy Geithner commented less on them, so it was a little harder to follow in his parts. All videos were professionally produced by Yale University.

Overall, an easy and quick course with very interesting material. I learned a lot, and their conclusions felt well motivated, drawing on research reports, and presented in lots of graphs and diagrams. Time well spent for me!

My rating
Henrik Warne completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.