course review – Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities

Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities is yet another awesome course from Lund University. The course is available on Coursera. It’s the second course I took from Lund University, after Greening the Economy: Lessons from Scandinavia.

The course explores the influence cities can have on greening the economy. It covers subjects like urban transformation, infrastructure, experiments and living labs taking place in various cities and urban lifestyles and how individual choices can be influenced by local infrastructure.

I loved that they included not only course lectures, but also videos from different conferences and presentations of various projects. The examples are made by some of the key players in the smart cities world, like UN-Habitat and WWF and show some activities that promote sustainable cities in Scandinavia and around the world. This way they present not only a theoretical part, but also some practical examples in the field 🙂

The course also recommends some short readings that offer an insight on the latest studies on smart cities.

The course takes 5 weeks to finish, with around 5 hours per week for videos, readings and assignments.

What did you think of the course? 

Step forward in 2017: Build in-demand career skills with Coursera

Online courses about smart cities

I think it’s about time to revive this blog 🙂 Hopefully I’ll start posting more regularly from now on.

I’ll start with my new interest, smart cities 🙂 What is a smart city? In short, it’s a city in which various information and communication technology and Internet of Things solutions were implemented in order to improve the quality of life. It has a wide range of applications: from real-time air quality monitoring to apps for city officials to interact directly with the community, to traffic management and loads of others.

I’ve recently become interested in the field and started learning more and more about it online. Apart for cool app ideas, I’ve also looked into online courses in order to get a strong background in the subject.

So, inspired by the structure of The Dual Master’s in Sustainable Smart Cities from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Staffordshire University, I looked for free online courses and came up with the following list.

The list is available on GitHub. Star

I’ll keep adding to it as I find new online resources. And also use it to track my progress. 🙂

Do you know any good smart cities books, online classes or other useful resources?

Improving posts on facebook pages using the power editor

I recently discovered the facebook power editor. A really useful tool for creating and managing your facebook pages posts and ads. In this tutorial I will describe how to use it in order to make better posts for your pages.

Apart from the usual components that you can post on your page (text, links, images), using the power editor you can also add call for action buttons to your  link posts. Let’s see how.

First, open power editor and select the manage pages option from the dropdown at the top of the page.

using the facebook power editor

To be able to view the posts of your page and create new posts, the first thing you need to do is to load the page in the editor. You the download to power editor button to do this. A popup similar to this one will show up:

using the facebook power editor

In it, select the pages option and fill in the url of your page.

Your pages posts will load and you will be able to view them and their related stats (reach, number of people engaged, number of people talking about it).

Now use the create post button to load the following popup and input the data for your new post. Only the link type posts have more options that can be added from here. The others have the same options as when posting directly on the page. For links you can fill in the following info:

  • url – the actualy link
  • post text – the text that will show up above the link preview part
  • call to action – here you can select the text that will show up on the button from the link preview
  • link headline – this will show up as the title in the link preview
  • display link – here you can add a more detailed description of you link
  • description – this is to inform users why they should click on the link and what they should expect to find there
  • picture – here you can either write the url of a picture you wish to use or upload it from your computer

Then for posts you need to check the ‘This post will be published on the Page‘ option. After you click it you will be able to also enter targeting data like languages and location.

using the facebook power editor

After you click the create post button, the new post will show up in your editor, but it is not yet published on your page.

You can check the preview by clicking on the post.

When you are ready to publish the post, use the publish post button, you can either choose to post it immediately or schedule it for later.

Notice the upload changes button turns green.

using the facebook power editor

Click it and that’s it! 🙂 Your post will be successfully posted on the page or scheduled.

I hope this will help you improve your facebook posts. Let me know if you have questions or comments.

As I previously mentioned, the power editor can also be used for making better facebook ads. I haven’t tried that yet, but I did find a good article on how to do that! 😉

A collection of UI design articles

Have you ever asked yourself what are the main principles of web design? What are the main things to take into consideration when designing a website or app? I have, and here are the articles I found interesting.

Definitely worth reading! Enjoy!

If you found any other great articles or books on the subject, please let me know!

What to learn?

What should I learn next? That’s a good question… As a software developer you always have new things to learn, a new computer language, a new technology, algorithm, framework…so many. How do you choose between these?

One more problem is…should you learn something new or just improve something you already know? You might find new ideas, new ways of solving the same problems, even better ways. So what to learn?

I, for one, have lots of lists, of new things I encounter and wish to learn more about, of things I want to improve from my current skills, of tutorials, classes, etc. And I’m slowly making my way through them 🙂

In the last months, a couple of sites where launched that offer free university level classes. They are Udacity and Coursera . I took some of the classes there and I must say they are a great way of learning something new or just freshening up your skills. The lectures are filled with quizzes to help you understand the course better and there are also some assignments which I really enjoyed doing 😀 They also keep adding new classes, so you should take a look and see if there’s anything that interests you 🙂 Also if you know of any other such sites, please let me know!

Step forward in 2017: Build in-demand career skills with Coursera