Udacity was probably the first MOOC provider to integrate an online coding environment into its courses. Below is a screenshot that I took of Udacity’s coding platform back in February 2012.
Screenshot of the first iteration of Udacity’s in-browser environment — February 2012. More screenshots here.
The in-browser coding environment only supported running Python code. Since then the polish of Udacity’s product has improved, but its in-browser coding environment has essentially stayed the same.
Instead, it has focused its resources on building an on-demand human grading platform. Students submit projects and they get graded by Nanodegree alumni. The Nanodegree alumni get paid for each project they grade. Some even make upwards of $11,000 per month.
Now it looks like Udacity is ready to improve the in-browser coding environment in its courses.
This week Udacity announced that it has acquired CloudLabs, maker of Terminal.com. Terminal.com originally started out as a mix of Cloud9 (in-browser IDE) and Heroku (platform as a service). You can see a demo of an early version of its platform on YouTube.
But last year it raised $6.1M and pivoted to focus on tools for coding education. According to TechCrunch, Udacity looked at a number of other competitors but choose CloudLabs after performing a test integration of Terminal.com features in its Nanodegrees.
All five members of the Terminal.com team will join Udacity to integrate the platform, and to automate some of the grading process.