Twitter and online universities, ah, the twain shall never meet? Well, in an surprise announcement, that’s exactly what happened as Twitter acquired open-source education company Marakana and launched “Twitter University” to provide online education for engineers and to make Twitter “the best place in the world for engineers to work.”
In a blog post, Chris Fry, Twitter’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, said of the new initiative, “To help our engineers grow, it’s important for them to have access to world-class technical training, along with opportunities to teach the skills they’ve mastered. To that end, we’re establishing Twitter University.”
Twitter also said of the company and the acquisition, “We’ve been working with them [Marakana] for several months. The founders, Marko and Sasa Gargenta, have impressed us with their entrepreneurial leadership, commitment to learning and technical expertise.”
Marakana hosts both simple and more advanced courses for computer science engineers, involving topics such as iOS programming (for Apple’s mobile devices), fundamentals of the Java programming language, distributed systems, the Hadoop big data processing platform. Markana said that it has “developed courses on Android, Java, HTML5, Scala, Python, Hadoop, jQuery and others, often being the first to provide training on these cutting edge technologies.” The company also said that it had trained 100,000 professional software engineers, and five million people had watched more than 350,000 of Markana’s free online videos.
Interested in following the progress of Twitter University? You can follow it on Twitter (duh!) at @twu.