Like many others, I too enrolled for the ml-class and db-class online courses conducted by the Stanford University. My degree isn't in Software Engineering or Computer Science so there are plenty of gaps in my knowledge to be filled and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning is one of them.
As for the db-class, this was familiar territory I just enlisted to get tested. It was easy going. Stuff like XSL is old hat for me, i've been using it since 2000. Trouble was with Xquery this is something that I have never bothered to learn properly and something about which I have a rather dim view. Who in his right mind would want to use Xquery in his project? it's a great way to ensure that you create unmaintable code. There were other areas which I had fogotten bits and pieces so it proved to be a usefull class.
It was at this point that my age old weakness caught up with me. I hate attending lectures, even when compulsory. I know every one says they skipped lectures at university, but in my case it really is true. There are even a couple of lecturers at the University of Colombo whose classes I was supposed to have taken but I wouldn't recognize them if I met them on the street. I completed an MBA attending just three lectures in total - and there by defeating the whole purpose of getting an MBA. An MBA will not teach you anything usefull. Most of the subjects are just plain BS, what you get out of an MBA is network of business contacts.
My approach with the online courses was to go through the lectures at the last possible moment and then do the assignment. But then real life caught up with me and I couldn't finish one set on time. Then the backlog kept growing while my allergy for lectures resurfaced and kept getting stronger. As a result I haven't done the last 4-5 assignments and officially consider myself dropout.
But I am a stickler for punishment so I have signed up for some of the next set of courses the Standford have made available for next semester.