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Actualize Blog



How long does it take to learn to code?

Once you’ve decided that you’re interested in learning to code, one of the next natural questions to ask is: How long will it take me? What kind of time investment am I dealing with here?

Of course, it’s impossible to give an answer to this in terms of exact hours, as each person learns at different speeds and each per...

Three of my students taking the Actualize Bootcamp share their experiences and discuss the education differences between traditional education in Rwanda versus Actualize's educational model.


Left to Right: Obed Bigirimana, Salomon Beza, and Karoli Kolokonyi
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I’m currently training a class of 19 future web developers in Kigali Rwanda. They’re working hard to become job-ready by the end of the bootcamp and apprenticeship.

But they don’t have it easy. Most of the computers they’re using are three to five years old, and most are barely powerful enough to run Linux. Occasionally we’ll have hard drive failures, or a complete o...

There are many reasons why people choose a career in web development: a well-paid job, a new challenge, ability to be creative, or greater job security. I've seen my students leave monotonous jobs or dead-end careers and enter an exciting new stage in their life. When that happens - when students get their first dev job after finishing the bootcamp - that's what g...

When someone first decides to dabble in coding and Googles, "learn to code," they are inundated with options for books, tutorials, and schools that all jockey for the person’s attention. As they comb through the various services, they begin to notice names of different programming languages: HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, C#, Java, Python - and the list goes on.

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jQuery was released in 2006, and within several years it became the most popular JavaScript library in use on the web (used by 70% of the top 100,000 sites online). At the time, there were many libraries similar to jQuery competing for this developer mindshare (Prototype, MooTools, Dojo, etc.). But ...

July 29, 2016

What Is Teachable Code?

Software developers strive to write code that is as readable as possible. But what does it mean for code to be readable? One definition that sums it up well is:

Readable code is code that clearly communicates its intention to the reader.

There’s an important point to emphasize in this definition - code readability depends on who’s reading it, which means...

Nothing captures the type of teacher you don’t want to have more than Ben Stein’s brief cameo in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:


But anyone with classroom experience knows th...

Our education style, curriculum, and teaching staff are a source of pride for us here at ACLTC. Because of that, we decided to write a guest blot post on Switchup.org where we delve into why it's so important to us to bring on Lead Instructors who are both...

The amount of space you put in between lessons is often as important as the lessons themselves. This applies to both learning as well as teaching.

Let’s paint the following scenario:

You’d like to learn a new concept, but the concept actually consists of three different parts, which we’ll call A, B, and C. Let’s also assume that to understand concept C, you first...

We got the chance to write a guest blog post for Course Report this week, where we outlined the various teaching styles you'll encounter when learning to code and how to choose the right option for you. This guide will help you determine whether you should attend a bootcamp (and ...

February 19, 2016

Do not teach best practices

In her talk All The Little Things, Sandi Metz talks about teaching beginners about DRY:

The first rule we teach novices is don't repeat yourself - DRY. But have you ever thought about why we teach them that rule? It's because they can't understand anything else. They don't know anything, but by God, th...

So you’ve just learned something new about programming: a new a concept, a new technique, or maybe a brand-new perspective on a problem you’ve never been able to solve.

Maybe you typically learn new things only once in a while, or maybe you’re an aggressive learner and voracious reader who is always seeking new things to cram into your cranium. Either way, how can you make sure you...

As more and more people realize the benefits that learning to code can provide (you know, like landing an awesome job or creating your own projects just how you want), everyone is looking for the best tips and tricks to get them up to speed quickly and climb the heights of programming prowess.

While I think people realize that no single ‘trick’ will magically stuff their heads with...

September 4, 2015

The Secret To Learning To Code

Learning to code is a serious endeavor and takes a tremendous amount of dedication and practice. Yet, anyone who is truly motivated can learn to program. So, what's the secret that people who learn to code know that people who fail to learn to code don’t know?

Photo by 1871.

Since the entire premise of my tech education company is that <...

Sometimes it can seem as though you have to learn computer programming while you're young to ever be successful at it - after all, they're teaching elementary-school children to code these days! It's easy to believe that there's a magical cutoff age after which it’s just plain too late to ever learn to code. Some people may place that age at 25, others at 20, and yet others at 12!

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"Do I need a degree in computer science to become a web developer?" I often hear this question, and for good reason. Going to school is a massive investment of time and money, and if it’s not truly necessary, why should you devote a portion of your life and assets to it?

The truth is that you don't need a college degree to become a web developer - nor is it always that helpf...

There are many different methods of teaching. One common method of teaching is the simple conveying of lots of information. A teacher can recite many facts and figures, statistics and anecdotes, methods and techniques. Students can listen, take notes, and attempt to comprehend the information being thrown at them.

Or, a teacher can explain concepts to the students in a way that ena...

Do programmers need to know math? Yes, you do need to be an expert at math... if you're building an advanced calculator application or math education program! For anything else, you can become a professional programmer armed with the simple knowledge of grade-school math.

Photo by 1871.

If your addition, subtraction, multiplication, or d...