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Actualize Blog

September 4, 2015

Why a Code Bootcamp?

By Jay Wengrow, CEO of Actualize

After conducting my web development mentoring service for over a year now, I’ve decided to transform it into a web development bootcamp – as I’m sure you’ve noticed on our home page! But why? For those of you who don’t know, the Anyone Can Learn To Code mentoring service was a one-on-one training program in which I taught Ruby on Rails to people from all backgrounds, including those who have never programmed before. I’d typically conduct a one hour session over Skype once a week with each student, and would then provide enough “homework” to last until the session the following week. This system worked well, and I was quite amazed at how quickly the students progressed, but it occurred to me, “If the students can absorb so much material with one hour per week, how much more could I accomplish by running a fully immersive training program?” So here it is. Our first twelve week class begins June 8, 2014, and all the other nitty gritty details can be found on our home page. But there are a couple of salient points that I would like to elaborate upon: Unlike virtually all the other code bootcamps out there, ACLTC is not a quit-your-job-and-don’t-even-think-about-anything-else-other-than-coding bootcamp. It runs on Sundays (9 AM – 5 PM) and weeknights Monday through Thursday (6 PM – 9:30 PM), and that’s it. You can keep your job and financial security while you learn to code. Now, don’t mistake this for meaning that our bootcamp is easytown. It’s very intensive, and having to work on it after having completed a whole day’s work at your day job is not a simple thing at all. And that’s why we’re only accepting students who we believe have the will and determination to pull off such a feat. But this begs another question: Is it really possible to learn web development in 12 weeks when you’re not slaving away at 70-or-more-hours-per-week like the other bootcamps? Isn’t there a reason why the other bootcamps are set up that way? And the answer is simple. The mainstream model of the current code bootcamps is to put a bunch of material in front of the students and have the students teach themselves. The bootcamp “teachers” are professional web developers who are available to help the students out when they get stuck or have a question. So of course if the students are teaching themselves, they’d require draconian workweeks to complete the material, as teaching oneself takes a long time. However, at Anyone Can Learn To Code, we teach each and every concept, breaking it down into small, easily digestible parts that are easy to learn and absorb. We teach each concept in the right order, so that each new concept builds upon what the students have already mastered. And we flip back and forth between instruction and practice, so the students can immediately put what they’ve just learned into action. When students are taught the material by people who are both professional developers and educators, they don’t need nearly as much time to absorb the material. And that is why I’m stoked about the Anyone Can Learn To Code Bootcamp. We’re going make web development accessible to those who simply can’t afford to risk their financial ability while jumping into a new career that they’ll love.

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