Now accepting applications for the October 5th session

Posted: June 24, 2020 - and - Last updated: August 3, 2020

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when you don’t know enough about the subject to be critical

DFTW isn’t for everyone. No matter what school – or course of action you choose, we want to make sure you have the information needed to vet and compare your options.

The Goals

  1. Deeply learn design and development for The Web

    So that you can enter the field and get a job or start your own business.

Ideally… but really – people usually think about it like this:

The Goals

  1. Learn enough to get a job

    Because we need money

  2. For the least ‘cost’ as possible

    Because we didn’t save any money for this situation / and getting a ‘deal’ is the American way.

  3. As fast as possible

    See the two above

Either way… to figure out which schools can give you those things, you’re going to have to do some research and uncover the right questions to ask. This is hard – if you don’t know the subject already!!! So, here’s a starter list.

The school must absolutely:

  1. Know how to build websites

  2. Have teachers with real-world experience

  3. Have a clear curriculum (vision)

  4. Teach design thinking

  5. Share example lessons

  6. Be able to prove the value to the student

  7. Help you zero in on a role that’s right for you

  8. Stand behind a promise

  9. Have an effective technique

  10. Work to help you get hired

  11. Be able to explain how their curriculum was built

In progress

We’re making an in-depth video for each of these points – so, for now – watch this original video – of @sheriffderek thinking the whole thing through in real-time – and don’t take the text down below too seriously yet. We work in the open. 😃

@sheriffderek thinks through the entire process - in real-time

It’s long… but it’s basically – “The design process” – so, if you’re at all interested in web development and design – then this should be really interesting to you.

1. The school should know how to build websites

How can you tell?

You can look at the website. Try and look at it with some critical thinking – but also go with your gut.

  1. You can look a their site.
    1. Is it wonderful? Or just ok?
    2. Is it clunky or smooth?
    3. Can you find the information quickly
    4. Does it feel impressive?
  2. You can look at their code
    1. Right click and see the HTML if you know a little about that
    2. Run a lighthouse metric test on their site to see their score

2. The school should have teachers with real-world experience

    1. What are their names? What history do they have?
    2. Why are they teaching here?
    3. Can you talk to them first?
    4. Where is their stack-overflow, linkedin, github, personal website etc.

3. Have a clear curriculum (vision)

What makes them unique? What will you take away?

4. Teach design thinking

Just knowing ‘how to code’ isn’t enough. How do you learn how to learn – and figure out ‘what’ and ‘why.’

5. Share example lessons

Will they share example lessons from a few different parts of the course so that you can experience the teaching style?

6. Be able to prove the value to the student

Reviews are one thing… but are the students successful?

Can you see their portfolios? Writing? Projects?

WRITING is very very important. If you can explain what you know – and you have a lot of public writing and thoughts on these subjects, you will be first choice in a stack of applicants. They should be encouraging you to write from day one.

7. Help you zero in on a role that’s right for you

Not everyone is going to be a ‘full-stack’ developer

Are they honest about that? Are they helping you to figure out where you fit – and helping you dial in your unique value?

8. Stand behind a promise

What do you get? What is their goal?

9. Have an effective technique

Why is “their way” such a good way?

Do they use video? A custom code sandbox? Are there written lessons? Are the tests automated? Do you need to know git before you learn what the heck you’re doing? Do you have group critique? Do they have challenges and study projects? What makes them unique? – and why is that effective? Is it effective for you?

10. Work to help you get hired

“hiring connections” often just means they line you up and take a cut of your salary (behind the scenes) – and you might end up at some mediocre company…
So, instead of just ‘connecting you’ – do they work with you to build your portfolio and find the best job for you?

 

11. Be able to explain how their curriculum was built

Who built it?
What books and resources did they draw from?
Why did they build it that way?
How are they improving it?

12. not hound you / write 10 emails a week begging you to “take a chance”

If some email marketer is trying to talk you into it – then they are probably not the right company for you

13. not co-opt a famous college name

Watch out for the “UCLA coding bootcamp” – (they are in every city with every college name – and they aren’t actually associated with the college in any way… they just rent a room – and the use of the name)

Another thing you can do – is check Glassdoor – to see if the employees like working there: https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Lambda-Reviews-E1967834.htm

In conclusion

When you pick a school, boot camp, class, mentor, book, video – (or whatever it ends up being) – keep these questions in mind. Ask a friend or even a stranger on Discord or Dev.to to help you vet a program that is right for you.

Also – a “good” school is good! You don’t have to try and find “the best” school. Aim for a great learning path – and hope to land at a “good” one – and you’ll be good. Don’t overthink it so much that it stops you from getting down to business!

We have time-slots to help you with this stuff.

If you want to just chat with someone who’s been in your shoes and hear your story – and offer some direction, then set up a call. No strings attached. We just want to help you find your way.

Now accepting applications for the October 5th session