01 December 2020 / Full-Stack Web Development

What a day in our full-time online class is like

Charles Lee
Co-Founder & CEO

We've re-imagined our successful in-person coding bootcamp to be "remote-first". We've built our processes (and in some cases, tools!) to take advantage of the fact that it's 2020 and there's never been a better time to be learning remotely. Read on to find out more about what it's like to be a student.

Class is brought to you by the word: INTERACTIVE

The biggest benefit that a live class offers is the opportunity for constant interaction, feedback, and growth. If you'd like a passive experience where you can listen at your own pace, we'd highly recommend a website called YouTube, where in addition to learning about coding, you could also learn to yodel.

It's a well-known fact that coding is like yodeling - not because you can't actually learn without yelling and screaming, but because you learn by participating. That means pair programming, asking and answering questions, group discussions with classmates, meeting with instructors, and ok, maybe a little yelling and screaming along the way. We've built that all into the structure of a typical online day at CoderSchool.

As a result, interactivity is one of the core pillars of our online program's course design. As a student, you're expected to not just show up, but to OWN your own education and be totally engaged in making one of the biggest changes of your life. As we say on the first day, "I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it." (That's a quote from The Matrix.)

Structure of a Typical Day

10AM-10:15AM: Class Starts, Recap of the Previous day. We'll start on www.toucan.events, not Zoom! Specific links of course, will be sent out in advance.

10:15AM-10:45AM: Group Discussion Topic + Mini Presentations. You'll be put in groups and asked some questions to answer and present back to the class (inspired by the Feynman Technique).

10:45AM-11:30AM: Introduction to the new topic of the day, lecture/activities, and you're assigned a partner. For this, we'll be using our custom presentations tool that works well even without a strong internet connection, but we'll also be running Zoom as backup.

11:30AM-1:30PM: Lunch Break. You're welcome to spend this time however you want, including getting a head start on the afternoon's exercise, but we recommend getting outside briefly. Go take a walk. See the sun. Look at a tree.

1:30PM-1:45PM: One more walkthrough of the topics of the day

1:45PM-5:30PM: Working on exercise, teacher and TA are present but up to you to actively ask for help.

5:30PM-5:45PM: Back in the main room for "standup", a common practice in agile software development, where everyone goes through and explains how far they have come in the class. Self journaling / feedback time.

5:45-6:30PM: TAs on call to answer any last questions. TAs are always available, but there may be delay in responses after 6:30PM because some of our TAs like to do things like eat dinner, or sleep (occasionally).

Structure of a Typical Week

Monday: Review and Planning. It starts with people presenting what they've learned the previous week. You'll get comfortable with your technical communication as you present your successes (and your failures) in front of a supportive audience of your peers. Then we'll move on to new subjects for the week, and give ourselves a good goal to work towards.

Tuesday / Wednesday: New concepts and pair programming. We'll introduce the biggest new concepts and have you work through exercises. Most of these exercises will be done in a pair programming format, which has been scientifically proven to be more effective in learning.

Thursday: Guided project. We'll give you the first big project of a week, which will introduce some new concepts, but mainly give you a chance to solidify what you've learned earlier in the week.

Friday: Weekly project. Every week, you create an ambitious project worthy of your future portfolio. We'll also use Fridays to cover career-related topics, do interview prep, algorithm challenges - and maybe even the occasional virtual yoga class (healthy bodies foster healthy minds, and healthy minds foster healthy code).

Checkpoints / Assessments

At weeks 3, 6, and 10, we'll give you a test to ensure that you've mastered the concepts and are ready to move onto the next section. If the test goes poorly, we'll work with you to adjust your study plan - it's not about passing or failing, it's about looking forward and ensuring your upcoming time will be spent effectively. Students don't fail at CoderSchool - but some do give up.

Extra Weeks

Our normal program is 12 weeks, but we're allocating 14 weeks for this Treo cohort to account for a few holidays (holidays around Christmas / New Year's Day) and also to make sure we get this online thing right (in the past, sometimes things seem to take just a little bit longer to click when we're teaching online). We'll keep these days in reserve and let you know when we deviate from the above "typical" week schedule.

What if I miss a class?

We'll record all of our sessions on video to help you catch up and review, but just like yodeling: you can't just watch videos of people yodeling: you have to interact. Watching a recording of a day is not a substitute for being there in person. You're required to inform us in advance if you have to miss class, and you're required to attend 90% of classes in order to graduate.