The Third Option: Let's do things differently. Helping adults learn to code
Here’s a typical scenario:
Kate works in Finance and she wants to learn how to code because she sees colleagues who can write computer programs being more efficient in what they do (and being recognised for it.)
Kate searches for options on Google and finds:
Option 1: A 12-week full time bootcamp promising to take you from zero to professional developer. Really? How is that possible? [it isn’t]. And by the way you're expected to work until 3am at home everyday too. Saturdays and Sundays. Besides, Kate doesn’t want to become a professional developer.
Option 2: An online course that seems to be delivered by a look-a-like of a famous Hollywood actor, sitting in front of a stylish back drop. If you don't grasp one of the complex concepts don’t worry as you can replay the exact same explanation over and over again. Surely you must be able to understand it after 27 replays without the need to ask questions to a real person. Great since there is no real person to listen anyway.
What if there was a Third Option that combines the best of both:
A face-to-face course targeted at beginners,
delivered over two or three days, at the weekend, so that Kate can attend without quitting her job,
and with support provided online directly by the course instructor during, but more importantly after the course as well.
It’s time for Kate to search again because this Third Option is now available.
Let’s start with being honest with you:
There is no shortcut to becoming a proficient programmer. Just as there is no shortcut to becoming a surgeon, or a lawyer, or anything else for that matter. As with all skills, learning the fundamentals is an important step — but practice, practice and more practice is what makes one proficient and experienced.
We set out to design a course with this in mind. Often the hardest step with learning how to code is the first: learning to think in a very different manner to what we are used to. This requires an understanding of the anatomy of a computer program, what are its essential building blocks and how a computer goes about reading and executing this program. Once we start thinking in a more logical and systematic way, we can start to speak the same language as the computer and communicate with it effectively.
When this initial hurdle is overcome, the next stage is to write lots of programs. The more, the better. We like to think of our course as being split into two parts: (a) the face-to-face sessions, and (b) the time spent by the course participants programming at home, not just in between sessions but once the course is over as well.
But what if you get stuck?
Or what if you are using inefficient or bad practices that might come back to haunt you later on? This is where the post-course online support we offer comes in useful. Through our course management system, participants can easily share any code they write with their course instructor who will guide them into finding their errors and bugs, provide feedback and suggest alternative ways of solving the problem.
What about the details
What do you need to know? We use Python. We focus on general purpose programming, with a final optional day dealing with quantitative programming for those working in data-driven fields such as finance, science and engineering, data analysis et cetera. Courses are held in Central London (South Kensington) on consecutive Saturdays.