Live Instructional Support

I want to talk to you about the instructor support system that we have in place here at devCodeCamp, and what you can expect here as a student. So when you enroll at devCodeCamp, one of the things we do is we use Slack for messaging service, which is quickly becoming an industry standard for developers and really all kinds of teams to communicate with other employees of that company. With Slack, what we do is we actually create a private channel with you and every single one of the instructors, including myself.

So you have a team of instructors in a private Slack channel with you, and what this opens the door for is that when you have any questions on anything you’re working on, the first thing you can do is send a message in Slack. If I’m recording videos or if I’m lecturing or other instructors are busy as well, there’s always going to be at least one or two instructors available to answer your question. Our goal is to answer your question as quickly as possible. Once you have time-boxed yourself for that 20, 30 minutes, which is really important, that’s definitely part of the process to timebox yourself. Ask yourself, have I given this a good shot? Do I have a better understanding of what I’m doing? I still may need assistance, but do I have a better understanding of what I’m doing so that when I do get help from an instructor and they do provide that direction and get me unstuck and back in the game, I will have a much better understanding of what it is that we’re talking about.

That’s really from your perspective, the student, and really what you want. So timebox yourself, 20, 30 minutes, reaching out with a question to the instructors, our goal is to get to you as quickly as possible to get you unstuck. Ultimately that was one of the things I wanted to attack when building the whole online platform, the whole online experience for students at devCodeCamp. I think the biggest complaint that is out there with online education is it feels like you’re like on an island and feeling like you ask a question and it just takes hours to get responses from anybody. That is not what we’re about here.

The goal here is to get your question answered as quickly as possible. That question might get answered in Slack. That question might be upgraded to a Zoom interaction. That’s one of the first things that you get as a student here at devCodeCamp, you get put into a group Slack channel with the instructors, once again, a private Slack channel, which is you and all the instructors. We also meet daily for one-on-ones in Zoom.

Something else that you can expect is code reviews. You can share your screen, we can remote in, we can type in your code, you can type in your code, and we can be your security blanket as you’re working through a problem, working on something, we can be there to kind of watch what you’re doing and provide direction and say, you know what? You did a really good job with that, but here’s an even better way to do it. Or if you’re stuck, we’ll say, hey, did you think about maybe doing this way, or what are your thoughts on this? Or we should maybe just forget about the code for a second and start just pointing it out. Step one, step two. What are the steps to solve the problem? Let’s talk about it as a conversation before we get back into the code so that we have a much better understanding of the problem that you are solving.

On the third day of the course, you actually get assigned one of the instructors as your Senior Dev. You being a junior developer, that’s what you’re working towards. Us being senior developers that’s what being experienced gets you. One of us will be assigned to each student and it is our responsibility to check in with that student and make sure they get their one-on-ones and to be clear, all instructors will be doing a one-on-one with you throughout the course.

Any instructor can answer any questions you have, any instructor can meet with you. But really having that assigned instructor to you as part of their team, it just elevates the whole experience, it makes things so much better. Meeting with you daily, making sure you get those one-on-ones and those code reviews, that high-quality feedback that you deserve.

We’re making sure that you have the support system in place for you that if you do get stuck or you’re starting to get frustrated or stress out a little bit, knowing that you have a team of highly qualified, enthusiastic instructors that are there to help you. Even if you get stuck and you don’t know something, that’s totally okay. It’s totally fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s part of the process and we really do understand that.

We look forward to meeting with each one of you to answer your questions as you come across them, as you’re working on your coursework here at devCodeCamp.