*Note: the following blog post was originally posted as a review on Course Report by Charlotte Part-Time Student, Anna Kate. We’re glad she chose to share it with us after posting. Read on!
Learning to code is something I've always had a love/hate relationship with. I went to college for art and discovered graphic design, something I deeply love and have since pursued as a corporate career. However, I always knew there was something about design that didn't fulfill me, no matter how many Pantone books I shoved my face into, or typefaces I fawned over. Once a piece went to press I always felt a sense of sadness and dread, because the project was over (except if there was an error in press... That's where the dread came in).
Enter web development! I realized that learning to code would elevate my career to the next level and potentially land me new jobs and opportunities. After many failed attempts to teach myself to code after work, I tagged along with my boyfriend to a meeting with Andrew, the Community Organizer, in their coworking space. I was immediately impressed with his professional demeanor and willingness to help. My boyfriend and I decided to take the plunge together, with me taking the part-time track.
I'll be honest; after the first class, I called Andrew for an emergency phone convo regarding my horror at what I was getting myself into. I remember methodically explaining to Andrew that “I just want to make websites” and “surely your front-end development class would be just fine?” but he wouldn't let me quit that easily — and I'm so, so glad he did.
Sure, I got front-end exposure. But what I got beyond that through my teacher, Shane, was the total understanding of what is going into the creation of the problems I would be trying to solve for clients in the future. I learned the fine nuances of Ruby and programming languages, how to weave in the colorful thread of CSS after setting the stage with HTML, and ultimately compounding that knowledge in the final act of creating a real web app with Rails.
Shane, our instructor, was of particular encouragement. He clearly cared about our progress in the class, but showed little mercy to giving up or claiming to “not understand”. What most impressed me was the way he answered questions — or rather, returned our questions with another question and forced us to think through the problem with him, rather than allow him to give us the answer. Another interesting facet of his teaching style was to pair us off every class with a partner, and only allowed one of us to “drive”. The other partner had to pay rapt attention to the material and help the person on the computer work out problems. Throughout the duration of the class, he supplemented his wisdom and encouragement with real-life anecdotes from his day job as a developer, justifying our struggles to be normal, and that documentation is your friend!
Suffice to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Tech Talent South Code Immersion course. It has reignited my love for design, given a higher purpose to my career and has even gotten me some freelance work as a front-end developer for an agency just a week after graduating. Booyah.
If you're looking for a challenge and are willing to work hard to learn something <BIG>, I suggest Tech Talent South!