A good start is half the battle
… and a battle it is. A good two months ago we’ve started this journey with 16 passionate individuals. Each of these candidates has a different story, a different background but they are united by one single goal. They want to become a full-stack software developer @CM in 4 months.
In another 2 months they are ready to integrate within the agile teams @CM. Meaning we’re halfway the journey. Thus, a good moment to look both backward and forward on this intense roller-coaster experience.
Because of the differences in background and the lack of previous IT knowledge, We kicked off with the real basics. Here the difference in background resulted in different learning curves. In this phase the challenge is to keep everyone on board and still provide enough challenge for those moving in a faster pace.
Throughout the first weeks, we equipped the candidates with syntax, methodology and best practices, by completing dozens of exercises. This way they filled their toolbox with all the necessary tools to start building solutions. And exactly that is the point where most of the joy comes in: building solutions! You name it, they’ve coded it: from a four-in-a-row game till a fictive (library) management system. In doing so, the candidates face their own challenges and hit walls frequently. This due to the high pace of the course, the sheer volume, abstract concepts or simply differences in background. This repeated process of hitting a wall, overcoming it and getting ready to hit the next wall are what molds a true programmer: an individual with a problem-solving attitude seeing obstacles as an exciting challenge to overcome. They’re never alone in doing so, the group moves as one, helping one another where needed.
The progress over the past few months is quit amazing, and the good news is there are another two months to come. Let’s take a quick look on where we are going. Since our toolbox is becoming more and more complete our focus will shift away from exercises towards projects. This involves a shift from “working on my code” to “working on our code”, from “writing code” to “writing software”. At the same time the role of “teacher” is becoming more and more the role of “coach”, to facilitate the transition from “candidate” to “professional junior software developer”.
Yes, we are already halfway there. It’s always amazing to see how they went from crawling to flying the first two months, can you image how high they will fly in another two months?