These Dev Bootcamp Grads Are Making A BIG Difference

This morning, I saw a link to a project (more like a movement) led by Dev Bootcamp graduate Rachel Warbelow. I highly recommend watching the video below to really understand the impact of what she’s doing.

The Short Story

The short story (if you didn’t watch the video) is that Rachel is a school teacher in Las Vegas (the worst school system in the country) who’s been working overtime to help students prepare for college. The after-school program required about 20 hours of manual work to keep track of each student’s progress in a spreadsheet. So Rachel decided to attend Dev Bootcamp, where she and other dev bootcamp students started creating a tool to reduce the manual work, as well as add some amazing features such as a communication system between parents and teachers.

On top of that, Rachel was inspired to teach her students how to code. However, the after-school program does not have computers (or funding to get them), so she went on Indiegogo to raise money to buy the computers. Currently, she’s teaching the students to code on paper. Yes, on paper! As of right now, with only 5 more days to go, the Indiegogo campaign has raised over $24,000 (the goal is $35,000).

The Big Picture

This is inspiring on it’s own, but I find a bigger, even more inspiring story in this. There are lots of nay-sayers out there who say you can’t learn to code via a bootcamp, or you can’t learn to code when you’re older, or job interviewers who ask you hard computer science algorithm questions to stump you, or even peers who think you’re crazy for learning and make fun of you (I actually had lunch with someone yesterday, who mentioned that her consulting co-workers made fun of her for learning to code after work – now she’s a full-time developer at a very high-profile company).

The point of the learn to code movement isn’t to create the next Computer Science Algorithm genius (although that is completely possible) – the point of this movement is to give very powerful tools to people with other skills (e.g. in this case teaching), and it’s up to each individual what they do with those tools. Some will use their new power to land a job, others will create yet another social network or photo-sharing app, some might even do something bad with their powers, and some will change the world.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make the most out of a bootcamp experience, read more in my book:  How To… Learn To Code. Get Your Dream Job. Change Your Life.

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  • Jonathan Eyler-Werve

    If my goal were to discover the next Computer Science Algorithm genius, I think expanding the number of people exposed to these concepts in a supportive environment is a pretty solid strategy. Possibly the only strategy that works.

    Thanks for posting!