Best of 2013 and New Endeavors for 2014

By Damon Gustafson, VP of Operations 

As I look back on last year, I can only say that I am pleased with the results. We had an awesome 12 months, with 8 bootcamps, over 200 students, and more than 10 new employees. We learned a great deal about the way we do things, what helps our students learn, and how to provide a better experience. We had great guest speakers including Mark Otto, the creator of Bootstrap, Matthew Shoupe from LinkedIn, and Marcia Lee from Khan Academy. A team of our ninjas won an honorable mention at the LinkedIn DevelopHer-Hack-a-Thon. Our staff and students took field trips to Uncubed, NASA, and the Computer Technology Museum. Finally, we opened our second Dojo in Seattle in September. It was a busy year, to say the least.

The start of 2014 brings with it not only a new year but exciting changes to Coding Dojo as well as new endeavors. It has taken a lot of work from everyone: our instructors, curriculum designers, management team, industry mentors, and many others in the Dojo community. Our new cohort, which began on January 6th, will be the first to experience the changes in our expanded program!

One of the most significant changes is that the Coding Dojo bootcamp has been extended to 12 weeks instead of 9. We’ve added three weeks of new course material because we want to keep up with the changing needs of the technology field here in Silicon Valley. The biggest addition to our curriculum is a JavaScript and Node.js course given that the ability to bring JavaScript to the server-side is quickly becoming an essential tool for any web developer.

We’ve also added an additional week of project building time into the bootcamp. We feel strongly that students learn the most when building things and facing real-world problems, and now our students will get a full three weeks of dedicated project-building time in the new format.  Our students built some awesome projects in 2013 and we look forward to seeing what they will build in 2014.

Finally, we’ve designed and implemented a rigorous algorithms course to better prepare our students for the technical interview process. To highlight this new endeavor, Gayle Laakmann McDowell, the author of Cracking the Coding Interview, will be here to give us a lecture on preparing for coding and Product Manager interviews later this month.

In addition to these changes, we have refined the course in general to incorporate some of the wonderful feedback and suggestions from past and current students. Course content has been continuously updated, and new assignments have been added to make the material more challenging and keep our students on their toes!

We’re really excited about all of the changes happening at the Dojo and can’t wait to see the results.

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