Tagged Web Development

The New Startup Institute Brand: A Chromatic Shift

When I attended my first Startup Institute TalentExpo, I knew I was going to take the job. The energy and excitement in the room was palpable, and having attended a few student rehearsal sessions just prior to the big event, I had a pretty good sense of just how far the grads had come in just a few short days of tutelage under folks like Program Director Allan Telio, founders Katie Rae and Reed Sturtevant, and instructors like Miro Kazakoff.

From stuttering nervousness, to complete command of their narratives … the Summer ’14 cohort’s commencement was an inspiring and joyous thing to witness.

And so, as I made the decision to change careers and assume the mantle of CMO at a small, upstart school, I felt surprisingly secure in the important stuff. Our product works, unequivocally. It solves a real problem for real people. Our alumni are engaged, successful, and evangelistic, often self-organizing to spread the word about Startup Institute on social media and sites like Reddit and Quora. It was obvious to me that we enjoy the kind of brand loyalty and enthusiasm that most companies only dream about, and the sort of behavior that I spent years trying to engineer in some form or fashion in my career as a ad agency creative director.

Here, I knew, I would be able to focus on the parts of storytelling that feel good to craft: not the generic promises or gimmicks that inspire most folks to fast-forward through commercials and tune-out banner ads, but simply the transmission of honest and amazing results that are verifiable and repeatable. (more…)

Startup Institute Launches Part-Time Classes: RampUp in Ruby, Web Design or Technical Marketing

Want to switch careers? Improve in your current role? Get a promotion? Start with RampUp!

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Today, it seems that every employer—regardless of industry—values technical skills in all forms. At the same time, learning these skills outside of the classroom can be a struggle. Startup Institute has created a program that exposes industry veterans and beginners alike to the most cutting-edge topics.

RampUp is a 2-month, part-time program that teaches introductory skills in three areas that are driving success in the tech and startup sectors. Classes simply meet once a week, in the evenings, giving students the flexibility to work on class projects on their own schedule. Class curriculum has been careful structured by leading professionals in Technical Marketing, Ruby and Web Design. One of our curriculum architects and instructors, Tom Benneche, reflected on the new Intro to Web Design curriculum:

Because of the new project structure, students will leave with a personal site which they designed, built, and deployed live. Perhaps more importantly, by joining RampUp, students gain access to the vast Startup Institute network and become a part of this growing community.”

Taught by instructors who are working professionals in their field, you’ll get the skills and insight to apply your learnings directly in your job or future position. Instructors are knowledgeable, driven individuals who want to make an impact on their surrounding communities by paying it forward. Not only are our instructors talented in their subject areas, but they are also passionate about their hobbies and are life-long learners. We have a programmer who plays bluegrass mandolin, a marketer who happens to be an excellent vegetable pickler, and a designer who is formidable on the kickball field.

All US cohorts (Chicago, Boston, New York City) will launch on the last Thursday of each month. The next cohorts are Thursday, July 31st and Thursday, August 24th. The first London cohorts launch on Tuesday, July 29th.

We hope to have you join our community! If you have specific questions or concerns, please e-mail liz@startupinstitute.com (for all US cities) or iulia@startupinstitute.com (for London).

There are still a few spots left in our July classes! Register here today to secure your seat.

RampUp Programs Launch in New York, Boston & Chicago

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RampUp is a part-time Startup Institute program that offers both back-end and front-end web development courses. RampUp started in Boston in 2013 and has now expanded to both New York City and Chicago. Students learn in small groups—or cohorts—with a teaching mentor (TM). These teaching mentors are well-versed in web dev and immersed within their local tech communities. We even have some very talent SI alumni who have dedicated their time to these teaching roles.

Who should join RampUp?

Our RampUp students come from many different backgrounds. Some have always mused about learning web development, but never had the time; others realize that this knowledge may help them in their current position.

RampUp is geared towards anyone who wants to learn, regardless of existing skill level. Furthermore, the cohorts meet in person for only two hours once a week. Students complete labs and homework on their own time with remote help from their TMs. RampUp becomes a great option even for those who have a full-time job. Want to hear about the RampUp experience directly from a student? Dennis Yip answered some frequently asked questions here.

When can I start?

On April 24th, new back-end and front-end cohorts are launching in Boston. This same day, Chicago will start a new front-end cohort, and New York will begin in May. Not sure you want to commit yet? Come try the first class (no strings attached) and see what you think!

What’s next?

Soon, the Learning Center will be a free source of updated resources and short lessons sourced through our knowledgeable TMs. This way, you can start learning before you even step into the classroom and continue to learn long after you leave. Additionally, keep an eye out for upcoming Javascript-focused cohorts.

Check out what’s already in our Learning Center:

Can’t start in April? More front-end and back-end cohorts will launch in all cities on May 29th, and new classes start every month.

RampUp Programs Launch in New York, Boston & Chicago

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RampUp is a part-time Startup Institute program that offers both back-end and front-end web development courses. RampUp started in Boston in 2013 and has now expanded to both New York City and Chicago. Students learn in small groups—or cohorts—with a teaching mentor (TM). These teaching mentors are well-versed in web dev and immersed within their local tech communities. We even have some very talent SI alumni who have dedicated their time to these teaching roles.

Who should join RampUp?

Our RampUp students come from many different backgrounds. Some have always mused about learning web development, but never had the time; others realize that this knowledge may help them in their current position.

RampUp is geared towards anyone who wants to learn, regardless of existing skill level. Furthermore, the cohorts meet in person for only two hours once a week. Students complete labs and homework on their own time with remote help from their TMs. RampUp becomes a great option even for those who have a full-time job. Want to hear about the RampUp experience directly from a student? Dennis Yip answered some frequently asked questions here.

When can I start?

On April 24th, new back-end and front-end cohorts are launching in Boston. This same day, Chicago will start a new front-end cohort, and New York will begin in May. Not sure you want to commit yet? Come try the first class (no strings attached) and see what you think!

What’s next?

Soon, the Learning Center will be a free source of updated resources and short lessons sourced through our knowledgeable TMs. This way, you can start learning before you even step into the classroom and continue to learn long after you leave. Additionally, keep an eye out for upcoming Javascript-focused cohorts.

Check out what’s already in our Learning Center:

Can’t start in April? More front-end and back-end cohorts will launch in all cities on May 29th, and new classes start every month.

Learning Ruby on Rails (Continued)

Interested in learning Ruby on Rails? Check out an earlier post that offers background information and resources. Remember, Ruby on Rails is not impossible to learn. Read more about how to further develop your RoR skills. 

  • Go out and build a web application from scratch! – Now that you have a sample app built and fully customized the next step is to go out and build a web application from scratch. In order to stay motivated I would suggest that you build something that you’re passionate about. If you’re a cat lover build an app that allows you and your friends to share and like the cutest cat photos you can find on the web. If your goal is to start a blog, instead of signing up for a WordPress or Tumblr account, why not build your own from scratch? You could even allow user signups and create your own open source blogging platform. 
  • Take a course – If self-study is not your thing or if you feel like you need further instruction then taking a course is something that you may find very useful. The upside to courses is that they provide structure and access to instructors that can help you through the curriculum and make sense of tough concepts. There are different web development schools that provide affordable alternatives to spending two to four years in college or graduate school to learn programming. One is example is Startup Institute, which has a web development course. I have also taught there and hosted a meetup event. 
  • Know what resources are available to you – Rails is huge and no one expects you to remember every command, directory or method baked into it. That’s why knowing where to go for a quick reference is important. The Rails Guides are always a good place to go for a refresher when you need to quickly look up how to set up an association or generate a migration. If you need to know more about a particular method or class in the Rails framework then the Rails API documentation is also an excellent resource. A good reference for the Ruby programming language is the Ruby documentation housed at ruby-doc.com. Here you will find descriptions and examples of pretty much all of the key Ruby methods and features. You will also find a free copy of Programming Ruby, which is arguably the definitive guide on the Ruby. If you’re stumped on a how to do something in Ruby or Rails a good place to go to ask questions is Stack Overflow. Chances are a solution to your problem exists on this forum. If not you can ask your question and someone will more than likely be able to help you out. 
  • Get active in the community! – The Rails community in New York (and other cities) is huge and there are plenty of awesome Ruby meetups that you can attend to network and hear talks from thought leaders in both the Ruby and Rails communities. Two of the largest and most active Ruby meetups in New York are NYC.rb and NYC on Rails but there are other good ones like Hacker Hours and Ruby Blind that are geared toward newbies. If you’re looking to find a community of people that you can learn to code with while on your coding journey you should definitely check out Code Crew (full disclosure, I am one of the organizers of this meetup) where you can attend a workshop, sign up for a study group or just come out and hack. 

As always, code long, code strong!

Jamal started learning how to code a little less than a year ago and currently works as a fullstack web developer at a startup in SoHo. When Jamal’s not helping people learn how to code through Code Crew sessions, you can find him blogging his inspirations or shooting street photography and short documentary films around the five boroughs. Say hello on Twitter, @jsogarro.

Q&A with a Front-End RampUp Alum

Dennis Yip is a recent graduate of our front-end RampUp program. He joined Rampup because of his interest in the startup community and desire to be a web developer. Learn more about his experience.

Q: What was your background before coming to front-end Ramp Up?

A: I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Architecture and worked in an acoustical engineering firm as well as a biomedical research facility. I had a lot of great ideas, but never had the time to work on them. I felt life was passing me by, so I left my job. Then, I made the decision to pursue a career as a front-end developer in order to utilize my visual design skills.

Q: What was your favorite part about RampUp?

A: Front-end RampUp gave me the confidence and skills to make a career change. In the program, I built my first website from scratch using HTML, CSS, and jQuery. All of the mentors are extremely friendly and helpful. Every week, I was given fun assignments to help me learn. I was able to explore my own creativity by building a food blog to share photos and cooking recipes. The positive support of the teaching mentors helped me to learn new things quickly and effectively.

Q: What would you say to someone who is considering attending front-end RampUp?

A: I would recommend this program to any professional who wants to learn how to write front-end code. You will learn by building websites you conceive of and design yourself. The course is taught for you to learn at your own pace. In the community, you are surrounded by ambitious and smart people. You will have the opportunity to share honest conversations with the teaching mentors and have their help guide you closer to your personal goals. For anyone who is looking to grow their network, this is a great place to be.

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Interested in front or back-end development? Consider RampUp, a part-time evening program to learn technical skills with a small cohort. Click here to learn more. 

Q&A with a Front-End RampUp Alum

Dennis Yip is a recent graduate of our front-end RampUp program. He joined Rampup because of his interest in the startup community and desire to be a web developer. Learn more about his experience.

Q: What was your background before coming to front-end Ramp Up?

A: I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Architecture and worked in an acoustical engineering firm as well as a biomedical research facility. I had a lot of great ideas, but never had the time to work on them. I felt life was passing me by, so I left my job. Then, I made the decision to pursue a career as a front-end developer in order to utilize my visual design skills.

Q: What was your favorite part about RampUp?

A: Front-end RampUp gave me the confidence and skills to make a career change. In the program, I built my first website from scratch using HTML, CSS, and jQuery. All of the mentors are extremely friendly and helpful. Every week, I was given fun assignments to help me learn. I was able to explore my own creativity by building a food blog to share photos and cooking recipes. The positive support of the teaching mentors helped me to learn new things quickly and effectively.

Q: What would you say to someone who is considering attending front-end RampUp?

A: I would recommend this program to any professional who wants to learn how to write front-end code. You will learn by building websites you conceive of and design yourself. The course is taught for you to learn at your own pace. In the community, you are surrounded by ambitious and smart people. You will have the opportunity to share honest conversations with the teaching mentors and have their help guide you closer to your personal goals. For anyone who is looking to grow their network, this is a great place to be.

—-

Interested in front or back-end development? Consider RampUp, a part-time evening program to learn technical skills with a small cohort. Click here to learn more. 

MechE’s Gone TechE: Interview with Olin grad turned Twitter software engineer

When you hear the term “engineer,” what immediately comes to mind? Three years ago, I would have said blueprints and machine shops. Simply put, the basics of mechanical engineering.

When I started college, I was determined to be a mechanical engineer, since it was something I knew I enjoyed. Many of my friends fell into the same trap, and it took a year or two for us to realize that what we loved about engineering was the problem-solving process — what sect of engineering we studied was irrelevant. We wanted to be able to be creative and build new products.

This blog post is the result of a discussion I had with David Gaynor, a software engineer at Twitter. He began school at Olin College of Engineering as a mechanical engineer and has not set foot in the machine shop in the last two years. After taking Software Design, Olin’s introductory programming class, he changed tracks and has been pushing code for the last two years.

What made you interested in engineering in the first place?

The driving force behind my interest in engineering was that I wanted to exercise my creativity in constructive ways. To me, this meant making products, whether they were physical or not.

Why did you decide to switch to computer engineering?

When I started building software, I realized that I could build a useful program in a few hours. This was much more efficient than the full week it might take me to build something in the shop. If I had a bug in my program, I could just go fix it. That’s not the same with wood — if I split a piece of wood, I have to go buy more from the hardware store and start the part over. I found that programming was a faster way to make the things I wanted to build.

What advice would you give people who are trying to decide if computer engineering is for them?

Before you make the switch, I would recommend thinking about what interests you about engineering in the first place. Is it:

  • Making new products that didn’t exist before?
  • Impacting lots of people with your ideas quickly?
  • The mindwarp that comes with thinking about complex problems in fields like statics and thermodynamics

If you love the complex math problems in statics and thermo, then we definitely need more people like you in the mechanical world. However, if you decided to be an engineer to create products fast and impact lots of people, then you may want to consider software.

Have questions? You can contact both David and I Juliana Nazare via Twitter.

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