Ed-tech and Entrepreneurship - Lessons Learned

Over the past 6 months I have been working full-time with my co-founders on two ed-tech web applications – Curri and HelpCue. The latter is a web application that facilitates the asking of questions in a classroom. It has been a difficult experience at times but the challenge has been extremely fun and very rewarding. The intention of this blog post is to focus on the big lessons so far. »

Responsive Instruction

I’ve spent the past three months doing instructional design and curriculum development for HackerYou’s full-time web development program. The experience was tremendously rewarding for many reasons, one of them being that I learned a lot. The course kicks off at the end of January and I am convinced that it will be HackerYou’s best course yet. Before you think I’m an egomaniac…I don’t say this because I helped design and build the course. I say this because the instructors are excellent and they will be practicing “Responsive Instruction”. »

Designing the learning experience at HackerYou

As curriculum designer at HackerYou I am involved in curriculum development and instructional design for the full-time front-end web development bootcamp. Through iterative and incremental development I help decide what, when and how concepts are covered and make sure that students are actively engaged in the learning. »

HackerYou Summer Academy Wrap up

The last three weeks of the program were intense and stressful but fun. In fact I have been feeling “under the weather” for the past few days most likely because as stress levels went up my immune system went down. Unfortunate but a little rest will do the trick. »

Taking a leap

Week 6 of HackerYou’s Summer Academy was exciting. I got a lot of programming done but I guess the focal point was the discussion we had about career goals and entrepreneurship. The main takeaway for me was “know what you want, be specific about it and tell people”. So here we are; this is I guess a manifesto of sorts. »

HackerYou Summer Academy - Half Way Point

As we are officially past the half-way point of HackerYou’s Summer Academy, it’s a good point to stop and reflect on the experience so far. First I should say that this has been a great experience so far – I have no second thoughts whatsoever about having chosen to do it. Summer Academy feels very much like the Bachelor of Education experience that I had two years ago. An interesting educational experience, so many things learned and many interesting people met. I guess the big difference is that the job prospects for developers are about a hundred times better than for teachers. »

HackerYou Summer Academy Week 3 – Being Resourceful

Another Summer Academy week zipped by; a week of ruby programming, pair programming, Test Driven Development (TDD), learning, listening, and teaching. Sitting here and reflecting on what happened makes me truly appreciate the unique opportunity that I am getting this summer. One can learn a lot on their own (and I have) but there are things that you just can’t do alone. »

HackerYou Summer Academy Week 2 - Thinking Like a Programer

The second week of HackerYou’s Summer Academy went by in a blur. My comfort level with the material covered is pretty high, so I ended up pushing myself to do something a level or two higher in difficulty. I guess I had so much fun refactoring my code to use more advanced techniques, pair programming, and testing that the week just flew by. »

Learning More Advanced Git and Github Techniques

The first time I used git (almost a year ago), I have to admit that it was bewildering but I have come a long way since. For a while I have been confined to a few commands (git add, git commit, and git push) but we used git so much this past week at HackerYou that I felt comfortable enough to finally learn some more advanced techniques. Having many classmates to work with and so many repos to play with has really accelerated my learning. »

HackerYou Summer Academy Week 1 - It's a Bootcamp

HackerYou started unofficially on July 1st (Canada Day)! My wife and I walked across the bridge from our side (Gatineau) into Ottawa to meet the diverse people in the HackerYou program. The first Summer Academy cohort is rather impressive, we are diverse in almost every way (gender, race, nationality, background, goals etc.) and it seems we’re all determined to come out of this program with a new set of skills and a long list of new friends. »