Posted at 30 Sep 2014 by Emily Heist Moss
Some 60 hours after Ryan Spencer pitched his idea to revolutionize education at Startup Weekend Education (SWEDU), his team stood in front a panel of judges and showed off Carrot, a tracking tool for teachers. Carrot lets teachers log student behavior during class, moving beyond traditional discipline practices and enabling positive interventions -- called Positive Behavior Intervention and Support -- that reinforce student successes.
"We wanted to build an app to make it quick and easy for teachers to share data about student behavior," said team member Ingrid Goncalves. "We started with an idea on Friday, refined it and interviewed teachers on Saturday, and by Sunday we had a working prototype that impressed the hell out of our audience."
Image by Startup Weekend
Spencer, a recent Dev Bootcamp graduate, used to teach Graphic Design at Hanover Central High School in Cedar Lake Indiana. He left teaching to attend the 19-week programming intensive because he “wanted to affect a greater population by making innovative educational tools.”
The Carrot team also included Starter League graduate Abhishek Pillai. They were the only two developers on the team, which was rounded out by Nathan Conroy, Jeremy Peters, Ingrid Goncalves, Pat Doyle, and Purab Kaur.
Spencer was joined at SWEDU by fellow Dev Bootcamp alums Edgar Garza, Jeff Keslin, Darrell Jones, and Dustin Fox. Dev Bootcamp instructor Jonathan Eyler-Werve coached teams and was assisted by his four-year-old daughter Vivian, wearing a name tag reading: "Focus group".
The Carrot team took top honors from the judges, which included a prize pack of a 2-month 1871 membership and attendance at the 4.0 Schools’ Essentials workshop. According to PBIS researchers 19,000 schools are using some form of this fast feedback, but tools to implement it are scarce. This suggests the Carrot team may have an opportunity larger than one good weekend.
See the demo: Classroom Carrot
Follow on Twitter: @classcarrot
Posted at 02 Sep 2014 by Dana Breen
So you're about to interview with Dev Bootcamp... Awesome, we can't wait to meet you!
You probably have some questions as your interview approaches. What should you expect? How can you best prepare?
I often hear these types of questions from applicants, so here are a few pointers to help you interview like the champ you are.
How to Prepare for your Dev Bootcamp Interview?
The single best thing you can do is RELAX. Really!
While this might be easier said than done, keep in mind that the interview is a chance for us to get to know you, and if you're clammed up by nerves we won't get an accurate sense of what it would be like to work with you in a classroom, group, or paired programming setting.
While DBC is by no means filled to the roof with extroverts, we ARE looking for people with warm, open personalities who can communicate clearly, even while confused or under pressure.
Dev Bootcamp’s Coding Challenge
Beyond taking a deep breath and having fun, the second best thing you can do is to thoroughly review the interview prep materials. Specifically you'll need to complete the following sections on Ruby Monk :
- Intro to Ruby Objects
- Intro to Strings
- Conditions and Loops
- Control Structures in Ruby
- Intro to Ruby Methods
If you’re looking for an additional resource, the Beginner Ruby track on Code Academy (up to and including the chapter on refactoring) will reinforce the expected competencies in a beginner-friendly format.
Once you’ve reviewed these basic Ruby concepts and watched a video about our Engineering Empathy curriculum, you’re ready to schedule your interview! Just be sure to give yourself sufficient time to feel conversant in the topics covered by these materials.
A quick tip from admissions: the interview isn’t meant to separate the “good” coders from the rest. Our program is designed for beginners and our 9-week Phase 0 program helps prepare people from all backgrounds for our on campus immersive.
What else should I expect in the interview?
In addition to writing some simple code during the interview (basic string and integer operations, method definitions, conditionals and loops), you will also be given a logic puzzle to think through and solve.
Finally, that video we ask you to watch? It's not just lip service. Our Engineering Empathy curriculum is a big part of what sets us apart from other bootcamps. This weekly, on-site seminar is partially based on Google's own emotional intelligence curriculum and research indicating that communication skills are strong predictors of the success of software development teams.
What that boils down to is that we care less about your IQ horsepower and more about your willpower and ability to be an open and collaborative teammate. We believe ANYONE can learn to code, as long as they put forth effort, integrity and kindness.
When I'm interviewing students I want to talk to people who genuinely want to be a part of our passionate and diverse community of learners. I want to talk to self-motivated dreamers who are willing to take themselves out of any semblance of normalcy to chase a massive goal.
A goal so disruptive and fresh that we were told it "couldn't be done" just two years ago.
If you think you're ready to change your life and help us change education, then what are you waiting for? Apply here.
Posted at 20 Aug 2014 by Caleb Muller
This summer, I started interning at Dev Bootcamp using my background in video to help create some content in San Francisco and gain experience in the bootcamp environment. It just so happens that three of my roommates are going through Dev Bootcamp while I am interning, and it has been incredible to watch them grow since the beginning of the program.
Almost every day, especially while my roommates were going through Phase One of Dev Bootcamp, we would spend time on our roof in the evening and reflect on the day. They would tell me the most inspiring stories about what they were learning from the teachers at Dev Bootcamp and I could tell how excited they were.
Just the other day, one of my roommates was giddy and she said, “I got through a ton of this book today because of Sherif’s speed reading lecture!” It made me so happy to see how enthusiastic my roommates were about learning from Dev Bootcamp and our passionate teachers.
This inspired me to film an interview with Sherif Abushadi to get a taste of his perspective and insight on his teaching experience in the program.
I appreciated hearing from his viewpoint and I put together some segments of the interview for anyone to watch on our YouTube channel.