Monday: planning days
The first half an hour to one hour for us, on a Monday is focused on planning for the week. We all get together in the training room and we each go through our ideas of what we’d like to cover in the course. Whereas a University course is very structured, Liam and Shea give us the flexibility to cover the core stuff, but then go one extra and tell them if there’s anything specifically we’d love to learn.
In this time, we also go through what the priorities are for the week ahead, ranking things in terms of importance. This is, in my opinion, one of the main benefits from these sessions, as we get to work with the trainers instead of them telling us what we need to do. This makes it much more enjoyable and engaging for everyone in the team. This is specific to just Monday.
Mornings: Code along
After this, we move on pretty quickly to the learning aspect of things and this is what we do for the rest of the week in the mornings. We sit in the training room and engage with Liam who will take us through the aspects we need to learn. He asks us questions about what we do know and don’t know about the topics and we then progress through his slides, which are normally short and sweet but enough information to gain an understanding quickly.
Liam then takes us through a code along where we are all able to practice what Liam has just taught us with his support. This won’t be based on any projects, just around something random that we may have coded in the code along before. Each day we build on our code-along challenge.
The daily challenge gets set…
After completing this, Shea introduces us to our challenge focusing not only on what we have done for that day but also incorporating the previous coding skills we’ve learned into this challenge. That helps us consolidate our knowledge of everything. This usually takes us up to lunch time at 1 and in those couple of hours, the group helps each other as much as it can. We’re a tight knit group willing to help each other whenever possible.
Afternoons: Project Work
In the afternoon of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we focus on our project work, taking what we have learned from the morning and implementing it into our work. If you’ve been following my LinkedIn recently, I’ve got some previews of our online CV which is the current project we have been working on recently.
Again, it’s a really good atmosphere in the afternoons with everybody comfortable to work hard but also have a laugh with each other. That is very important for the morale of the group, and I tend to make the worst jokes. Everyone laughs though, perhaps they just feel sorry for me and my rubbish jokes! We are all focused on helping each other get to the point where we need to be.
Fridays: Client Demo Day
On a Friday, though, the afternoons work slightly differently. We pitch what we have been doing that week to someone externally. Last week, we pitched to the Head of L&D for Opus, Rich and this week we are pitching to representatives from Immediate Media. Although this seems scary, Liam and Shea do their best to make you feel comfortable presenting and it is a necessary skill in the world today. We then give out 3 awards for the week, best Product, which is voted for by the person who comes in to see the presentations, the person with the most clean code which is awarded by Craig, the Head of Technology at _nology and MVP, who is voted for by us, the students as the person who has been around to help the most that week.
After this, we wrap up the day chatting with Liam and Shea on something we loved doing from the course this week, and something we didn’t. We give feedback on what we liked from how Liam and Shea taught us, and what we didn’t, meaning we can adapt for next week. Again, like our Monday morning sessions, this is a great benefit of this course.
Most courses wouldn’t allow their students to have as much feedback as _nology students do and this really helps us to learn. Sometimes, you feedback about certain things too, but they don’t get acted upon, but this definitely is not the case here at _nology. Liam and Shea are willing to mould around us.
So far, it’s been a great course and I look forward to continuing in the next 10 weeks!