Codophobia (noun): an intense and irrational fear of computer coding, largely found among humanities specimen.
Ready to overcome your fears and land that sweet job that requires coding skills? The super smart but down-to-earth people at Code Camp Leipzig (CCL) want to teach you how to code in three months. No bullshit or pretentiousness. Ain’t gonna lie, though: It will be intense, and it won’t be easy. After all, a lot has to be packed into those few weeks.
They’ll teach you programming theory and practice. You’ll be working in teams, because this is supposed to be a social rather than isolated job. You’ll meet potential customers for the product you’re collaborating on.
If you’re thirsty for what they’ve got and think you’ve got the right stuff to thrive, here’s your chance to join. From now until January 6th, 2020, you can apply for their second class of future junior web developers. A maximum of 12 applicants will be selected, with a diverse similar-sized group having had very good results. The course will then start on March 16th.
A fourth of the students have earned not only highly sought-after coding skills, but also a position with participating employers PRISMA or e-dox. Most have found new like-minded friends and unique networking opportunities through the CCL program. They’ve become a little family that gets together to sing at open mics, play board games, and philosophize about tech and making the world better.
Although Leipzig’s job market and entrepreneur circles are indeed tough to break into, CCL wants to give you the tools to crack it. Your ticket is coding knowledge. Plus, the instructors and coaches have first-hand experience working in the local startup scene, and are more than happy to share that with their students.
In this LeipGlo interview, Code Camp Leipzig co-founder Taylor Harvey looks back on the program’s first run and forward into the next events, which are full of exciting possibilities. He also gives you an honest idea what to expect as a student.
Taylor, can you tell me how Code Camp is going?
Overall, everyone feels that it’s going really well, though with some ups and downs in between. What part of it can I expand on – the students, the instructors, the companies…?
The students, first.
The students are really overwhelmed right now. They’re in the project phase, so they’ve just kind of gone through most of the theory and now they’re in their teams. There’s a product owner, there’s a scrum master, in these kind of agile tech team units. They have stakeholders [entrepreneurs and organizations that are interested in the students’ open-source project]. They meet everyday, do standups, so very much in a professional development environment; however, they’re like, “My brain can’t take any more.”
So as the final phase of their learning, they’re actually developing a project that can be used in the real world?
Absolutely. And they’re broken into three teams. We’ve got a front-end team, a back-end team, and this sort of flex team in the middle that’s taking on, you know, tasks from both sides.
Do the teams liaise with each other?
They’ve got senior developers that are instructors and dedicated to each team, and so the teams talk to each other as needed through the senior developers. At this point, they’re really focused on their own teams and on setting up their sprints and just getting a feel for the process. So I think when things need to get built, the teams will start talking more, probably in a week or so.
And how is it going with the instructors – will they continue on board?
Yeah, absolutely. They’re very connected to the project.
How about the students who are still looking for a job or internship?
It’s hard for them to connect with companies right now, because they don’t have a whole project to show. And that’s kicking up now that they’re in their teams.
We had two students meet a company, PowerCloud, and they really liked it and were interested. And I just introduced someone from Stadtwerke Leipzig’s new innovation team, and this guy is really cool, they have some cool stuff going on. They’re sponsoring Graduation Day, they’re sponsoring our Hackathon at the end of the year. Jambit is also interested in some of our students.
So those connections are just starting to happen, the doors are starting to open.
Cool! Now, can you tell me about the little “lab” you’re bringing to the Leipzig Glocal Job Fair? I’m pretty excited about that…
The lab is connected to the job-matching tool we’re developing; it’s connected to our application process, which even some of the HR companies are saying is really rigorous. What we wanna understand is how people work in teams, and we wanna understand culture, essentially. We wanna understand how people work, how people think about solving problems.
And this lab is about putting people through challenges that make them a three-dimensional character, let’s say a three-dimensional candidate, to companies that are at the job fair.
So everyone’s handing out resumes. But if you do this challenge and companies can see you interact with the team, or they see some of the data, the feedback that comes through, maybe that makes it more interesting to follow up with an interview.
That’s something we think we can carry over into job-matching in the future: making candidates be more multi-dimensional, by providing information on how they can fit with the company’s culture beyond the resume. And for our own processes at Code Camp Leipzig, this helps us build up a community.
I also wanted to ask you about the Hackathon, what’s that all about?
It’s a social good Hackathon for three days at URBN JUNGLE Leipzig. It’s us, it’s OpenTechSchool Leipzig, it’s Open Tech Community, all helping put it together. We’re calling it Hackolaus, because of Nikolaustag.
It’s December 6th to the 8th, and we’re bringing in not-for-profits who would be interested in projects like having a website redesigned; a process they want automated or digitized; someone who can do translation or copy-editing for them, or come up with some new communications for them. Basically, things that help them make more of an impact, and they can focus on doing what their mission is, and less on the administrative bureaucratic stuff.
It’s open-tech, non-tech; show up, do something, help people make an impact.
And finally, can you tell us about the students’ graduation festivities?
Graduation Day is in December. It’s the culmination of those 12 weeks of Code Camp.
We’re gonna host it kind of like an award show. The students are gonna come up in pairs and talk a little bit about what they’ve done and introduce the Code Camp team, the companies with Code Camp, and the other teams, the teams that worked on projects. So they’re kind of gonna emcee. And we’re gonna share what we were trying to do in the first place, companies are gonna talk about why they work with Code Camp at all, what they’re getting out of it, and the students are gonna show off their projects.
You’re gonna see a live demo of them showing, this is the back-end of how this community project works, this is the design, how we thought about it. They’re gonna show that they understand the tool and the processes, and they’re gonna talk about how they got from Point A to Point B.
Then we’re gonna have food and drinks, and hang out, and all that stuff. We’re gonna do some activities to help people connect.
This is about celebrating that process, that they all made it through. Showing off what was possible in 12 weeks and just helping make those connections between hiring companies and the talent that’s gonna be there.