Over the years, we’ve frequently heard questions from students about how bootcamp curricula work: How do schools decide what’s in them? How frequently are they updated? What is the process for writing them? How can I, as a student, be confident that the topics inside will land me a job as a developer after I graduate?
We sat down with Thinkful’s Curriculum Development team to discuss their approach for their Web Development Bootcamp. Drawing from a proven product-development process called ‘backwards design’, which is usually used for web apps, they start by identifying the most hireable skills, then build a curriculum that will teach you those skills.
Making sure the industry’s broad trends are taught down to the smallest details is key to Thinkful’s approach. “As you learn a particular stack, you can showcase your skills by building production-grade applications to demonstrate your mastery,” continued Ben White, “that’s an opportunity to both build something exciting and prove yourself to hiring managers.” Thinkful students are required to build ‘Capstone Projects’ at the end of each module, which Faraday explains as “a complete web app, built from scratch, that uses everything you’ve learned up to that point in the course.”
As more companies move towards the web, future developers also need to know the processes that drive web development. “It’s not just about coding, it’s about knowing how to build a product. Recently, we’ve added a lot of material on product engineering,” White emphasized. “As a graduate, it’s really important for you to write clean, readable code that works for all types of users. We focus on that a great deal, but it’s also crucial to know how to build a product from scratch. Ultimately, that’s one of the biggest lessons you’ll learn from capstone projects, and it’s something employers want you to know.”
When prospective students vet different schools, it’s important to look at things holistically. Take the time to read different school’s SwitchUp reviews, spend time diving into their outcomes reports, and find out what they’re teaching and how they teach it. Wherever you can, find out how a school approaches their coursework, why they chose to teach that way, and what their process was.
If you’d like to learn more about Thinkful, check out their Full Time Web Development Bootcamp, Flexible Web Development Bootcamp, and SwitchUp reviews. You can also get directly in contact with their education advisor by scheduling a call here.