After years of listening and improvement, Thinkful’s online coding bootcamp curriculum stands as a true industry leader. The curriculum is built to get students hired as web developers and emphasizes three core principles: empathy, student growth, and interactivity.
This means that Thinkful focuses on presenting topics to beginners without relying on assumptions or jargon. “Being beginner-friendly isn’t about dumbing things down,” (Ben White, Thinkful’s Head of Curriculum explained), “it’s about recognizing that some topics which may be second-nature to an expert can be daunting to a beginner.” In other words, students are most able to grow into developers when coursework meets them where they are.
To make that happen, Thinkful’s curriculum takes a fully interactive approach, following a simple pattern: describe, drill, demonstrate. Students read about each new coding concept to understand why it’s important and how it works. Once that’s established, each concept features live, working code drills within the curriculum app itself. To cap off each lesson, students build projects to creatively apply their new knowledge.
Take a look at this example:
Early in the frontend section of the course, students learn how HTML and CSS selectors interact — it’s a key concept in displaying different items on the page. In this clip, the student is working with semantic HTML to assign a new class called ‘yellow’ to the second rectangle, then creating a rule in CSS to make the background color of that box yellow. On the right, you see the effects instantly.
As the course material becomes more advanced, students work with increasingly challenging code samples. By the time they’re working on the backend, they’re doing drills in server environments running Node.js. These drills allow instant practice, which helps students see how new concepts work in the real world and can inspire features for their capstone projects.
Since Thinkful is based on 1-on-1 mentorship, students work directly with their personal mentor on every type of code sample and drill to understand all of the mechanics, learn new use cases, and plan projects based on what they are learning.
Interactivity, mentorship, and project-driven learning combine to make a powerful education that has driven Thinkful’s 92% placement rate among its graduates. According to Thinkful, when students are given the tools to experiment with code, are supported as they learn new concepts, and pushed to create entirely unique projects, they will succeed in becoming web developers.
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