Programme Update: Start at a time that works for you

web developmnet bootcamp auckland wellington
Students at Enspiral Dev Academy

By Joseph Quested, Dev Academy educator

Coding bootcamps are an amazing thing. They manage to deliver an incredible amount of content in a bafflingly small amount of time. At Enspiral Dev Academy, we take students from barista to employable programmer within only 18 weeks. As a former barista, I can attest to this personally.

The 18 weeks are split into two different phases, the second half is the actual face to face bootcamp. This is an extremely intensive experience, demanding between 50–80 hours every week of hard work and deliberate practice. It is very rewarding and intensely challenging, both mentally and physically.

In our current model, the first half of those 18 weeks is distance learning. With a workload averaging roughly 30 hours per week, it’s a bit like taking on a part time job. This period of the course is technically “easier” than the bootcamp phase, and yet it has consistently proven to be the most painful part of our entire process for many students. Why?

There are a few reasons often cited by our students:

“I’m already working a full time job on top of study.”
“I have family commitments that make it really hard to find 20 spare hours a week.”
“It’s taking me longer to get my head around this stuff than I thought it would.”
“Something unexpected happened in my life and I can’t keep up anymore.”

So what is the underlying variable here? To us, it looks like time.

Robbing your personal or professional life of 20 hours every week is a really hard thing to ask of someone, and balance is extremely important to us as an organisation. Unlike some traditional tertiary learning environments, we prioritise student mental and physical well-being over deadlines and examination schedules.

We have seen the anxiety that this is causing our students, and decided to make a change. Instead of committing to a one-size-fits-all chunk of nine weeks distance learning, students will now be able to truly learn at their own pace. Intakes for our program will now begin at the start of every month, and students are encouraged to learn in their own rhythm. The distance learning phase can be as long or as brief as you need it to be.

We are very excited by this as an organisation, and believe that it will greatly improve the experience for students that attend our school. And really, that is where we as an education provider put our priority; students.