"Coding school" project diary

#1

[disclaimer]
I want to document what I plan to do in order to launch this project. It’ll be a long thread. it will look like dairy. Maybe someone will be interested to read/interact with me here. I want to master discupline and write frequently, later I can use this text and publish it as articles on HackerNoon.
Maybe, by using open-minded people at this forum, it’ll be able to grow quickly, find a partner/associates… In my opinion, doing this here will bring me some undiscoverable benefits, that I was not able to get before


I ) Coding school concept. I’m teaching interns right now. I want to increase their number and move this process into a separated company/project/income stream. I have this idea for a while. Right now it’s at active phase of creation. I completed a planning part. Find out monetization strategy, create a todo list.
The major difference of this school will be practice. I don’t want to give lessons to read. My idea that coding requires real life problems and skill in solving them. So my interns helping me to code my projects.
After failing at Skillshare(part1 part2, my wish only became stronger. i.e. why I need to work and make money for someone else`s startup, if I can make a simple version for me only, right?

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#2

II ) Right now I have 3 major articles(one, 2, 3). The 4th article was printed on paper and at the last phase of editing. other articles are in draft mode. I want to publish 10 articles on HN, before launching a landing page of school on producthunt.
Plus, I have a few “strategy” articles, that should gain good views number. It’s “How to find an internship”(DONE), “Where to learn code for free”. Both these articles have high priority because April-May is a period when students looking for them.
The first goal of the school is to grow a number of my interns.
The second goal is moneymaking. For students, it will always free, 0 fees. But companies can pay for training. this is my assumption.

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#3

III) Homepage design is not necessary right now I want to have a separated docusausus website, published on Netlify or Github. And I will add Hubspot sales form if it doesn’t have any restrictions.
Then all replies will be managed via their CRM system(I need to create a separated space for that ) maybe add some analytics, to see what conversion numbers it will have.

Later it can be a more looking fancy website. For me, it’s not important. But other people can judge about quality from landing page, so…

If I’ll see quick progress — maybe I’ll need to find some help. Cool idea is to make money on it and hire my aunt, so she will track the coding progress of people. She is a former coding teacher and she really tough. First thing - I owe her, second she is crazy about punctuation and can kick ass better than me. She will have troubles in the first months because few years she doesn’t practice English. But if it will be a steady income for her -> it can be easy to fix.
Plus I can integrate Github For Teachers, so a lot of stuff will be automated.

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#4

IV) Main problems are: how to monitor the progress of a big number of students.
And the repeatable process of assigning new tasks. Usually, one task can be done in 1-3 days. And it looks like an easy thing --> because I have a few small repositories and always have tasks in Github Issues, but it doesn’t help very often. So I need to build a habit and always have 5-10 tasks with a proper description in advance at each repository that I have. With tasks for a different skillset. I also not sure how many students I can handle at the same time. It depends on my mood. 30 people in good days - 10/15 in bad days. But with more discipline and maybe by having a few assistants - I can increase this number. If I also remove communication via Gmail - it also improves the speed of my replies.
I also want to apply some automation at interviews. It can save me time. Maybe it should be something like FAQ page… I have a few articles with common questions, but a website with a search bar looks better

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#5

V) What I don’t like in my work with interns.
I’m working on my mistakes here.

  1. I think I limiting them frequently. Especially at the beginning. I know that students can be distracted. And I’m forcing them to work on some tasks.
    And I didn’t connect them together in our Slack channel. It’s bad for team building and they often don’t get “feeling” that they’re part of a big team.

  2. Usually, I’m assigning tasks, that don’t give an ability for creativity. It’s always a simple, solid task.

I don’t spend as much as I should times in my projects at GitHub. It’s because I’m coding frequently myself, and busy or lazy. We don’t set up a proper git-flow.

I give bad leadership here.

  1. I need to apply Issue templates and always follow those rules…

I give a bad role-model with a bad task description, bad commit messages, empty descriptions at pull requests. I always don’t have time for it.

  1. I can spend more time in the beginning and do a better analysis of their skills at the beginning.
  2. I can spend more time on explaining tasks. Sometimes I do this on purpose. In order (I want sometimes to provoke a discussion)
    and the member will ask what exactly is not clear at this task. Sometimes I’m just lazy to put more time on it.

I should increase lifespan with each team members. it will give me more abilities to teach then working with us, then I’ll be able to focus to extend their skill set, based on their wishes.
Many students give up when they find something more interesting

Ex.: we started to work on the graphQL server with one girl.
When complex tasks arrived and she was not able quickly to solve them -> she stuck and she switched to help the project, that makes a memes database.
And I understand her. I also love memes.



I think about extending/ adding the complexity of an interview for job-seekers. My assumption is: if an interview will be more serious, and I will be more “bossy” and I will ask 10 complex questions during the interview - it can make a difference.

And make them sweat - by asking hard to answer quick questions — people will be more paying attention, appreciate and be grateful for being part of this program.

And I always for love to share big dump of data, before anyone will join, but I don’t want that they will read only. My main goal/task - code practice, not reading the text.

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#6

As i forget my paper notes in my previous appartment, this post will be cheating.
Hope soon notes will be transfered via our local DHL and i’ll feel save about my work.

Btw, today I opened one of my repositories(actually it will be my first product on ProductHunt). It’s a collection of links, that I use in my development process. But right now most important part is file where I storing notes, related to internships. Later I’ll create a separated HN article about it. https://github.com/ChickenKyiv/awesome-dev-stuff/blob/master/docs/jobs/internships.md

I want to add my company to these to repositories and see if it will add some visibility to us

When this repository will be hunted at ProductHunt, it can gain the first traction to coding school as well

Just submited my article at hackernoon, so it will be a 4th article related to coding school project

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#7

as a whole month, I was without the internet - a lot of tasks was written on paper. and right now our new interns are coming and disrupt our old and weak processes, related to task management. Just want to put it here and use later in HN article.

Plus I need to find a way, how I can easily share links with people to my articles. it’s not a bit improvement. But can my brain some neirons.

Right now, in order to address points from “What I don’t like in my work with interns.” I want to add github issue and pull request template. because only robots can help me to not being lazy. curious to see how interns will react to these changes. Hope it will improve our process. Then I’ll update some of our old tasks, in order to make them looks similar.

Cool repositories: https://github.com/stevemao/github-issue-templates & https://github.com/devspace/awesome-github-templates, https://github.com/embeddedartistry/templates/blob/master/oss_docs/PULL_REQUEST_TEMPLATE.md

Another problem is to create a workflow, place, where I can see all tasks that in the process right now.

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#8

For me, school is not only about teaching/learning.
It’s also touching a surface of recruitment processes.
Where I have some bad thoughts for recruiters.
Btw, as founder, I’m also hiring and recruiting.

it’s based on my experience and observations of how our local IT recruiters work.
Most of them(80%) are low skilled, in my opinion. More about HR topic I will drop later. Bur recruiting for IT/software is broken(at least in Ukraine, but I’m sure that I can speak for worldwide as well) and need to be fixed. Because now it can harm developers and I’m always stood protecting developers.

more content here:

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#9

as part of HR topic for me remote working and outsourcing is important things to chat about. example: one month ago one company tried to recruit me. and we have a long conversation… but after me sending to recruiter a questions to tech lead - all was stoped :frowning:
this is my questions, maybe i should create an article about this fun situation, because i didn’t ask anything complex. all questions fit to remote work topic…

Questions to Russian speaking HR

  • Do you have Project manager at the team?
  • How will you track me or you’ll trust me?
  • How do you want to test me?
  • How I can test you
  • What issue tracking system are you using?
  • Can I have to take a look at your task tracker before joining you?
  • Who else is part of the team?
  • What will be our main channel of communication?
  • What do you want me to do?
  • What skill level do you< project leader have?
  • Do you need help at the management process/ managing people?
  • Do you have experience in managing remote working people/teams before?
  • Are you ready to solve problems, that remote environment can provide?
  • What will be my KPIs?
  • How will you judge my work?
  • Do you have a project documentation?
  • How much time I’ll have for onboarding?
  • How much freedom I’ll have?
  • How do you plan to pay me?
  • I hope you didn’t expect me to start to code from the first day?
  • How many hours do you want me to spend each time?
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#10

About year ago i was contacted by skillshare and i show them how i’m teaching/managing my students. i’ll list that projects(i quit that approach actually) but it’s still a foundation for coding school when it will be actually launched.

Right now my students/interns/juniors are weak. And a lot of them not ready to be included in real projects, so I decided to create separate repositories, where I can work personally with each member. In the beginning, they learn via basic tutorials, and when they’re ready - I gave them small real tasks. This is how we manage the workflow.

You can see these tutorial repositories at Github. We didn’t hide anything, so feel free and read how we communicate inside our team.

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#11

Ok, so just received a newsletter. Don’t see my threads crying so loudly that walls are getting wet in tears

So, the next goal for me is to get featured at HN email newsletter

P.S. WordPress go to hell.

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#12

Where to learn code for free.

The short answer is everywhere: you just need to know “what exactly to google”.

[My story about pagination]
At my case --> when I got a first testing project, for applying to my first coding job – I don’t know about the term - pagination.
So it was hard to google. I know how it looks, I understand the logic. but I reinvent the wheel in order to do it. and I failed my assessment because experience developers were confused about why I did it in my way.

FreebootCamp. https://www.freecodecamp.org/
Sad story, that Medium pushing articles under a paywall. And soon a lot of articles(new articles) will be hidden for free readers.
I hope Quincy will do something about it because I receiving a Medium list of articles(digest) & I get only paywall-able links, so free coding movement will have some problems.

Ok, back to story.

Free
StackOverflow for asking questions and searching
Google for searching
Youtube for coding tutorials https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=coding+tutorial+for+beginners
CSS tricks https://css-tricks.com/, Mozilla MDN https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/, Google developers (But I don’t hear about it frequently)

Plus, at medium - there a lot of small publications(read magazines, inside Medium that also have coding tutorials)

Paid
Lynda/LinkedIn https://www.lynda.com/in/linkedin-learning
Treehouse https://teamtreehouse.com/
Udemy/Udacity https://www.udemy.com/ https://www.udacity.com/

[will be edited later]



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#13

Wow. Looks like i need to try and apply us here: https://www.outreachy.org/mentor/

Plus having some anxiety - and preparing an article in order to move this project forward.

Waiting for my paper notes

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#14

Still waiting when my papers arrive here. 1-2 days max and i’ll start to dump a lot of content here.


Lazy brain just generated cool idea. I don’t want to build a separated website for school right now. But how to do it? I’ll use Github repo and github issues!

Pros:

  • Easy to see the progress of chats
  • Easy to add first tasks to new interns
  • No needs to jump between different tools, websites, etc.
  • No need chat via emails, any other CRM like stuff(i was thinking about HubSpot CRM, but it will just add work for me)
  • Easy to share similar messages
  • Separated source of Leads.
  • it will motivate new interns, because they will be able to see those other people already starting.
  • It’s our own place, and we don’t need to follow anyone rules, and it’s free
  • easy to manage. Same workflow as we have right now.
  • Don’t require a big, clean, fancy designed website-page
  • I can tailor a Github Issue template at contributors repository. So no need nice forms
    Or it can be a form that creates a new issue at GitHub. But I think it’s not a necessary middleman. it’s not so cool/sexy/easy.
  • I’ll need to update Readme, in order to put all the information there. But I’m good at it. Hail to me!
  • I or someone else can assign tasks, or ask questions
  • it’ll be easy to add people to our GS org team
  • easy to move people from me to team lead hands. can be done very easy for me. and quick.
  • easy to get/manage notifications. because it’s GitHub and I’m always there.
  • easy to get Github username of an intern, without asking it.
  • easy to ask resume links, images for team page.
  • I can send basic links, our open message and have it at one place.
  • we don’t need to think about the project name(FUh). Because this repository is part of GS org. And I’m lazy to change anything. And also Groceristar has a popular profile at AngelList, and growing from scratch again - will take some time and energy. this will only spend our time and hold us back for launching.

we’ll use this repo.

Fun thing to read: https://www.quora.com/My-team-lead-said-its-a-waste-of-time-to-write-elegant-code-because-no-end-users-would-care-about-it-he-said-making-the-program-work-is-way-more-important-than-making-it-efficient-and-elegant-is-he-right
looks like someone have a burnout and need some rest :wink:

My current workflow with new interns is:

  1. #name# do you have questions? nice to meet you!
  2. share my articles related to answers
  3. share articles about working with JS interns
  4. ask github account
  5. share a main link to a task, where all team are partying right now.
  6. Team lead receive a message at github from intern
  7. Team lead assign a task and
  8. after a few tasks - if intern dealing with them well - we add him to our github organization (Github.com)
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#15

haha next time @Natasha :slight_smile:

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#16

xxx

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#17

Questions that I plan to use at our Github template aka form

  • Please provide your GitHub username
  • Link to your resume/portfolio
  • Will you give up after first complex thing that you approach?
  • When you’re ready to start?
  • This is a non-paid internship. Are you ok with it?
  • Tell me your wishes(e.g. What do you want to learn during the program)
  • Name
  • LastName
  • Linkedin profile
  • How do you handle the pressure?
  • Additional notes that you want to mention.
  • Open letter message
  • Duration of hours, that you can spend during a week?
  • List of your questions.

Just got my 4th article published, related to coding school series: https://hackernoon.com/looking-for-a-tech-internship-try-this-list-of-online-resources-83ae85af44. Thanks @Natasha for help

My notes arrived, typing them on github. soon will dump a lot of new posts to this thread

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#18

Nodejs Example article of working with intern [not finished too]

Updates in small modules (I need a name for it)

  1. I requested changes a few times, small things only
    Usually, it’s about creating a few functions, export them from a file, write a few tests, etc.
  2. then I want to hear his suggestion, about how to improve our code. It’s cool and I want to promote “thinking” of our interns, so each one became an engineer that can raise questions and his feedback are important
  3. we’re cleaning up our code. It’s a static module with json files, that will later become imported to DB. So it’s like a DB emulator.

Then we’ll jump into expressjs server and connect our module(install there). Server is a fake-API right now -> we don’t have a DB and we don’t need it. Only routes.

Then we will increase the number of custom nodejs skills and works with the file system -> we’ll generate some json arrays and save them into a few new files.

then we’ll remove few static files, at new static food module
then we’ll think about moving everything to public
what intern will learn

  • Git
  • constants
  • have to include files
  • recode an old code
  • generate improvements
  • moving similar functions to utils.js
    simple tests, how to run and rely on tests. how to work with team members.
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#19

Before launching school I need 10 articles on that topic.
right now I have 4 published.

First: https://hackernoon.com/how-i-built-my-startup-team-with-interns-9a395d265cc4
Second: https://hackernoon.com/how-i-built-my-startup-team-with-interns-part-2-fd88b7e2560f
third: https://hackernoon.com/how-im-working-with-react-intern-real-example-9baafac8969f
fourth: https://hackernoon.com/looking-for-a-tech-internship-try-this-list-of-online-resources-83ae85af44

where you can find interns

  1. Default job boards, specific job boards
  2. Asking your friends, online forums -> low results
  3. You can search at some schools, but usually, they wouldn’t give to you their best students for free
    (There is not anything bad here, I just cannot afford it) GetM is a cool school but came with a price tag

How this idea was born?

I have a lot of interns at my company. During last year I realize that I should increase the number of interns. And this will move the whole process to the next level. I have a pile of notes, that I want to convert into an article and documentation. I decided that I should improve my documentation and put everything in one place and I set up a docusaurus website[https://hackernoon.com/how-i-set-up-a-startup-documentation-6af73287ee86].

After creating a few documentation stores. I realize that in order to increase productivity of this huge team(they have different timezones, level of knowledge and overall computer skills --> I need to have a one independent panel/Dashboard, where I will be able to track for their working process/progress of team members and have an ability quickly reply to their comments/ask questions, etc)

For those reasons, I have created a “contributors” project. I want to put a list of all people, that helps me. I start to grab, prepare all data into a single spreadsheet file, in order to import them into our website later.

In an ideal world, this website should have all links, all details about current projects that we working on in progress, to GitHub Repo/Github issues links. It will save me a lot of time and increase the time when I can help my team.


It will be done later + Gmail --> interns with my advice —> it’s a section with people that I battle tested.

I can also share information about the structure of our Slack channel.


  1. “schools” are local sometimes and oriented to give their students to local companies - so also not an option for me.

  2. I’m from Ukraine, and in my country I was able to find only one student(strange, right?) But he is a cool asset, we work together more than 11* month and when he will get a degree – I will put him into some big company) This is his profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/vadim-putrov-a9a22515a / https://github.com/vadim9999. He is the one local team member and worldwide we get 94 people --> you see a difference.

  3. I was thinking about leading some local courses - offline, with office, tables, desc, etc. But it will require more unnecessary activity, as I’m lazy - I kill this idea. because doing things online is much easier for me.

  4. When I search for interns at Linkedin - I got 0 results. this is maybe strange, I don’t know…

Plus I was shy at the beginning and first 9 months I don’t fill job description with information. and I think it was scary for some job-seekers.

Gen M https://genm.co/ is a good example of an online school that trains people from the beginning. But in our case, I don’t want to obligate someone or push or force to “pay” something in the back. In the last year, I meet a lot of cool, young people. They inspiring me, sharing their dreams to work in tech companies, send to me their energy, so I can continue to move forward.

Briefly, I hate to code. I hate to code something that will be soon outdated or replaced in a few years and my work will be forgotten. Sometimes I think that planting trees is more rewarding because you can see results after many years.

You can use website templates that are online. [emmm, again, somethng is missing here]

Goals for school: Reduce the time of processing each new student. like improving FAQ, sending links to articles, news articles, etc.

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#20

One of the driving motives for opening a coding school was my negative reaction of wasted time with Skillshare. That time is lost for me.

And I realize, that maybe, some other teachers may want to have a personal teaching website, where they can focus on content that will be monetized without any slavery fees. If at big platforms you still need to work at marketing and learn how to sell(promote) your courses then I don’t see a big difference between a personal brand/website and educational platform.

I’m a big fan of LM/Learning management system.
9-10 years ago I miss some lessons in my Coding Academy. I needed to pass a PHP exam.

For sure, I have some book(did you remember big coding books/printed with about 1000 pages? O’Reilly maybe? I got a few of them, and in 3-5 years were killed by PDF versions of the same books). So I sign up at Russian Online University(the pretty progressive thing at that time.)

Some courses have also video recorders with professors lectures. And I started at 3 different PHP courses. They have different complexity, level of knowledge but actually, help me very well to prepare for my PHP exam. I got a practice task to scrap all tags from one of the big news websites by using regex. I pass on the exam.

I also was participating in a few projects, that worked with educational content + quizzes. One was at college --> big idea with lack of skills give me an A`s, but it wasn’t implemented as part of process. Few projects I was working as a team lead with quizzing systems and one was an actual LMS.

So I think that I have some background here as well. And my mother and aunt is a teacher, did you remember that? Btw, here is a parallel thread, where I explain about food projects["Food Alliance" project diary] and there I have an idea about creating website generator.

If(when) I’ll learn how quickly to set up and tweak it - using the same script but for another type of content - is not a big problem.
Pages/posts, recurring payments, restricted access, etc.

For sure, with my current resources, it will be hard, maybe impossible, but … we’ll see it later :slight_smile:

If the flow of money will start to come - I’m pretty sure that something is really doable. I’m hoping for my research and laziness skills. So maybe, by learning how to build some sort of coding school -> I’ll be able to learn more how to help others as well.

We can start with something small. If we talk also about food project, maybe there is a demand for teaching cooking classes too, who knows. If I’ll solve a problem and find a website generator(we have a lot of free and ready to use online). So database structure will be our main issue on late stages).

At the first stages, the website can be pretty simple. And it will be a static website, and video for courses can be hosted at Youtube/Vimeo. nothing complex, again.

And frontend can be from scratch. Thank god, that Education DB schemes can be easily googled. DB

There a lot of smarter and experienced architectors of building complex systems. They work on those things at least 30 years.

The frontend can be an issue too. And it can be done by hands from scratch or maybe a wide license for some ThemeForest HTML template will work fine too.

Or some frontend blocks modules, that are free. So I think all of the options are good and can be applied at different stages of work.
The first version it’s easily can be open-sourced for free. I like OSS btw.
And it can have some premium/freemium options, by selling modules, cloud services setup, advanced versions…

A lot of ways to do it actually. I don’t want to jump into details right now, but this looks like an achievable thing, by applying my current skillset.
(Yep, we can find an investor and do it better and quicker).

But it’s not a simple option at this moment. So let’s see how it goes. Later, maybe in a few years.

I want to take a look at NO CODE movement solutions, services, that we can be able to use or be inspired by. And yeah, no WordPress - it’s sucks.

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