What is LEARN like? Ask our community!
Mina Chuong Alumni Software Developer at LoanHero
What mattered to me the most were the people. I found out about LEARN from attending an SD Ruby Meetup. One of the people, Rob Kaufman (co-founder of LEARN) was giving a talk that broke things down in a way that made it easy for me understand how parts of Rails functioned. That was huge because at that time, I did not have a clear idea of what Rails was. I think it also says a lot about how LEARN is so heavily involved in the San Diego Tech scene. The lead instructor of my cohort was influential with his style of instruction. It was not so much the learning of languages and how to use a framework but the building of good programming habits (both technical and with concern to general programmer happiness). Instruction had more to do with learning to think and communicate like a programmer. Without the insights of Lisa (the outreach coordinator) and Chelsea (CEO), the transition to becoming a software developer personally would have been stifling. I’ve been working as a junior software developer now for about five months and to this day, I find myself with so much gratitude for this community of great people.
I did hit some rough patches with parts of the material, and that's natural - it happens to EVERYONE. However, I always had someone to ask for help during and after my time at LEARN. Another beautiful thing about the people at LEARN is that they are also very concerned about burnout prevention. They want you to still have a life outside of the bootcamp because they truly understand that humans are humans; that our brains can only handle so much input before you collapse into a burnout—you learn better when you’re not stressed out. This was a very winning point for me because I’m aware that programmer burnout is a real thing. I experienced something similar to it when I was in architecture school. I appreciate intensity but I just don't think being at a computer for 15+ hours a day is conducive to maximized learning or good programming. And LEARN did a great job at providing a healthy environment.
LEARN provides an internship after three months. I cannot emphasize how important this internship was both in terms of what I learned and how I used it to build my resume. My peers have gone on to work for companies that partnered with LEARN to provide internships. A month after my internship ended, I had four in-person interviews (plus three phone interviews). I received three offers. The job hunting process was no joke. It was a constant hustle, but I was prepared for it because of all the groundwork that was laid during the Professional Development week at LEARN. Did I happen to mention that I work at a pretty cool fin-tech startup in San Diego Downtown? That’s right — Thank you, LEARN.
They have it down when it comes to helping you build a network of people who will help you not only get your foot in the door, but also one that will help you throughout your programming career. LEARN is a co-op space for alumni. I've been back many times (and I wish more), to ask for help, to share my knowledge, to attend meet-ups, and to just be there and work among other programmers. I have seen that they have made an already amazing program even better.
I have no doubt that LEARN will be the right choice for anyone looking to take the leap into the world of web-development.