MooveCamp, our intensive coding bootcamp for women wanting to make a career change into technology, is well under way. In this article we decided to sit down with our instructors, Cecilia Gutierrez and Viky Rodríguez, to share some of the information and insights that we’ve been sharing with the participants.
Getting started with GitHub and the basics of code reviews
After helping the participants with heir development environment, we begin the course with an introduction to GitHub – the basic concepts on how to use it, and also, importantly, how to collaborate with a team. Once we’ve got everyone up to speed on using the platform we provide information about best practices for code reviews – such as understanding that many programming decisions are opinions, and that there may be good reasons to differ from other individuals. One of the key elements of the course is to provide plenty of such materials – resources and links that we ourselves have found useful, so that they can continue their development journey at their own pace.
We also discuss merging strategies and conflict management, as well as a “cheat sheet” with some best practices that we have discovered over the years. The session ends with some key exercises to practice on.
First stop: The basics of HTML and CSS
We sit down and help the participants learn the basics and best practices of HTML and CSS, technologies that we all use on a daily basis. We start at the beginning, for example, explaining how HTML is a markup language that defines the structure of content. We quickly move into practical examples and provide advice on best practices, such as indenting, and making sure that the code is legible. We talk about how to use tags to make sure that you yourself, plus your team, can more easily understand the code. Such semantic code is also important for screen readers and browsers, making it more accessible, as well as being an important search engine optimization (SEO) practice.
We talk with the students about how to use HTML in practice on a website, as well as how to create forms.
With CSS we follow a similar approach, explaining that you can think of HTML as the foundation, and CSS as the aesthetic choice. We work on exercises showing the different ways in which you can add CSS to HTML documents.
We then move onto responsive web design, explaining the best practices to create a website that will work on every device and screen size. We explore different CSS layouts (flex and grid), and use Tailwind CSS as an example of a framework.
Third stop: React and Redux
MooveCamp is still underway so we haven’t yet reached this stage. However, we’re looking forward to working with the participants on some fun projects with React and Redux. With React we start by explaining key concepts, and then move on to trying to build single page applications, using Create React App.
Unit test and deployment
We’ll finish MooveCamp by focusing on unit testing – explaining key principles such as first analyzing exactly what it is that you want to test and the responsibilities implied in that, as well as evaluating all the possible distinct paths. We then move on to discussing options for deployment, and here we’ve decided to focus on managing and deploying applications using the cloud application platform, Heroku.
A new career means overcoming challenges
We hope this article has provided some insight into some of the concrete elements that we are teaching during the bootcamp. Starting a new career in technology means learning a lot and overcoming challenges on the way – which is why we take the approach of having a small class with instructors on hand to help the participants through the different stages. We wish the participants all the best as they continue on their journey!