We are delighted to bring you an important announcement about a project that we’ve been working on for the past year: a brand new Full-stack Web Development Bootcamp curriculum, rebuilt from the ground up through the blood, sweat and tears of our amazing community of developers!

Since we first began delivering our Bootcamp in 2013, we’ve iterated the curriculum over and over based off feedback from our students, mentors and employers. This has allowed us to continuously improve the quality of our education, and to stay ahead of the industry curve. By taking the cumulative learnings of those endless iterations, and by listening to the deafening demand from both alumni and the industry, we’re happy to introduce a new curriculum that dives deeper into JavaScript, provides improved quality of education and cutting edge content.

So, what’s new?

Well, quite a bit!

Content Balance
Our new curriculum consists of a heavier focus on JavaScript to introduce the core principles of web development, best practices and problem solving. Essential features of our original curriculum remain, and students will still be introduced to Ruby on Rails, HTML/CSS and responsive design, on top of newly added technologies like React and Automated Testing. As always, our students will graduate with a strong understanding of many languages and frameworks, and they will be polyglot developers who are comfortable with translating concepts across different platforms.

Prep Course
Our new prep course is now integrated into our student-made LMS called Compass, with a stronger emphasis on JavaScript, problem solving, and real-time feedback. Our prep course will still consist of 40-60 hours worth of work that is required to be completed before attending day one, however, the content will better prepare students to hit the ground running and will provide a foundation directly related to the material covered in the first two weeks of bootcamp.

Building Projects
Our students will create complete, interactive web applications through a project-based curriculum. They’ll now build 7 projects during bootcamp, including the final project, which is ideated & coded from scratch for Demo Day! This will allow for more engaging, productive assignments, and students will graduate with a more diverse portfolio to show employers. Students are expected to revisit projects throughout bootcamp and refactor + re-submit their code for additional review.

Rapid Iteration & Collaborative Curriculum via GitHub
We have always been proud of our Community-driven education model, where developers from the local community work together to bring their unique experiences, passion, personalities and approach to provide a rich learning environment for our students. Being equipped to receive and act on feedback from our students, mentors and employers is one of the most exciting aspects of the new curriculum! With our entire program now accessible by our education team through GitHub, we are now able to quickly respond to feedback and contributions from our amazing community of developers. They are able to submit curriculum tweaks with a pull request, which will allow for better visibility into the quality of our education, rapid iteration, and long-term agility.

What does not change:

The core objective and goal of our program is unchanged. The learning outcomes are the same as always.

  • Teaching students how to learn through focus on core web development skills & principles, best practices and problem solving.

  • LHL students will continue learning to build complete, interactive web applications through a project-based curriculum.

  • Our teaching philosophy has always been about learning how to learn—never about learning specific languages or frameworks.

What matters isn't learning more Rails or more JavaScript, it's being equipped to be a junior developer. And that's what we prepare students to do, regardless of the tools we use to do it.

Our Co-Founder & Head of Education Khurram Virani sat down with Course Report to discuss the new curriculum. You can read the Q&A here, or watch the (very long!) interview below.

Curriculum Breakdown

Our new curriculum has been a labour of love, and over a year in the making. While the biggest achievement with this change has been the amazing upgrades to our delivery of education and the ways we measure and monitor success, the new focus on JavaScript is equally exciting. Our students, mentors and employers have consistently provided the feedback that JavaScript is drug of choice for most modern developers, and we’ve adapted our curriculum to be JS top heavy, complemented by supporting frameworks and languages like Node.js, MongoDB, Express & JSON. As Bootcamp progresses, students expand into other essential technologies, getting comfortable with Git/GitHub, Front-End Development, Debugging, Object-Oriented Programming, and of course, Ruby + Rails.

Week 1 & 2 JavaScript & Node.js

While learning popular web technologies, the focus of the first two weeks is on helping students appreciate what it means to be a good developer. We want students to become developers that know many technologies, as well as one that has a good approach, rapid experimentation, incremental building, and sharp debugging skills.

  • JavaScript & Node.js
  • Express, MongoDB & JSON
  • Git & GitHub
  • Debugging & Experimentation

Projects
GitrDone: A command-line client application that communicates with GitHub's public API. TinyApp: A bit.ly-like URL shortener.

Week 3 & 4 Front-End Development & Group Projects

Building on the coding concepts and technologies learned in the first two weeks, the focus shifts towards front-end programming. Once students are comfortable with HTML & CSS, we’ll introduce them to working with relational databases & SQL, which are extremely prevalent in most web applications.

  • HTML5 & CSS3
  • Client-side JavaScript
  • jQuery & AJAX
  • Project planning & collaboration

Projects
Tweetr: A single-page mini twitter clone. Midterm Project: Students form groups to ideate and build their first full-stack web app scratch.

Week 5 & 6 Preparing for Reality

Every successful developer should be a polyglot. In reality, modern web applications need to be real-time and highly interactive. Weeks 5 & 6 are spent expanding horizons and exposing students to a multitude of languages and paradigms.

  • Ruby & Ruby on Rails
  • React
  • WebSockets
  • Object Oriented Programming

Projects

Slackr: A Slack-like real-time chat application built using modern JavaScript tooling. Rails: Students inherit and enhance a pre-existing Rails application.

Week 7 & 8 Final Project & Advanced Topics

For their final project, they have the opportunity to bring their unique idea to life! They form and collaborate to create a functional app that is presented to the community during our monthly Demo Days.

Through these adaptive changes, we’re aiming to provide a more seamless, smooth and satisfying bootcamp experience for our graduates. The improvements to our education processes, ease of iteration, community involvement and renewed focused on industry best practices & trends will mean our graduates will be even further ahead of the curve upon graduation. The new curriculum will be launched starting in September, and our Web Development Bootcamps running across Canada will all be starting with the new curriculum together. In fairness to our awesome former students, we are excited to share that ALL LHL alumni will have access to the new curriculum and 100% of it’s content.

A special thank you goes out to our test pilot of six students in Vancouver. These students come from diverse backgrounds and coding experience, and took a leap of faith to be the first to receive the new curriculum. Our test pilot students have been providing amazing feedback that has allowed us to work out any small kinks in order for smooth sailing come launch in September, and we’re incredibly excited to share the results with you.

You can view the complete syllybus for our new curriculum by clicking here.

To celebrate the launch of our new curriculum, we've released the Early Bird Challenge! Activate the puzzle, solve the clues and you could score $500 off your Web or iOS Bootcamp. Click here for details.