What does it take to deliver an in-person, intense bootcamp course online?

I've often wondered if it was possible to do this while maintaining the same level of quality as our in-person program. After all, a true developer bootcamp is special precisely because of the in-person support and relationships that you engage with. I am proud to announce that after much thought, a ton of work, and an incredible contribution from the Yukon Government, tomorrow we pilot the first-ever Lighthouse Labs hybrid remote bootcamp.

Crafted to deliver the same quality education that we deliver in our main spaces in Vancouver and Toronto, the goal of this pilot program is to have 5 Yukon students be prepared to immediately start working as professional developers as soon as they are finished the program. Our space in Launch Academy has been retrofitted with the appropriate technology to provide an instructional system that’s been referred to as a "closed loop". The technology will allow for instructional delivery, outcome tracking, and live assistance in a remote setting. We do all this in a way that remains personal and teaches the students what it means to become a professional developer.

For example, our built-in TA queue (booths pictured above) will allow for TAs to see when students in the Yukon need help, and immediately jump on our remote station to give them face-to-face feedback and support. That same queue function will measure the TA's response time to students, how long it’s taking to actually finish supporting them, which students aren’t asking enough questions, and what concepts are not being explained properly(this leads to a barrage of questions). This single piece, one of many we have built in, will allow us to assess the program’s delivery, so as to allow us to react quickly and make the appropriate changes necessary.

One thing that separates what we are doing here from any other "remote" coding bootcamp is that it is a hybrid model. Our belief has always been that a large part of the success of bootcamp programs is how integrated into the tech community students become in 8 weeks. The opportunity to be around TAs who are all developers, and be in a space like Launch Academy that is filled with opportunities in tech is a key portion of the education, and so we made sure to recreate that for the Whitehorse students.

To address this, Whitehorse students will be in class every day at MakeIT, Yukon’s leading IT company, who have generously offered their space for our students to study in. Having a space where you are studying with others is still extremely beneficial to all our students education and will remain so throughout this pilot. They will be attended to by an on site TA who is a full time developer, Andrew Kalek, to receive in person mentorship and guidance. Andrew will not only be there to support their learning but also to help evaluate their progression and identify holes in any remote delivery.

Andrew will also be able to remote TA for students in Vancouver, and all students will be communicating regularly through our student and alumni slack channels in order to foster that sense of community.

Whitehorse students will have opportunities to collaborate with Vancouver students on projects, and today they have actually flown in to Vancouver for the first 3 days of the program. Moreover, the Yukon students will be hosting intro coding workshops for free in Whitehorse to not only integrate into the developer community, but contribute to it immediately.

No program we have seen has ever successfully been able to train job-ready developers in a remote fashion, and it is very much our belief that by using this hybrid remote method, other communities could benefit from the education being delivered in major tech hubs. This project will be a pilot for what we hope to be a very important addition to the Lighthouse Labs mission of delivering top notch developer education in a fast paced, immersive, hands-on environment. It has the potential to not only train people, but build stronger and more supportive developer ecosystems in communities everywhere, pushing forward innovation from all corners of our country and the globe.

It is our hope that the methodology we use to deliver this program opens up doors to similar type programs in other spaces, and we will be opening our doors to people in the Vancouver community who wish to use our technology to deliver knowledge outside of Vancouver.

We want to thank the Yukon Government immensely for thinking innovative on how to deliver developer education to their population, and working with us on the goal of never compromising the quality of Lighthouse Labs. We are excited to begin the pilot on April 27th, and invite anyone who wants to meet our Whitehorse students to Hackernest that night, where they will all be meeting Vancouver’s awesome tech community!

Want to know more about our programs? Give us a shout!