The Devschool Difference - Humans First
When I coined the term "Big Box Bootcamp" I wasn't talking about the size of a development school, or coding bootcamp. Instead I was referring far more to the way students are shuffled through the system with little personal attention and even less deviation from the school's recipe.
You see, after several years of privately mentoring hundreds of students, I was drawing conclusions about the quality, or more correctly, the lack of quality in these online and in-person coding bootcamps popping up everywhere and they weren't pretty.
Since I fancy myself as a bit of a Bernie Sanders/Ralph Nader type, it really started to piss me off that students where spending upwards of $20,000 of either their family's money, or worse, their own future savings - and at the same time to have to meet with me several times a week for a hundred an hour for private code mentoring and tutoring.
A school is born of it's own accord
I didn't try and start Devschool. Instead, I was convinced little by little, one student at a time, that I could not only found such a school. But I would give enough shits about what it is we do, and the people involved, to not just make another money-grab and instead, build a developer school that students would get into a fist-fight to defend, and one where team members would want to spend a large portion of their lives' at.
This company happened on it's own, little by little, with a lot of work done by me, the founder. However, it was like running with a train more than pushing a car. Student's were immediately happy with the program because the program was just an extension to what I had already been doing for several years, teaching people to code by coding with them, live, side by side. It was a model that worked well when I was the #1 Ruby on Rails Mentor at Codementor, and it is a model that has made Devschool stand out as a unique experience in a sea of dev bootcamp clones.
The Devschool Doctrine - Planet > People > Profit
I am a clean hippy. I am a wondering soul. I recycle and my heart breaks when I think about the serious damage we have done to the only place in this universe we can actually live on. I can't stand it when I am confronted with the cold, indifference or worse, fascist nature of our fellow humans.
To this end I want you and the whole world to know.... For us it is #1, the Planet - so you know, don't fuck it up. #2 is People, because without people, what is the point? Then, and only then do we get to the profit motive. This is the first principle of Devschool's creed.
This is not just a school or just a company. It is the extension of my dedication to you. It is the embodiment of my own ideals in business and in personal relationships. I see a world where we can all work together. A world where greed and the profit motive don't eclipse common sense and decency.
I don't want Devschool to just be a typical business, because typical business is madness as far as I can tell. For instance, in the military - you are given accolades and honors if you put your team-mates above yourself. In the corporate world you get rewarded for sacrificing your team-members for your own gain.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
This book changed my life at 37 and I will never be the same. It proved it me without a doubt that I had everything in my clever little head backwards and that I was putting 'truth' and 'facts' and 'knowing' ahead of people. It has affected me enough that HtWFaIP is the Devschool handbook, for both Students and Staff.
Whenever we make a decision about the curriculum, our handling of students, or any of the myriad of things we have to examine and make decisions on, it is our duty to consider the people involved first. We must put the student in their proper place, at the head of the table and realize that Devschool is not here for me or for any of our Instructors.
We are only here because of the Students we serve. It is a mantra I repeat to myself several times daily, and it is a mantra that I expect everyone who works at Devschool to live by. We will never lose sight of our roots, roots that are deeply entwined with treating humans like humans, and caring more about the care and education of our fellow humans than squeezing out a few more pennies.
But wait, this IS a technology school right?
Did life kick you in the ass? Do you need to slow your roll for a couple of weeks or a month? Did you not get through all your homework, because you know, coding is hard and life gets in the way? Not a problem, no problemo, it's all good! We can schedule you less appointments in the coming weeks or put you on hold. You don't lose your 'seat', you just get to breath and deal with shit before coming back to your education!