On Learning

We are past the halfway mark for the first Front End class in Atlanta. We are moving fast and everyone is keeping up in an incredible way.

We have walked through a handful of tools, libraries and frameworks. We have also spent a good amount of time talking through programming theory and best practice. One of the pieces that makes The Iron Yard stand out is that we put a large focus on learning how to learn. Let’s face it, in 12 weeks we can’t even begin to cover every library and framework and every aspect of HTML5. Let’s not forget about what’s coming in ECMAScript 6. Sure we’ve talked about it, but more importantly, we’ve talked about the fact that it’s coming and how it won’t stop there. New frameworks are coming out every week and the best way to keep up is to learn what to look for. It helps to have a broad enough understanding of the language to break it down and judge for yourself if it will be useful to you or not.

Don’t get me wrong, we still dive pretty deep into JavaScript core. We spent a while writing vanilla JavaScript before we introduced jQuery, Underscore and a handful of other libraries. We also talked through the myriad of MV* frameworks and currently we are walking through Backbone.js. We start here because it is a library with a low barrier to entry. It helps round out the idea of JavaScript constructors and gives us a great way to organize our code for building applications. We are about a week into Backbone and each student in the class is building their own version of a blog. This might sound like a simple project to a few of you, but keep in mind that 6 weeks ago many of our students had never opened a text editor before. That, to me, is incredible!

I believe the only way this can be accomplished is because of the immersive environment that The Iron Yard provides. After all, perseverance does pay off and working hard for something you want is a great feeling. Even as the instructor of the class, I’m learning more about programming and myself with each lecture. I am falling more in love with this craft each day and glad to have a group of people along for the ride with me.

Originally posted on The Iron Yard Blog : Atlanta