The last thing people need is... ANOTHER FUCKING CODE SCHOOL

The last thing people need is another fucking code school. Seriously, they’re popping up all over the place, every one is like hey I can make a buck if I just start a code school, make enormous promises and charge a shitload of money, then who cares if people actually succeed. And they’re all copying an idea that, honestly, I think is complete shit.

Online code tutorials, 99% of them, complete shit In person code schools, hugely expensive, mostly shitty, big promises, no guarantee of success

And all these people are copying each other, and it doesn’t work that well. It doesn’t! You exit the code school after a week, after a day, after 5 days and you’ve just dropped an enormous amount of money and maybe gotten very little out of it.

So rather than continuing to bash code schools, I have an idea. It’s a community. An exclusive community of developers. But now I’m going to continue to bash…

HERE’S WHAT NO ONE WANTS WHEN YOU’RE CODING…. 1. When we’re coding, the last thing we want is to be stuck on a problem for days on end without a solution in sight. 2. When you’re a noob, the last thing you want is for something to not work as expected and then spend DAYS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GOOGLE THE QUESTION IN THE WORDS THAT OTHER DEVELOPERS UNDERSTAND 3. When you’re following a code tutorial, the last thing you want is to start a code tutorial that isn’t finished 4. When you’re following a code tutorial, the second last thing you want is to start a code tutorial that SUCKS 5. When you’re following a code tutorial, the third last thing you want is to start a code tutorial that is USING AN OLD VERSION 6. When you graduate a coding bootcamp, the last thing you want to learn is that EMPLOYERS HATE, AND DO NOT RESPECT CODING SCHOOLS, but then you learn it

One of the only benefits of a coding school, in my opinion, is you get IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK FROM AN EXPERT, to your questions.

So my idea is… an exclusive community of developers where you can get your problems answered quickly and fast. Anyone can join at any level.

Nah, it’s really a community of learners and developers. A Community of Code Learners. A Community of Coders. And Experts can make money doing this.

It costs $100 a month to join, or maybe $50. Your first month of membership gets you 1 hour. You can use that hour to hire another developer.

You can cash-out your hours for real money. So let’s take 4 people who sign up for the community. They all start with one hour. There is one Rails Expert and 3 noobies. That same day, the rails expert helps the noobies for 1 hour each.

Now the Rails Expert goes from 1 hour in his account to 4 hours. Noobie A goes from 1 hour to 0 hours Noobie B goes from 1 hour to 0 hours Noobie C goes from 1 hour to 0 hours

If Noobie A wants more help, he either needs to pay $100 for another hour, OR HELP Noobie B or C to gain that hour back. But Unfortunately for Noobie B or C, they are in the same boat and have 0 hours. So they also need to help someone to gain an hour OR pay $100 for an additional hour. So let’s bring in Noobie D. Noobie D just signed up and has an hour to spend. Noobie D gets help setting up his rails environment from Noobie B. Noobie B now has an hour which he can then spend to learn something new, or get help with a problem.

Let’s go back to our Rails Expert A who now has 4 hours. Let’s say he has a complex problem and needs help from another expert. So he can use on of his hours with an expert.

Rails Expert A spends 2 hours getting help from Rails Expert B… Rails Expert A now goes from 4 hours to 2 hours. Rails Expert B goes from 0 hours to 2 hours.

Rails Expert has 2 hours A can do one of three things at this point, 1. he can cash out his hours, 2. he can continue to help other people, or 3. he can request help from someone. Rails Expert A decides to cash out. He will receive $200 for the 2 hours he has in his account. Rails Expert B also decides to cash out, he will receive $200 for his 2 hours.

You can buy additional hours for $100 an hour. OK, $100 that’s the hourly rate of the community. OR you can simply just help someone and gain hours (for free-ish). See, if you have some skills, you can help someone, and then you can get help with skills you do not have. It’s the perfect way to learn. You reinforce concepts that you already know by helping someone learn them, and you can learn new concepts by trading hours to an expert who can help you learn.

The way I make money is by putting the community together, $49 a person per month. Maybe $29 a month?

HERE’S WHY A NOOB WOULD WANT TO JOIN THIS COMMUNITY 1. Immediate and quick feedback 2. Cost effective ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO A BOOTCAMP ($10,000 = 100 hours with an expert, after 100 hours with an expert, you’ll definitely be able to self-sufficient and not need to fund your account with money, but can fund it by helping others)

The key for this to be a success is to be able to use REAL FILES. REAL PROBLEMS. Real Examples. It can’t be this hypothetical stuff anymore. That’s helpful in the beginning, but really, it’s not helpful in the end.

There’s something similar to my idea at codementor.io, but it’s not quite there. Still expensive. Doesn’t allow you to work on files together. My major problem is when I learn something, I have trouble applying it to my problem. So Why not just work on my problem directly?

The keys to learning code is sticking with it, building applications, not getting too frustrated that you quit (which happens when 1-6 from above happen), getting help from someone who is better than you and helping others learn what you’ve learned. That’s what my community would do.

Maybe above the $100 an hour thing wouldn’t work…

The experts want to get paid more, the noobs should be paid less. But here’s the thing that could work. What if we had a cirriculum, a set of checkpoints that each person could accomplish. Based upon the number of checkpoints completed (skills mastered), that could increase your hourly wage for mentorship. That’d be pretty awesome. So if one of the checkpoints was completing something on CodeCademy two things would happen.

  1. You’d be qualified to help others with that checkpoint.
  2. You’re hourly wage for helping would be increased.

There is a site called codementor.io, it’s similar to my idea above. But the problem is, there is this star rating thing, but is that effective? All I care about is “Was the mentorship worth my money?” If not, that person’s wage should be docked. So you have a % of total. For instance, if you give a really piss poor mentorship session, you should have your wages docked for the future if that person rates you poorly. We call it wage potential. You get a base wage, but this can be docked 25% if you suck at mentoring, or boosted by 25% if you rock! You have three options when reviewing: Not worth the Money, Worth It, The Benefit Exceeded the Price I paid. If you get reviews that indicate you were worth your price, your base pay stays the same. If you get a review that says you sucked, you get less. If you get a review that says you rocked, you get more. Let’s say you have a base wage of $100, with 100% awesome reviews, you get $125 dollars an hour. If you get 0% on awesome reviews, you get $75 an hour. That means your value ratings factor gives you a 25% increase or decrease to your base wage. And if you have a 10 session rolling average for this. If you do 1 session and it was awesome, you’ll move up to 1/10 * .25 = .025 > 102.50. If you get 10 awesome ratings in a row, you’ll be at 125 an hour. If you get a bad session: 1/10 * -.25 = -0.25 * 100 + 100 = $97.50.

The reason this is awesome because as soon as you knock off a checkpoint, you can become a mentor to others. You can begin to teach people what you’ve learned, and then begin to learn that with them.

Other Challgnes

Lots of them. Group Projects are a great way to learn. May be difficult to facilitate doing a group project when not everyone has the same interest level in learning. What constitutes a mentoring session? Is it an hour long? What about on the spot sessions?

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