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Thinking about a career in web development? General Assembly conducted a Web Development Immersive online information session last week, and answered questions from Course Report readers! Watch the full info session below, and check out our favorite audience questions and answers from GA instructors and staff.

 

 

Audience Q&A

Can I learn enough to be the CTO of my own company or just build an MVP?

Katie: Are students prepared to be CTOs when they graduate from this class? After 12 weeks, you’re not quite ready to be a CTO.  Will you be able to hire the right people? Yes! Will you be able to read and understand code and fix it? Yes! You could definitely build an MVP as your final project. We do have entrepreneurs that come out of this class. If you want to become a CTO immediately, this isn’t the best course for you, but if that’s  something you’re looking to move into down the line, then absolutely.

How do I get financing for this course, especially if I don’t have a long credit history?

Shane: Our students usually pay for this course in two ways. We set up a payment plan for all of our students with a minimum $250 deposit upfront. We spread out the remainder of the tuition in 4 roughly equal payments about a month apart. If this is something that is not feasible for you, we have financing partners in each of our markets that provide fixed-rate student loans. Provided you qualify through their credit checks, you’ll be approved for a loan within 3-5 days.

GA has a close working relationship with financing partners. If you are approved and accept, we get notification. You work with the financing partners to establish a payment plan after the course is completed. All of our financing partners are on our website, if you go to the Web Development Immersive class and scroll down to the “Finance Options” section. They’re accessible if you want to ask specific questions about your credit history and how this could work out for you.

Do you recommend taking the part-time Product Management classes or could WDI help me get a job as a Product Manager?

Katie: The answer is yes to both depending on what your ultimate goal is. If you need to learn how to code for the Product Management position at your company, then yes, I would suggest taking WDI. It’s very good for a Product Manager to start as either a UX designer or a web developer before getting promoted into a product role.

However, if the product role that you’re working on is not very technical, we have both part and full time Product Management courses that could be up your alley. Being able to work with web developers, product managers and UX designers is useful and necessary when you’re trying to become a Product Manager. Depending on what it is that you want to accomplish and how technical the project is that you’re working on, WDI could be a really great fit for you.

I have recently completed the Codecademy Rails track- am I ready to apply for WDI? What kind of take home or live coding challenge is there to get into the program?

Shane: I love to hear when students have started learning on their own. It’s a great first step in this  journey. The more you know from Day 1, the further you’re going to get in the course. Our pre-interview assignment specifically focuses on HTML and CSS and also JavaScript, if students feel comfortable including that in their project and workflow. While Ruby on Rails is not part of the project, I think that any type of coding experience goes nicely with the skillset that we are looking for. Our assignment comes with a full tutorial, so if you haven’t coded in the past, you’ll have time to work through these problems and make your first simple web page.

Our instructors and admission producers across the country are looking for specific skills, problem solving skills. The pre-interview assignment is not the “be-all and end-all,” but we do want to see that you’ve put an effort into learning these skills and that this is really important to you. Andrew, can you talk about prerequisite skills?

Andrew: The short version is you’re never wasting time looking into JavaScript. HTML and CSS is what the initial project is about. We don’t have an expectation that you have experience with Rails, Ruby or JavaScript. With that said, if you want to level up before entering the course, JavaScript is the place to put that energy. The Mozilla Developer Network is a great resource for JavaScript related topics. Going through Rails would be great. You're just getting a first pass on topics that we would cover in the course. Any minute spent on JavaScript is not wasted.

I’m an international student that wants to get a job in the US market as a developer. How have GA students done this in the past?

Katie: We do have international students who come to General Assembly to get jobs here. GA does not sponsor visas, so most students are here on a student visa. Every country has different US visa stipulations, so you would need to check that out in your own country.

You can absolutely come to the US and take classes as an international student, but getting a job in the US has its hurdles. It’s very expensive, time-consuming and requires a lot of paperwork on behalf of the company that would sponsor your visa as they have to prove that they cannot find a suitable candidate in the USA. For example, if you’re from Spain and the job requires you to speak Spanish that would be an incredible leg up on someone here in the States that may not have that ability.

We do not have relationships with companies that only hire international students. However, we are always looking to develop relationships with companies that have awesome opportunities for our graduates. I definitely say look into it as soon as possible. Getting a visa can take upwards of a year depending on what materials you need. All of that is the student’s responsibility. We would love for you take WDI here in the United States or elsewhere. We can still help you through the process of getting your resume, portfolio and your online presence together.

What stack do you teach?

Andrew: The best thing for me to do is take you through the stages in the course. We start with HTML and CSS, but JavaScript is our main focus. We wouldn’t use the word stack here, we’re just talking about creating a static web page. After that, we move into a stack that includes a Ruby on Rails backend and jQuery and JavaScript on the frontend. At the end of the course, we make a MEAN application, a Mongo database, an Express application using Node and Angular on the frontend. Some cities have a need for Angular.js, others for Backbone.js. That part would be tailored depending on where you are. But, they perform the same role.

What kind of jobs do people get after this class?

Katie: Not only can you be a full stack web developer, frontend web developer, backend web developer, there are a lot of other skills that you learn throughout this course that can lead to other career opportunities, including: QA Engineer, Developer Evangelist, Software Developer in Test, CMS Developer, Application Support, Implementation Engineer and Devops.

It depends exactly what it is that you want you to do. If you want to be living and breathing code, then being a frontend, backend or fullstack developer is probably what you want to look for. But if you want to be on a client-side or testing applications, there’s other options including Application Support or Implementation Engineer. In these roles you’d be helping people work through their problems or helping a company implement their software.

Devops is an exciting and interesting place to be now — helping engineering teams set up their development operations. That’s something we have seen our students go into over the past year.

How do companies know that I am good enough or have learned enough to get a job after this class?

Andrew: In the interview process, you would have the opportunity to confirm you have that basic skillset. Beyond that, the next stage in the interview is figuring out if you can learn on the fly. This is an industry where everything is changing left and right. When you’re on these interviews, you need to demonstrate that you can pick things up very quickly and have the right attitude for learning the next thing. How do they figure that out? Each company has their own process. They’ll pose questions that require you to think through steps. For example, an open-ended whiteboard problem.

 

Want to learn even more about the General Assembly Web Development Immersive? Sign-up for WDI in a city near you!

About The Author

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Alex is an educator turned programmer in training. Find out what she's up to at alexandriawilliams.com.

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