Just as online coding bootcamps begin to focus on employment outcomes, a number of in-person bootcamps have started to explore ways to open up their immersive curriculum to remote students. The most recent announcement in remote education comes from Lighthouse Labs, the full-stack code Vancouver school based in Vancouver. We chat with Jeremy Shaki, the CTO at Lighthouse labs, about how their remote bootcamp will work logistically. Up next, we'll sit down with future student Simon Pregent to find out why he’s taking the plunge with Lighthouse Labs.
Jeremy, what will it look like to learn at Lighthouse Labs’ remote bootcamp? Will you be livestreaming the lectures?
The group in Whitehorse will start class at the same time as our Vancouver students, but we’ll be livestreaming the lecture. At Lighthouse Labs, we have 40 part-time TAs, and all of our TAs have remote booths. There’s 4 of those booths set up in our class when students have questions. Essentially, whenever someone in Whitehorse needs help, they enter the queue the same way a student in our Vancouver class would and the TA gets pinged to help them out. All of our students are on Slack.
Will students be learning in a classroom together or at their homes?
In Vancouver, Lighthouse Labs is located in Launch Academy, which is a hub that houses startups and tech companies. In Whitehorse, we’ve set up a classroom in the largest tech company in the city. These students aren’t learning from their bedroom. They’re going to a classroom everyday. We also have TAs in that classroom. It’s a hybrid of live-streaming lecture and in-person collaboration.
Will you have a hiring network in Whitehorse, or are you expecting to place graduates in remote jobs?
The goal for us is to work with communities, so we first met with the communities in Yukon. We’ll be looking to place all of our students in jobs in Whitehorse. For me, I haven’t seen any online education option delivering 100% job placement or really even jobs in general to graduates right after the program is over. That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish.
Being able to stay within your own community and learn with Lighthouse Labs, while being connected to your community, is really big for us. Lighthouse is about immersing you into the community so you can continue being part of it afterwards.
Can anyone do this remote course, or is it only for residents of Whitehorse?
The online course is a pilot and only for people in the Whitehorse community currently. The goal of the course isn't to open this up to everyone (at least not yet) but instead to open it up to specific communities at different times. It's a hybrid course which allows us to fulfill the things we believe are essential (getting immersed in your tech community, having a developer community network when you graduate who will continue to push you) but without the needs to place a full bootcamp in that community. In this way, we are hoping to be able to reach tons of communities that could use some developer courses but wouldn't normally be big enough to have them run properly. Moreover, we are betting that we can keep our 100% placement rate.
What kind of support have you gotten from the Yukon government?
The Yukon Government was willing to explore this pilot with us and put some funding into making the class accessible to members of the Yukon. It's a project we are really proud of, and could have huge implications for education in remote communities.
Thanks Jeremy! We'll check in with the Lighthouse Labs team after the pilot program wraps up to see how everything goes.