blog article

Why We Let Our Students Build the Lighthouse Labs Website

Khurram  Virani

Written By Khurram Virani

Last updated on August 7, 2014

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On Tuesday, July 15th, Lighthouse Labs launched our brand-new website. It featured a completely new design, video, a fresh application process, and more. The most interesting part of it all was that it was developed by our students for their final project.


As our January cohort progressed I noticed two of our students, Joseph and Rachel (pictured above), gravitating to a particular aspect of developing: building well-designed and dynamic, editable websites using Ruby on Rails. Although I take pride in our 100% job placement rate, we understand that a career in developing means different things to different people. Whether you want a stable job, your own startup, or the freedom to freelance, we do our best to set our students up for success. So to that end, when it came time to start working on their final two week project, we offered them the opportunity to redesign and rebuild our main website, and they accepted!

This allowed them to gain crucial experience as freelancers in a controlled, educational way. I'd like to think that Lighthouse was a pretty good client: My co-founder Jeremy and I set guidelines and constraints for we wanted to see with the new site, while leaving plenty of room for their ideas and creative suggestions. 

As a teacher I was also able to provide mentorship and technical guidance that some clients normally couldn't. In this way they were able to get the most productive freelance project experience possible, while still creating something tangible and impressive for their portfolio.

Having our students build our website was about more than just their learning experience, however; it was about us _eating our own dog food_. To that end, Functional Imperative, our boutique software development consultancy has also hired grads from our bootcamp. What better way to exemplify that belief in our students capabilities than that?

Although the students have handed off the site to us for maintenance now, our plan is to continue to have other students update and enhance it. Not only is that great for our students' portfolio, but it's a great way for them to contribute to production-level code while still engaged in a learning environment.

Our website is just one of the tools that our students have built for us - you can read about more of them here.

Congratulations and many thanks Joseph and Rachel, and best of luck with your new startup Fetch!

Want to learn more about Lighthouse Labs? Check out their School Page on Course Report or their website here!

Remember, the Course Report community is eligible for a $250 scholarship to Lighthouse Labs!

About The Author

Khurram  Virani

Khurram Virani

Khurram Virani is the co-founder and Chief Education Officer of Lighthouse Labs in Canada. Khurram is an expert in helping adults with technical and non-technical backgrounds learn to code and become professional developers in an intense, accelerated manner.    Khurram is also the lead developer and co-founder of Functional Imperative, a Toronto-based boutique web and mobile development studio.

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