Learners Guild is a 10 month, full-time full-stack web development learning collective in Oakland, CA. Learners Guild is a creative learning environment that uses the principles of cognitive apprenticeship to design a system for effective software development skills training. Nearly all learning takes place in team projects, much in the way that actual software applications are built. Therefore, there are no teachers telling students what to study. Instead of many students learning only from one person, every learner is learning from others and, in turn, passing on their skills and knowledge.
At Learners Guild, a new cohort joins every 10 weeks so there is always a dynamic range of skills and experience in the room that students should use to their advantage. The learning system helps students to choose projects and goals that are both relevant and challenging, so that students are working on interesting problems that push them into "Proximal Zone of Development".
Recent Learners Guild News
- Episode 12: March 2017 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast
- Episode 11: February 2017 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast
- September 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast
Recent Learners Guild Reviews: Rating 3.0
Learners Guild Reviews
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Currently enrolled, Week 27 / 40 at Learners Guild.
This place is a radical, fresh alternative to the extreme cram-in-12-weeks model--much more sustainable pace. At a certain point in the program, you end up working on larger teams, building commercial-scale sites (think Trello.com), and it feels like working at an internship. Collaborating with others on these large-scale projects mirrors the scrum workflow of professional software teams.
There's a lot of intentionality around fostering the culture here. The Guild offers a lot of supports that allow groups underrepresented in tech an opportunity to learn this craft in a safer, inclusive, loving environment. Learning, failing, and exposing your ignorance are all very vulnerable acts, so it's helpful to have a culture that helps people feel held and supported through this process.
Plus, the folk you'll be co-learning with are a pretty brilliant, fun, soulful bunch.
You should probably apply.
‘Accessible & Inclusive
Everyone is welcome at Learners Guild. We especially encourage historically underrepresented groups in software engineering--people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and veterans--to consider joining us.’
When I applied to Learner’s Guild last year, there was a repeated emphasis on creating a welcoming environment for women and people from diverse backgrounds, from the marketing found on their website through the interview and orientation process. After I started, we were encouraged to help the guild live up to its potential by offering the staff feedback on what parts of the program were and weren’t working, and reassured repeatedly that the feedback we offered wouldn’t be held against us.
In reality, the guild has a massive problem with misogyny and ableism from the top down, and has consistently been almost entirely unresponsive to feedback on things that matter the most. The founder, Shereef, has been consistently hostile to criticism from women and has bullied several to the point of tears during mandatory ‘support’ meetings. Those who have tried to share their concerns about the power dynamic at play have been regularly shut down with language like ‘don’t be a hero’ and ‘not everyone belongs here’, and the most outspoken among us have consistently been asked to leave, discouraging those of us who are still around from speaking up further. Women who have been kicked out of the program have also had their stipends immediately cancelled fewer than 48 hours before they were expecting to be paid, which is beyond cruel for an organization that knows its learners are mostly from low income backgrounds and reliant on that money while spending more than 40 hours a week working here.
After the staff were disappointed by unfavorable feedback on the last organizational climate survey, they simply haven't accepted for any more anonymous feedback on the subject, and all of the cultural changes have been in the direction of decreasing flexibility, more blatant refusals to listen, and even more women being kicked out of the program. The only full time technical woman on the staff also resigned recently, and the writing on the wall for me is that the Guild is rapidly giving up on the pretense of being interested in being anything other than another place in tech meant for men. The increasing toxicity of the climate here and witnessing the way my peers have been treated has turned this program into a traumatic and exhausting experience, and despite the talent here it isn’t going to last without major change starting at the top.
Our latest on Learners Guild
Haven’t had time to keep up with all the coding bootcamp news this March? Not to worry– we’ve compiled it for you in a handy blog post and podcast. This month, we read a lot about CIRR and student outcomes reporting, we heard from reporters and coding bootcamp students about getting hired after coding bootcamp, a number of schools announced exciting diversity initiatives, and we added a handful of new schools to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.Continue Reading →
Here’s what we found ourselves reading and discussing in the Course Report office in February 2017! We found out the three most in-demand programming languages, we read about how coding could be the new blue collar job, and looked at how new schools are tweaking the bootcamp model to fit their communities. Plus, we hear about a cool app for NBA fans built by coding bootcamp graduates! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.Continue Reading →
Welcome to the September 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. Of course, we cover our 2016 Outcomes and Demographics Report (we spent a ton of time on this one and hope everyone gets a chance to read it)! Other trends include growth of the industry, increasing diversity in tech through bootcamps, plus news about successful bootcamp alumni, and new schools and campuses. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!Continue Reading →