The Time For Going Remote is Now: Our Adjustment To COVID-19

We’re going remote. At LEARN, we pride ourselves on our in-person classroom experience and the relationships our students build with each other and with instructors and mentors. Taking that experience remote was a tough call, but  we knew it was best for the safety of our students, staff, and community during this pandemic. Going remote might be new to our classroom, but it’s certainly not new for the tech industry or our team. We’re excited to introduce new tools to our students, and help them understand what it takes to work remotely as a developer.  That being said, besides being able to attend class in the comfort of your own home, there isn’t much change from our normal day to day in-person class. You will still be collaborating and learning together; we are simply using a different medium to transmit information. We want to be clear  that this isn’t a transition to an online class, but a remote team working together on the same, normal schedule to keep each other accountable and maximize our immersion. Our core values, collaboration and community, will always be at the forefront of everything we do! 

LEARN academy’s mission is to support and grow our San Diego tech community. Even in these uncertain times, LEARN will be there to help people learn, grow and transition their careers into the stable tech industry.

Can learning remotely be a benefit?

In response to going remote, we have designed an experience that not only mimics how the classroom functions, but how remote development teams function. Even before the Coronavirus took over, working remotely was standard practice for many web developers. And now, just about every tech company in the United States, and the world, are working remotely. This kind of flexibility is something that sets this industry apart from others. Plus, mastering this skill-set will make you more attractive to companies as everyone adjusts to these new norms. 

As we adapted our new classroom environment, we worked hand-in-hand with two web development agencies, Notch8 and ZEAL.  Both companies have been managing remote dev teams for years. They were vital in helping us make the new virtual environment authentic, and helped us stay true to our values in creating a truly collaborative classroom online.  While working remotely is different from face-to-face, there are great tools that make this transition feel like you are working in the same room with an individual. With the help of Zeal and Notch8, we’re simply adding new tools to our students’ tool belts and helping them to succeed as remote web developers.  

How does this affect current LEARN academy students?

Starting immediately, all current LEARN academy students will be working remotely. Students already access the curriculum via GitHub and have been viewing recorded lectures as a reference and study tool. This part of the program will continue as normal, students can access this information from any web browser.  In addition to that material, we will be hosting lectures and meetings with students via Slack and Zoom. Instructors will help students work through coding challenges when they need help by sharing screens and doing 1-on-1 meetings. The day to day won’t change, we will still have standup every morning, with lectures and exercises throughout the day.  We will still continue to pair and mob program. The only difference is instead of in person we will use technology to allow us to work from the comfort of our own space. 

The guaranteed 1-month internship does not change either. Currently one of our cohorts is in the last week of their internship and has already transitioned to remote work with great success. Another cohort is about to begin the preliminary process for their internship. This will include company pitches and interviews happening in a virtual environment. Following the selection process, students will work with their assigned companies remotely. Because of the new virtual classroom, students will already have the tools they need to succeed as developers on a remote team. They will also receive the same level of mentorship and project-based learning that is crucial to their growth as a web developer. 

LEARN academy’s in-house career services will also adapt to an online platform. . We will still provide the same aspects of our career services program: including resume coaching, LinkedIn boosting, salary negotiation, cover letter assistance, and portfolio best practices. Furthermore, students will still get the one on one attention from our Career Services Manager and create their custom career search plan.

What can new students expect from the remote program?

The next three cohorts, April 27th, June 29th, and August 31st, 2020 will be taught in our virtual classroom. In order to make sure we’re providing the same experience as our in-person classroom, LEARN academy will be providing new students with a laptop to help in the adjustment to a remote program. Normally we provide students with desktop computers to use in the classroom.  Providing a laptop with our tools and environment already installed will allow anyone to take the course and not worry about whether they have the right equipment at home to be successful. 

How will we continue to support our alumni and community?

Our amazing alumni and community are the backbone of our success here at LEARN academy. As we navigate these difficult times, we will continue to lean on the support of these individuals, and most importantly continue to support them through these times. 

Alumni will continue to have access to our Career Services Manager as they work through their career transition. We pride ourselves on the ability to help our students with their first job in tech, their second, and beyond. We are a family here at LEARN and nothing will ever get in the way of that. 

As most of our community is working from home and practicing social distancing guidelines, it is extremely important to continue to have social interactions and bond as a community. In order to keep our community as vibrant as possible, we will be hosting virtual events and meetups to bring everybody together. Keep an eye out for more information on some upcoming events. 

Why are we taking our classes remote?

LEARN academy was created as an in-person program. The structure, camaraderie, and experience are what set us apart from other coding bootcamps in San Diego. While the decision to go remote was a tremendously difficult one, it was the right path forward. According to current CDC guidelines, groups of 10 or more people should not be together for safety precautions in response to the spread of COVID-19. This makes in-person learning an unsafe experience at this time. The safety of our current students, staff, and community members are always our top priority at LEARN academy.