Port Workspaces is at the epicenter of the exploding Oakland tech scene. Port is made up of three workspaces, the newest and largest of which is at the Kaiser Mall in uptown Oakland. The three story campus is conveniently located by 19th St BART with a beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking Lake Merritt.
Hundreds of entrepreneurs, artists, coders and designers gather every day to make their dreams into reality at Port’s locations. The Kaiser campus not only offers eclectic indoor and outdoor workspaces, but is also has two bars, a recording studio, is home to Port Kitchen, and will soon have its very own makerspace.
Now they are launching Port Academy, the in-house Coding Bootcamp of Port Workspaces, which is powered by LearnTech Labs curriculum! Port Academy is the next evolution of the Port experience. It’s a major part of their vision for comprehensive campuses that serve as the hubs of innovation as Oakland grows into the next great tech metropolis.
Interested in learning more about how LearnTech can support your own Bootcamp program? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
LearnTech is proud to welcome Evren Cakir to the team as our Program Director. Evren is a veteran of the programming industry with over 15 years of experience writing software. He specializes in innovative, reliable, high-volume, high-performance software solutions built on top of cutting-edge technology.
He’s worked at Zephyr, Wired, Lycos and several other tech companies, including starting his own. Check out his LinkedIn profile to see the details. He’s always working with new technologies and is excited to join the Coding Bootcamp movement to help shape the rapidly evolving developer education landscape.
As Program Director he will leverage his many years of industry experience to guide the direction of LearnTech’s courses. He also teaches in our current Bootcamp and will be the lead instructor for our upcoming, first of its kind, Computer Science Bootcamp. Come meet him and chat curriculum at our upcoming Open House next Thursday, Dec 9.
LearnTech has been going through a lot of changes lately. Most notably our first cohort started class this week! In the photo you can see us celebrating the kickoff. Also, last Wednesday was our final Coding Meetup before the switch to Friday and addition of game night. And before the year is out we will be starting our night and weekend Mini Bootcamps!
The night and weekend programs start Nov 15, and they run 4 hours a week, for 5 weeks straight, totaling 20 classroom hours. There will be prework offered online and a final project as follow up. With enough work outside of class you can get the equivilent of one month of our full time bootcamps. You can stop there, take more Mini Bootcamps or potentially join the full time Bootcamp mid way through.
This Wednesday at 6:30pm LearnTech Labs starts its weekly meetups, which will run indefinitely whether our main classes are in or out of session. To start off we will be running the same four lessons every month, but there will be advanced exercises and new material each time to challenge repeat students.
On one hand this is a place for our students to come get support on the prework they need to do before classes start. On the other it’s open to the community, so anyone can learn the basics of coding. From there you can continue to learn online and from meetups, attend structured online programs like Udacity, or come to a coding bootcamp like LearnTech Labs.
We are going to evenly cover two different very related topics: programming and the internet. The first two weeks of the month will focus on coding, and the second half of the month will be focused the internet. They are really the two fundamental tools you need to understand, as you begin the journey toward a modern software development career.
Here’s a breakdown of the monthly flow:
1st Wed- How to Program a Computer: Use functions and variables to command a computer.
2nd Wed- How to Program User Interfaces: Use your coding skills to design a user interface.
3rd Wed- How the Internet Functions: Learn the structure of the Internet.
4th Wed- How Code Flows through the Internet: Learn to code for Internet sites and apps.
5th Wed- on the occasions we have five Wednesday's in the month we will teach something fun like drones, VR, 3D Printing, or electronics.
Our only lectures are mission briefs, and students of all skill levels are welcome to come and hack on challenges and projects. Though the lessons will be geared toward beginners, it’s great to have developers mentor, and share their work on more difficult projects.
Hope to see you there! And at the other awesome educational events happening at Tech Liminal.
Since the beginning of this decade, Silicon Valley has been experiencing the kind of growth last seen in the 90s. Enough so that tech bubbles have been a regular conversation piece ever since. But the growth in 2011 was slow compared to the growth of 2014.
Back in 2011 the growth was felt mostly in SOMA and Palo Alto, though it was starting to press outward. By 2014 it was pouring into other parts of the Bay, even reshaping San Jose and Oakland. Now you look at Oakland in 2015, and it’s clearly the next tech metropolis.
Many in San Francisco are heading east to escape the economic pressure and cultural attrition. Oakland is increasingly becoming the hub for artists and craftsmen; technologists and designers. It’s a beautiful fusion of the many Bay Area cultures.
As if that weren’t enough to draw us there, almost all of our teachers and students were near downtown Oakland. We are proud to officially announce that the first campus of LearnTech Labs is 555, 12th St, Oakland, California. Come visit us this summer; we’ll be running weekly meetups starting Wed, May 27 from 6:30pm to 8. Hope to see you there!
We are very pleased to announce, that this morning our Kickstarter went live! As you might have heard, these things are a much bigger undertaking than they seem. You spend weeks figuring out exactly what you want to say, how you want to say it, cutting out as much as you can, then finally hitting submit.
A few months ago we sat down to really hash out what a Kickstarter might look like for a coding school. It seemed clear that Kickstarter was the right community to connect with, but what could we bring to the table? We felt Kickstarter would love our “product,” but we couldn’t sell it to them directly as if it were a gadget.
So what should we offer as our primary rewards? Access to the course itself is the obvious solution but for us totally impossible. We only accept students after we have interviewed them and are confident we can get them job-ready by graduation. And that’s when we realized self registration couldn’t be a reward, but a scholarship for someone else could be.
As we talked about it more, we started to realize there was a particularly strong need for this in our industry. Scholarships serve at least two very significant functions: they provide opportunities for talented students who couldn’t afford it, and diversify industries that tend to be dominated by a specific market. But a vast number of traditional scholarship options are not accessible to students attending coding bootcamps.
Our hope is not just that we’ll start a scholarship fund for our own students. After we’ve proven this is viable, we’d love to see other schools follow in our footsteps. And even more we’d love to see scholarships from many sources opened up to bootcamp students.
This past weekend, we attended a unique conference called 360 Intersect, held at the Children’s Creativity Museum in downtown San Francisco. We had a great time and met lovely and interesting people from all over the tech and art landscapes. The talks often ended in long discussions, and the days ended with adventures in San Francisco.
The problem with 360 Intersect is that it’s extremely hard to explain. It has been pitched as many things: a place to find your passion project, a place to be inspired and refreshed, a mashup of tech and design/art/creativity. But I think the golden thread through it all is a call to reconnect with our humanity in an industry that channels our interactions through machines.
As an experience designer, it is often my job to connect humans to machines. Really, that is what a technology stack often does. On one end of the stack is an interface that a user interacts with, and behind it is the code that winds through protocols, compilers, and databases. Finally, it terminates in the physical hardware the machine is built on.
360 Intersect gave me a weekend to step out of the stack, and focus on the human and creative sides of our industry. One young developer spoke candidly of the pressures, anxieties, and depression that runs rampant in tech careers. An entrepreneur and coder told the story of the math heavy industries that are losing their brightest minds to coding jobs (and finance). Codame came out to showcase how San Francisco Art doesn’t have to be driven out by tech, but rather can infuse and inform the technology industry.
It’s a young conference, still figuring out what it is. And to me at least, it was a retreat, more than a conference. It’s a small, intimate gathering of people who love the intersection of tech and art. If that’s your thing, keep an eye out for it next year. Also, don’t miss Maker Faire coming up this month in San Mateo, and go to as many Codame events as you can possibly find!
LearnTech Labs was created by its founders in response to a disconnect in the current technology education industry. We noticed that colleges fail to prepare Computer Science (CS) students for the modern development environment, while coding bootcamps were failing to teach CS.
Especially since 2008, the general public has become aware that four-year postsecondary education programs are no longer a guarantee of employment. At the same time, employers have noticed that graduates of four-year CS programs are not ready to code.
Feedback from bootcamp grads and their employers is that bootcamps turn out coders who are ready to jump into a modern development team. However, they also lack the deeper understanding of algorithms, discrete math, compilers, and logic.
Additionally, most of these coding bootcamps are targeting ages 25-35 and focusing on professionals changing careers. For the most part, only colleges are focusing on high school graduates. The first ever comprehensive empirical study of coding bootcamps revealed that current coding bootcamps are not meeting this need (source).
We are creating LearnTech Labs to respond to these critiques, and fill these gaps. Our current goal is to launch in the Palo Alto area on a university or company campus, in mid August 2015. We will then grow and adapt with the emerging employment needs of the ever-evolving tech industry.