SSF Student Testimonial - Jeanine Tran

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My name is Jeanine Tran and I was in the March 2017 SoftStack Factory cohort.  When I first joined, I was a liberal arts student at UCSD with zero background and knowledge of software development.  I had been curious about the field and did a bit of research and tried to explore Computer Science on my own.  I enrolled in various online courses free to the public through Coursera, MIT OpenCourseware and similar websites.  I found them quite helpful, but there were so many courses and I didn’t know the best way to tackle them and how to set up my own curriculum. 

As I was researching, I accidentally stumbled across programming bootcamps in San Diego.  They offer organized schedules, teach technology stacks that are in demand, and were fully immersive.  The idea of full immersion sounded like a great way to learn lots of material quickly.  However, I was in school at the time and also had a waitressing job on the weekends.  I had no time to drop everything I was doing to pivot into a new field.  I continued researching different bootcamps in San Diego and LA, and I found SoftStack Factory. The evening schedule was accommodating and perfect for full time students or anyone working nine to five.  They teach full stack development from front-end technologies like Angular and HTML/CSS, server-side Node.js/Express, to back-end languages such as as MongoDB.  It’s also the only non-profit and on-site programming bootcamp in Southern California. 

I am glad to have been a student at SoftStack Factory and I think it’s amazing that such a business model exists.   Also, the team members and facilitators are one of the most dedicated and talented individuals I’ve learned from.  The actual class portion was fun and engaging, and my cohort members and I learned how to build an Ionic mobile app after only a few weeks.  After our learning phase, we worked together on a team, practicing agile methodologies and industry practices.

Currently, I am working as a full-stack software developer on contract at a multinational Aerospace company in Seal Beach, CA.  I have learned so much over this past year, and I would not have gotten to this point without SoftStack Factory.  It’s a great point to start your journey into software programming and I recommend it to anyone who is new to the field and looking for a change, or for anyone who is just curious.  SoftStack Factory provides the perfect environment for aspiring software developers not only because of the tools they teach, but because you’ll be learning from and growing alongside a motivated and talented team.

Give Yourself Permission to Screw Up

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Are you learning how to code? The path is long, and mistakes are a natural part of it, for that reason, you should always allow yourself to screw up a little. Errors can lead to improvement and therefore be transformed into a good thing. 

On this text, Thomas Oppong talks about the importance of giving yourself permission to screw up from time to time! 

https://medium.com/personal-growth/give-yourself-permission-to-screw-up-2c5f55e9b9e6

4 Tips For Learning How To Code

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Are you learning how to code, or do you want to learn? So these tips are for you!

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#1 - Pick your language - It is a fact that you can’t learn it all at once, so the first step is picking what you want to learn! There are a lot of pros and cons to each programming language, but you have to keep in mind what is your goal regarding as a platform you want to work with and your final product.

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#2 - Start from the beginning - We know you want to learn as fast as possible, but let’s agree, skipping steps will not lead to a good knowledge base. Programming is like building a house, if you leave out the foundation, it will probably not stand up properly.

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#3- Ask questions (a lot!) – Have a question? Don’t keep it to yourself. If you have a teacher or tutor don’t be afraid to ask questions (especially if you are a SSF student, our team will be always happy to help) and if you are learning by yourself there are a lot of forums online where you can ask questions and get some help.

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#4 – Practice, practice and practice – The best way to learn is actually coding and the best way to keep what you learned is practicing! So what are you waiting?

How To Develop An Instant Message App

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Did you know that the average person sends out up to 14 text messages a day? Many of smartphone users do so by using instant message application, such as WhatsApp. But how are does apps made? As a developer or someone learning how to program, you might be thinking, how hard it is to develop an app like this? Well, here is your answer! On this article from Octodev you can learn all the steps to make your own instant message application! Check it out!

https://octodev.net/how-to-develop-a-chat-app-like-whatsapp/ 
 

SSF Student Testimonial - Gerardo Soto

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My name is Gerardo Soto, and like you, I’m also very interested in becoming an awesome computer programmer! The story of how I began to learn programming began after I graduated from UCSD with a degree in Linguistics (Specializing in cognition of language) and minored in cognitive science. As an undergrad, I studied how natural languages are acquired, develop, and shape cognition. Eventually this same  interest in natural language acquisition led me to want to pursue computer programming.

After a half a year of trying to learn how to program independently, I decided to seek immersion programs that would not only keep me accountable but also provide a structured curriculum which would expand my computer programming skill set. Initially, I only came across expensive full-time programming boot camps; however this was not a viable option for me because I not only had started working full-time shortly after graduating but as a recent graduate with a sizeable debt I couldn’t afford to pay to go back to school.

Eventually I came across SoftStack Factory, which not only was part-time but compared to other coding schools, their spin-up program  was virtually free. Softstack Factory’s MEAN stack program not only exposed me to a myriad of modern programming technologies but also allowed me to gain the fundamental technical skills to get a firm foothold in this constantly shifting field.

After completing the MEAN stack program, fellow cohort members and I are  continuing to polish our final collaborative project. The project consists of a multi-tenant test taking web app in which companies can access an assortment of open source personality tests to assess a prospective employees' compatibility with a company culture and/or team. As a team lead, I've learned how to adeptly manage four other programmers to deliver clean, modular, and scalable code. On a technical basis, I've learned how to use the MEAN stack in conjunction with ionic2 to deliver a progressive web app accessible on a desktop, iPhone and android devices.
    As of now I have successfully landed a web development internship for an agency whose mission of promoting healthy living aligns with my core values. As well as a software development internship with a company whose mission is to provide an adaptive self-paced learning platform for students in low-resource contexts.

Thanks to Softstack factory, I now have the tools to continue to learn and become a competent full stack engineer that uses his breadth knowledge to facilitate civic engagement and collective action focused on social and public health issues.

New friends, new possibilities and new graduation

Just like technology itself, SoftStack Factory is in constant change, always trying to improve. As we move forward and learn from each cohort, we decided to create a new model of learning and working.

From our qualifier to our course structure, volunteering options and new partnerships, we have different plans and projects for this year.

This year Softstack Factory started a partnership with LEARN Academy, also located in San Diego. Our new class structure allow classes to take place at our friends location at LEARN.

Our first cohort completed the new JavaScript MEAN Stack Spin-Up program and the students received their certificates on the last May 15!

 

Alumni Spotlight - V. Evans

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After working on a very Help Desk focused job, V. Evans wanted a change. An opportunity to learn about a new field, where the chances to grow are endless, sounded like the perfect choice. That is why after doing an internet search for Coding Camps in San Diego she chose to apply for SoftStack Factory next cohort.


Now, after completing our camp, she took some time to tell us about how was the SSF experience, the job search and current work! Want to know more about SoftStack Factory? Check out the whole interview!

 
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V. at 2016 Comic Con

 

 

What were you doing before starting the SSF Camp?

I was in between jobs before starting the program. Previously, I worked as an ITO Service Delivery Consultant supporting Department of Defense in Europe and lived in Germany for 2 years before returning to the States. Though the title sounded glamorous and there were perks such as international travel, the position was very Help Desk focused with no opportunities for growth on the contract. I worked with a small team with colleagues who were new to their careers or the more tenured remained in the same position for decades with no exposure to new technologies.  I needed to move into another position of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) that was more challenging like Software Coding.

Did you apply to other camps? What made you choose SSF?

I did not apply to other boot camps since I was accepted into SoftStack Factory.  The technology stack and the affordability were the main reasons why I chose the Academy in addition to the location as I lived near the training facility.  Also, the founder Harold contacted applicants via phone, which is very admirable and personable.

Did you try to learn to code on your own before researching coding bootcamps?

I did some coding in college and worked with SQL databases some during my career but no heavy exposure prior to the class.

When did you realize you were ready to learn at a coding bootcamp?

There was a lot of preliminary work involved with the application to SoftStack such as completing a JavaScript course and turning in assignments in addition to writing an essay.  When I decided to dedicate my time to completing this, even during family illness, I knew that I was ready to learn coding.

What was your cohort like? Did you make friends there?

Very fast paced, very hard, and diverse backgrounds.  Each day seemed like a new lesson and it wasn’t long before our personal midterm project was due.  We worked with each other, our instructor and with Google searches to find answers to the problems encountered.  Though it was intense, and at times we literally wanted to kill each other, it was a great experience.  I made friends with most and we even keep in touch on social media and forward jobs and technology articles to one another.

What were you most excited to learn about?

I was most excited to learn about APIs and how to call and post data from different services.

What did you most enjoy of the learning experience?

The pacing.  It is a condensed curriculum that is facilitated so you have to learn quickly and be able to research problems even quicker.  The answers are not given to you or neatly cataloged so you have a good researcher.  This is very different from my previous job.

What was your favorite part of the SSF camp?

To me the SoftStack staff was the best part of the camp. The patience and compassion provided by founder Harold, instructor John, teaching assistant Robert Schmalz, and sponsor Matt Herron.   Even when your code is not the best, Harold provide feedback without tearing you apart and offered resources to help bring you up to speed on your weaker subjects.  Our instructor was an Eagle Scout and brought maturity, leadership and encouragement to the classroom and he understands coding with his few apps under his belt.  Matt provided invaluable life and career advice in addition to treating us to food and outings to relieve stress.  Robert was a senior developer with nearly 30 years experience and would provide videos, articles and detailed explanations and context on unfamiliar topics.  The SoftStack staff also asked questions and requested feedback on how to improve the experience.

How was your job search after the camp was over?

I was able to land a 2-month internship 3 weeks after camp completion. At first prospects seemed dismal as I interviewed with several companies and received rejections but I actually had multiple offers at the end, which was a confidence booster.

What are you working with now?

I am currently working as a Software Developer Intern for a startup in Solana Beach.  It is a Ruby on Rails based operation with some JavaScript so I have to learn a new technology stack.  We also do e-commerce management for clients using Magento in addition to social media and SEO. I am learning to be a jack-of-all-trades.

How did SSF prepare you for your current job?

Again working at a fast pace with constant change was key during the boot camp and carried over into the internship. I am interning at a startup with skeletal staff and little hand holding so a lot of self-research is involved.  Also, I am collaborating with new people  (two other interns who recently graduated from LEARN Academy, a Rails operation).  In addition to technology I must adapt to working with new and diverse people instead of the same colleagues year after year.  As I mentioned before, SSF requested feedback during the cohort and at a startup company your input and ideas are often requested – a very different environment from my previous corporate job with fixed or structured roles and resistance to change.  SSF helped me to deprogram to be more flexible in the IT world, which is constantly changing.

Alumni Spotlight - Ryan McQuilkin

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Ryan McQuilkin was working in a warehouse for a construction equipment parts company when he first heard about SoftStack Factory on the Radio. After checking out our website, curriculum and taking a look at what kind of jobs were out there he realized that this would be the perfect experience to learn the skill set that is in demand.

Now, after completing the SSF development camp, Ryan has a career in the technology field and shares with us his excitement to continue learning and growing the skills he acquired at SoftStack Factory.

 

Q&A

Did you try to learn to code on your own before researching coding bootcamps?

I had taken some coding classes in college, but I hadn't pursued it much further than that. I had a positive experience with a good teacher and that helped to encourage me to make the commitment to SoftStack Factory.

When did you realize you were ready to learn at a coding bootcamp?

I had known for a while that I was ready to move on from my job and start a career. For me, taking time off of work to learn a new skill was not something that was easy but I knew that the opportunity was too valuable to be hesitant.
 

What were you most excited to learn about?

I was mostly excited to just learn everything I could. After I started using my newly acquired skills I found that I really enjoyed backend development.

What did you most enjoy of the learning experience?

The fast pace actually was really enjoyable for me. There was a lot of ground to cover but I never felt stressed out or that I was falling behind.

What was your favorite part of the SSF camp?

Wednesday night was D&D night. A few of us would get together after school on Wednesday and just hang out for a few hours playing games.
It was a great way to unwind in the middle of the week and it helped me make some lasting friendships.
 

How was your job search after the camp was over?

The job search was a great success for me. I got a job working with some really smart people and I'm learning a lot from them. The project I'm working on is great and I'm really proud to be part of it.

How did SSF prepare you for your current job?

SoftStack Factory opened the door for me to learn on my own. I was given an amazing base of knowledge to work from, and from that I was able to learn on the job much faster than I would have otherwise. I was definitely prepared for my first day in my new career and it's been an incredible learning experience ever since.

 

Alumni Spotlight - Oscar Cornejo

Do you want to know more about how SSF works? Well, there is no better way than getting to know about our former students! Our new Alumni Spotlight interview series will talk to a few of our SoftStack Factory graduates so you can better understand what our Bootcamp life is all about!

Oscar Cornejo had a growing interest for coding and decided to learn on his own, but after a few weeks of taking online classes he realized that he was ready for the next step. When his brother-in-law pointed him to SSF after hearing about SSF on the radio, Oscar knew this was the perfect opportunity to expand his knowledge and create the opportunity to work in a whole different area.

 

Q&A

What were you doing before starting the SSF Camp?

In the months before applying I was working as an Uber/Lyft driver for almost a year. Before then, I was mainly in sales.
 

What was your cohort like? Did you make friends there?

It was great. I definitely clicked with everyone there, it felt kind of cool talking and studying with a bunch of nerds like myself.

What were you most excited to learn about?

Probably learning the process of creating a fully functioning web app.
There are so many different things that go into it, from creating the visuals, to creating the functions, the controllers, web servers, using libraries to facilitate features.

What was your favorite part of the SSF camp?

My favorite part was the realization of just how much one could learn in a couple months time.
It was definitely stressful cramming so much knowledge into my head, studying after hours, etc. But after about the 8th week, everything started clicking,
I definitely started thinking more like a coder.

What are you working with now?

Currently, I am using JavaScript & a JS library called Node.js to create testing scripts using another library called Selenium.
They created a Selenium webdriver which is able to navigate through browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, which we use to perform regression testing.
Although I hope in the future, to be able to work with C# or Java.

How did SSF prepare you for your current job?

It gave me the skills I needed in order to be good at my job. Not only did they teach me the technical skills, but they also stressed the importance of wanting to learn.
Although I will say, if you give it your bare minimum, that is what you will receive. If you expect handouts, things will not work for you.
But if you are willing to put in the time to really understand, and try and go above and beyond, this is the kind of industry where you will be able to see the results of that work extremely quick.
 

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving is here! As we look back and give thanks for all the positive things that happened this year we decided to continue with the SSF tradition of giving back to the community also.

Last Friday SoftStack Factory team and a few of the students got together to make over 70 lunch bags to give to the homeless of San Diego and handed them out around the school, in East Village Downtown. We hope to remind everyone that small acts like this is a great way of giving thanks for what we have by helping others in need! You can check here a few pictures of the event.

We are thankful for being able to change people’s lives, we are thankful to inspire and to be inspired by so many around us.

We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and amazing start of the holiday season.

 

SoftStack Factory team.  

 

Creating new ways to help!

SoftStack Factory was created to help people find their passion for technology and grow, both professionally and personally. Every time the application process is opened we get to meet several new millennials that are motivated to learn and discover their potential for programming. This last application process was no different. We hosted a two day qualifier at Mindtouch one of our sponsors and by the end of the event we decided to create a new teaching approach to accommodate all the qualifier students within the next cohort given our limited physical space.


SSF can only function with the help of our amazing partners, sponsors and volunteers and that includes our current location, which is provided by one of our sponsors Heeron Law. To be able to teach more students with our limited space our CEO created a new process allowing all participants that qualified to become students of SSF. Now the students of this cohort are divided into teams that take turns being onsite and offsite, when a team is offsite they use hangouts video conference technology, allowing them to participate and learn with the onsite groups. To improve the learning process, we identified which students would be more comfortable rotating first and now two teams come in 3 days a week and one team 4 days a week, allowing all teams to be present each week.

We are currently on week number 4 of the 12 weeks of intensive classes, where the students spend an average of 8 hours a day Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 PM dedicated to learning a complete technology stack and best practices regarding technology and corporate etiquette.


Creating ways to help more students is just one of the ways that motivates  everyone at SSF!

Want to help SSF? You can be a sponsor, commission an app or volunteer! Find out more at our website http://www.softstackfactory.com/become-a-sponsor/
 

Did you miss this application period? Register interest on our website and we will let you know as soon as applications open again! http://www.softstackfactory.com/for-applicants/

 

Graduation and new cohort!

This last 5 to 6 weeks have been extremely busy at SSF! Our last cohort just graduated in September and we celebrated this achievement by handing out our certificates and one of our awesome sponsors provided us with tickets to a Baseball game that evening and we attended as  a large group.

As our 5 students wrapped up 14 full weeks of intense learning, this cohort was 2 weeks longer that our standard 12 week cohorts, a new selection process to fill up a new cohort also started.


We received 200 registrations of interest on our website prior to our application period opening. We invited all the registrants to apply via an email blast.  During our short application period we received 38 applications. From those, 30 were invited to continue on our rigorous process where they were challenged to work online and learn a little bit more about coding via a Khan Academy Course. Fifteen applicants finished the Khan Academy course and were further challenged with a JavaScript problem, where they needed to build a  functioning solar system using the knowledge they acquired during the Khan Academy course.

Eleven applicants were invited to the event to qualify for our 6 available spots for the upcoming  cohort that started on October 10. The event happened at MindTouch an SSF sponsor within one of their wonderfully equipped conference rooms. Nine applicants showed up to the event and worked the whole weekend learning HTML and CSS that extended their knowledge and got them ready to potentially join the next cohort. The applicants also had to take a problem solving test and do a small project with the knowledge they had just gained. All applicants showed a great amount of enthusiasm and motivation, that inspired us to create new a process for us to teach to more students with our limited space and allow all participants that were qualifying at event to become students of SSF.  Now the students of this cohort are divided into teams that take turns being onsite and offsite, when a team is offsite they will be using video conferencing technologies allowing them to participate and learn with the onsite groups.

Congratulations to all our new students!

We want to thank MindTouch for allowing us to use your conference room during the 2 day qualifier, special thanks to Erik Birkfeld and Oscar Cornejo for hosting us on the two days. Thank to our CEO Harold Gottschalk and our teacher John Brown for his support in running the sessions.

Did you miss this application period? Register interest on our website and we will let you know as soon as applications open again! http://www.softstackfactory.com/for-applicants/

 

Volunteer at SSF!

 SSF Staff, former and current students

SSF Staff, former and current students

So, as you probably know, we are a non profit, tuition-free immersive course and we try to make a difference in San Diego Millennials lives by introducing them to the opportunities of the tech industry. But, to keep helping our community, we also need help from the community! That is why we are always looking for people interested in supporting our goals! On this current cohort we have been having the amazing help from Robert Schmalz, our Teacher Assistant.

 Robert Schmalz

Robert Schmalz

 

Robert has 22 years of programming experience and after he retired from working with a big multinational, he decided to give back to his community, but in a way that he would still be in touch with what he loves to do, use his talent and also keeping himself up to date with the latest languages used in software development. He looked up coding bootcamps in the southern California area and was surprised to find that most of them were for-profit, “There are several "for-profit" code camps but I did not want to be part of a business enterprise with pressure for profits etc”. When he found out about SoftStack Factory, he knew it would be a perfect fit!

Robert got in contact with us and now he is a part of the SoftStack Factory daily life! He helps us as our Teacher Assistant, looking out for our students and our main Teacher, John, “our classroom is a collaborative team atmosphere which keeps it fun. I have filled in as the class leader/monitor a few times”, said Robert.

We are very happy to have Robert as a part of our team and extremely thankful for all his help! People like him and our amazing sponsors are helping us to keep SoftStack Factory up and running and creating amazing opportunities for San Diego Millennials.

We asked Robert to leave a message for those who think about volunteering or being a part of SSF:

“I highly encourage it.  There is something very freeing about being engaged in an effort that is not solely directed at generating income.  Also, it is very gratifying to help the next generation advance in their careers, just as people helped me when I was at the beginning of my career. You will find that SSF already has a proven track record of success. Just recently we held a reunion of sorts at a San Diego Padres baseball game.  As a newcomer I was impressed to see all the students who have passed through SSF and are now employed programmers return to say hello. So yes, it’s a great group.  Please join us! You will not regret doing so.

Do you want to be more involved in your community and help make a difference? We are always looking for motivated volunteers to help us run a cohort! If you are a retired software engineer, manager, leader, developer or just love the SSF idea, we can use your assistance!

http://www.softstackfactory.com/become-a-sponsor/

 

San Diego local technologist discuss hiring and working with our SoftStack Factory graduates!

 

The opportunities in the technology field are ever increasing and endless, everything we do or use nowadays is somehow connected to programming, for that reason the need for skilled software developers keeps growing. We believe that there are a lot of capable individuals that do not know of their potential and might not be optimizing their potential and instead are flipping burgers.  That is why our motto is “Flip Code, not Burgers!” and our mission is to introduce those young individuals to all the possibilities of being a developer!

At SoftStack Factory(SSF) we do much more than just teach how to write lines of code, SoftStack Factory focuses on many of the skills a student will need to jump in this new world! Learning how to build hybrid mobile applications from beginning to end, client and backend server side, they will be better prepared to face challenges that are presented to them by future employers.

On the last Friday in May our CEO Harold Gottschalk was joined by Erik Birkfeld, Development Manager at MindTouch and Etienne de Bruin, CEO/Founder of 7CTOs, Inc. two local San Diego companies on the Community Spotlight Radio show to discuss what it is like to work with our graduates.

Harold explained about how our 12 weeks immersive camp works, what the students can expect to learn and also, what companies that hire our graduates can expect of them. To explain that last aspect better, Erik and Etienne, who have hired a few of our SoftStack Factory graduates articulated about their experience with them.

Our students go to their new opportunites determined to win, since we are a non-profit and classes are fee free, we are selective with our candidates looking for individuals that are willing to learn, hungry for world experience and passionate about everything that they do. Once they graduate and enter a company they have learned enough to hit the ground running.

The nice thing regarding hearing from companies that have hired our graduates is to learn how they adapt to the students knowledge and how the students adapt to the company routine.  MindTouch and 7CTOs have 2 very different approaches and they both approaches work great, because when you are willing to improve your knowledge and be a part of the team, you can accomplish anything!

Erik started a 20 week training program. “During the training program SSF graduates work on different projects and in different parts of the company, so after completing the training program they will have a larger knowledge regarding how the company works and also of what is expected from them here. At the moment some of the graduated students from SSF are finishing the 20 weeks and enjoying every moment! “

Etienne has a different approach which is more efficient for his company and his objectives, he is testing how well they hit the ground running and independent they can be. His needs were different and is using the initial enthusiasm of what the graduates already know to create hybrid mobile application they need. During the process gaining the knowledge that they still do not know so they can fill in the blanks. “They are sponges, they want to know more, as much as possible” - Said Etienne.

Etienne gives StartUps the suggestion to at least hire in pairs - “because they are so good at pair programming and working together. Hire 2 at a time and let them run with what they know (...) and bring in the concepts that you need from them as opposed to taking them from the school and teach them something completely different”.

As you can see, SoftStack Factory is not only a way to change millennials lives but also creating the workforce that companies need. We are a non-profit that is helping the local deficit in software talent and we need the local community to help us and there are a lot of ways to help!

We need sponsors that can help providing a space for us to run our school, give us a paid project to do and individuals and companies that just believe in our project and are willing  donate operational funds. You can find out more about how to help on: http://www.softstackfactory.com/become-a-sponsor/

If you are a student and is interested in our program you can find out more and register interest in our next cohort going on our website: http://www.softstackfactory.com/

You can also hear the whole interview here: 

Be a part of SoftStack Factory story! Help us change the future of technology!

 

We had our second 2 Day Qualifier Event, Check it out!

 

On the weekend of 5/14-5/15 2016 we had our second official 2 Day Qualifier to qualify for our June Camp!  We received a total of 25 applicants for this qualifying event.

SSF is a new development bootcamp and we are continuously improving our selection methods and curriculum. For this up and coming  cohort we added a few more steps to our selection process, we added online pre-work that must be completed prior to being invited to the qualifier.  Our June summer camp is a bit longer instead of 12 weeks it will be  14 weeks, we  extended our midterm project by 1 week and we have one week off for summer vacations.

8 out of  25 students completed all the steps to be invited qualifier event to attend our fee free immersion program.  The qualifier event happened at our donated office suite that Satellite Phone Stores donated to us for 9 months,  the sub lease is expired and we are  moving to a new temporary location close to Petco Park home of the Padres.

On the first day our applicants were introduced to SoftStack Factory its story, mission and what to expect during the course.  The students met each other and our team. The first  activity  was to fill out some paperwork, take a problem solving, pattern recognition, algebra quiz and then a temperament questionnaire.  Then we started with an HTML and CSS course that spanned into the second day.   

The second day we continued with our applicants working on HTML and CSS course which was completed around 1PM.  We took a lunch break and upon return the students were given a Javascript project to do based on the pre-qualifier work that they had completed prior to attend the event.  We discussed a bit more about what the full 14 weeks would be like at SoftStack Factory once  again and asked about their interests to continue!   We were clear that only 6 would be able to attend since our cohorts are small due to space and level of attention we provide to our students. The week following we identified the 6 students that would be part of our next cohort and notified them.

We really appreciate all the effort to make this weekend happen and want to thank all of our Sponsors and the SoftStack Factory team for their support. We look forward to our new cohort and how the process will become a life changing for all of them!

If you missed our June Camp application opportunity you can still register your interest for our next cohort! Just use the following link and we will get in touch with you as soon as application process re-opens! http://www.softstackfactory.com/for-applicants/

Help SSF grow! Do you have a mobile development project? Send us request and become a SoftStack Factory Sponsor! Contact us for more information: http://www.softstackfactory.com/become-a-sponsor/

 

Ionic: What it is, and why we use it!

As a software developer, and one that works with mobile applications (or someone interested in learning how to), you may have heard about Ionic. Today we are going to discuss Ionic framework, tell you why we teach it and love it here at our SoftStack Factory Code Camp and why you may want to use it!

Ionic is one of the frameworks that is a part of our curriculum here at Softstack Factory, we are actually proud to be one of the only coding bootcamps that focuses on this awesome tool. Ionic is an HTML5 mobile applications development framework, it is free, open source and relatively new, the DriftyCo crew has been working on it for 2 years. It uses the existing HTML5 and CSS3 capabilities to deliver fast experiences and is focused mainly on the look and feel, and UI interaction of the app. One of the things that makes it so good is that it is not just another UI framework, Ionic is targeted at building hybrid mobile apps, which has many benefits over pure native apps, specifically in terms of platform support, speed of development, and access to 3rd party code.

Ionic is built on top of AngularJS framework from Google and utilizes it to provide the application structure, while Ionic itself is focused on the user interface. Ionic provides the connection between the power of Angular and the beauty of Ionic UI components and offers simpler building blocks that can be combined to deliver rich user interfaces.It also comes with handy variables and mixins to extend the customized appearance and it’s packaged with its own open source icon library featuring over 440 icons to chose from.

All the functionalities that can be found in native mobile development SDKs are provided by Ionic. The apps can be built and customize for Android or iOS, and deploy through Cordova to allow it to run on your device. As we said before, Ionic is not just another just another UI framework it is a complete ecosystem that helps you develop and build great Software.

SSF is one of the only Code Camps that teach Ionic to its students, and we do so because we believe that this tool and the complementary technologies provide a comprehensive set of knowledge needed to enhance their future as a software developer. “One of the biggest reasons we choose to use Ionic was that mobile is big and our students get to learn web technologies that are in great demand. This provides them two in high demand skillsets.” Says Harold Gottschalk, SoftStack Factory CEO.

Ionic is not focused on the development of desktop applications, it has some limitations but can be used to deliver the application within the browser.  Ionic and it’s platform is focused on delivering hybrid mobile apps that run natively on (Android, iOS, Windows phone, Chrome and even Apple Watch) using Cordova. Ionic platform in itself is amazing and we talk about it in another post.

Check out some beautiful apps built with Ionic!

 

RideShare - The new SoftStack Factory project!

    SoftStack Factory is always innovating, this cohort we decided to create our own app, giving the students a chance to work on an original SoftStack Factory idea! The group is working together and developing an awesome app that can help the environment and also save people money!

    The SSF bootcamp is 12 weeks long, and as the students approach the end of the classes, comes the time to take all the knowledge they acquired into action and start developing! Usually the last six weeks of the program consist in developing the sponsor app, a real application, from a real client with a real purpose! This time the students, with the guidance of our experienced mentors, will create a SoftStack Factory app idea around ridesharing  that could go to the marketplace.

  RideShare is an application where drivers and riders can find each other, selecting their destination, preferences and even ranking each other after the car ride! It uses geolocation, name matching and other techniques to determine ride matches and it will be available on mobile device and web browser!

    Here is how it works: A driver is going from one point to the other and his car is not full, he can use the app to offer a ride in his personal vehicle to others that are going to the same destination, or even somewhere along the way! It allows both drivers to offer a ride and riders to request a ride to the same destination! This way the driver and the rider can share the cost of the drive, saving money and also helping the environment, since there will be less cars on the road.

    RideShare will also map the rider’s/driver’s location 10 minutes before the pickup, it will allow Facebook sign-up/login, showing mutual friends which could make you more comfortable choosing  whom they want to ride with!

    This final project provides the students the opportunity to experience a real development teams activity, with real set of tasks and timelines as they would encounter in the job market. This gives them the confidence  they need when entering the technology job market with the skills they need to succeed as they leave SoftStack Factory!  

    Keep checking back for more news on this amazing app! If you or your company want to Sponsor a cohort and commission an app just get in touch with us on our website!


   Are you motivated and want to learn how to code? Or do you have a student that fits our profile or know someone that does? Apply or nominate someone here!

Why we love Mobile and Strongloop’s LoopBack framework

SoftStack Factory is much more than a Coding Bootcamp, here we believe we can change the future of technology instruction, starting by introducing young individuals to the world of coding and changing their future perspectives. But more than a teaching place, we also have a team of experienced developers that love creating exciting apps for enterprise, consumers and start-ups. Our mentors and developers use their expertise to elaborate amazing solutions in the form of mobile applications and use that experience to support their teaching.

We believe that mobile technologies are ever increasing in our daily lives. Mobile will continue to play a big part in the future of technology, this is why we focus on creating mobile Hybrid Applications. Our phones have the power of track our physical exercises, navigate our cars, create dinner reservations, plan our budget for the month, access our bank accounts, connect us to all around the world and much more.

So, since we focus on creating mobile applications, we use the best tools to efficiently deliver mobile applications across different device platforms. We already wrote about Ionic Framework and why we love to use it, today we would like to talk about another framework that we like to use, LoopBack, by San Mateo, Calif., company StrongLoop that was acquired last year by IBM.

LoopBack is a highly-extensible, open-source Node.js framework for creating APIs and connecting them with backend data sources. It is built with a very intuitive API explorer, that allows you to save time, it simplifies testing of APIs and provides self documentation for your API’s. It also comes with some built in APIs and has a lot of advantages and features. You can quickly creates dynamic end-to-end REST APIs, connects devices and browsers to data and services, also uses Android, iOS, and AngularJS SDKs to easily create client side apps, adds-on components for push, file management, 3rd-party login, and geolocation.  StrongLoop Arc to visually edit, deploy, and monitor LoopBack apps and runs on-premises or in the cloud are advanced features you can try and continue to use for a fee.

Because you can get a lot of out of the box, LoopBack saves you a lot of manual work and it allows you to focus on the business aspects and the product specific problems and logic!


You can check their website if you want to find out more: http://loopback.io/