While we’re figuring out the best way to lay out all the information about the Jaaga Study program on our website, I thought I’d go ahead an keep posting ideas for the program here on the blog.
I’ve been adamant that the program be at least one year, because its essential our fellows establish a solid foundation in the concepts and practice of practical software development as it applies to building web and mobile applications. That said a year is a long time to plan for; 12 week quarters are easier to hold in my head.
In 12 weeks we can do a bit of a deep dive on a particular technology track, and we can create a group project with some depth and complexity. We will begin with 3 main techhnology tracks – front end web development, server development and system administration, mobile development.
The day is broken into two main sessions: academics in the morning and the group project in the afternoon. In the morning fellows work on their own and in small groups to go through online courses and tutorials related to their technical path. While we recommend a certain selection of study materials, this section of the program is self paced and fellows are free to explore related topics with the guidance of their coach and adviser.
Large group projects underpin the practical part of the Jaaga Study program. The project is like a small functioning startup where the group works together to push the codebase forward. Projects are open source with code living in a GitHub respository as well as bugs and impending features. At the end of the quarter groups present what they’ve accomplished and discuss in detail their thoughts on the problems and opportunities in that space. Then the fellows let go and either switch project or switch roles within a project and start fresh in the following quarter.
With this structure we hope to create an effective learning environment where the focus is on skill development, doing things well, and experimentation more than rapidly creating production code to meet a launch deadline. This follows many of the principles Corey Haines mentions in reference to the structure of Code Retreat.