Newsletter 6: Training and Diversity Online and Worldwide

Noel here with the first Underscore newsletter of 2015. In this edition I want to focus on two big changes we’re making to our training courses.

Our first change aims increase diversity in our public training courses. We started taking diversity seriously last year with our program for Scala Exchange. This year we’re making our training courses half price for diversity candidates. Simple!

The second affects the structure of our courses. We have always focused on fundamental concepts because we believe learning is a long-term investment, a view eloquently espoused by Paul Chiusano. I think we do a good job teaching these concepts but we aren’t doing enough to show how to translate them into practice.

We are making changes to our courses, and particularly our online courses, to include case studies on larger projects. Where we can, we are also using studio style learning. To explain why, let me just quote from the paper that inspired us:

It is our belief that learning to program well is much like learning to write well: the student needs to receive detailed feedback, rewrite, and receive more feedback.

The up-shot is the our online courses will change to focus more on project work and discussion of code. Our on-site and book customers will receive the same material to work through outside the course.

Read our blog post for more details on these changes.

Our first course using this new structure is the online version of Essential Scala, our introduction to Scala. As the first time running this course we are expecting a few difficulties and so standard tickets are half price and diversity candidates are 75% off.

Scala Days SF

Scala Days SF is the next big event in the Scala calendar. Miles and I will be representing Underscore in San Francisco. We have organised a few events while we are there:

For the introduction to Scala we are looking for experienced Scala developers to act as teaching assistants, in addition to those with little or no Scala experience who want to learn more.

On The Blog

There have been some good posts on the blog since the last newsletter. Highlights include:

Till next time.

Regards, Noel


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