My 12 year-old son, Ian, is taking the course and having a wonderful experience. Ethan, his mentor, is awesome. Ian is on his last project for the course and then will be done. He feels like a real programming whiz!

Best Of: YouTube Channels for Aspiring Programmers

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When I decided to start learning web development, I took a “total immersion” approach. I listened to programming podcasts at the gym, filled my inbox with web development newsletters, and made HackerNews my homepage. Thinkful’s “Best Of” Series aims to help you do the same, by guiding you to resources that will bring you up to speed with the world of web development and inspire you to keep learning.

Last month, we launched #ThinkTank, a weekly webinar that covers hot topics in tech and provides resources and tips from industry professionals. Here’s a few more* awesome channels worth subscribing to:

Code School

Code School’s channel contains recordings of live Q&A sessions with developers, as well as the first level of videos for each of the topics they teach on their website. 

Treehouse

Treehouse.com’s official Youtube channel includes instructional videos, The Treehouse show (round-up of tech news), and interviews with industry experts.

CSS-Tricks

Chris Coyier, the creator of the website CSS-tricks, provides instructional videos focusing on CSS and front-end frameworks.

Computerphile

Interested in learning about more fundamental concepts in computing and programming? This channel has you covered.

Best Of: Podcasts for Aspiring Programmers

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When I decided to start learning web development, I took a “total immersion” approach. I listened to programming podcasts at the gym, filled my inbox with web development newsletters, and made HackerNews my homepage. Thinkful’s “Best Of” Series aims to help you do the same, by guiding you to resources that will bring you up to speed with the world of web development and inspire you to keep learning.

This week, we’ll share our favorite podcasts. Topics range from freelancing and business to mobile development!

Design and Front-end:

The Big Web Show

Host: Jeffrey Zeldman

Zeldman interviews a new guest each episode, covering a variety of tech topics with a particular focus on front-end design.

Boagworld Web Design Show

Hosts: Paul Boag and Marcus Lillington

A web design podcast that’s also “quintessentially British,” this show aims to provide useful information for web designers and developers at a variety of levels.

How to Hold a Pencil

Host: Reuben Ingber

Every week, Reuben interviews a self-taught developer or designer. Each story aims to help people explore different paths towards their programming education. Shout out to Episode 14!

Thinkful student, Cathy Bechler, perfectly describes the thrills and mental anguish of programming in the student community. 

Thinkful student, Cathy Bechler, perfectly describes the thrills and mental anguish of programming in the student community. 

AMA with Tracy Huynh

Borrowing the concept from Reddit, Thinkful hosts regular AMA’s (Ask Me Anything) in its community where we bring in a special guest to answer questions for current students (along with mentors and employees). It’s a great way to get expert perspectives on topics and we save them so future students can learn from them.

A few days ago, Thinkful alumn Tracy Huynh shared how she scored her first full-time job as a Software Developer. Below you’ll find the exact transcript from our community (we simply hid students name for privacy reasons). We also added a little gold coin next to the best advice.

Enjoy!

I’ve taken coding and non-coding courses with General Assembly, Codecademy and Stanford Online, among others. I think you guys have the best online learning platform out there, by far. Seriously. Thank you for your contribution to the world. You’re truly helping people. I cannot wait to learn more! Please develop a course for Android App development (JAVA?) so I can take that course after Node.js. Cheers!

Spyros Karidis, Frontend Alum & Node.js Student 

7 Tips for Landing a Job at a Booming Startup

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You’ve heard the buzz. You’ve watched the shows. There’s a reason for all the hype: net job growth in the U.S. is driven by high-tech startups, with new companies adding about 3 million new jobs in their first year (far surpassing established businesses). Here’s how to get your foot in the door of the ever-expanding startup sphere and land your ideal job:

1. Check your own needs and expectations

The term “startup” encompasses a broad range of businesses at a variety of stages. Don’t romanticize the industry or apply to a startup because your roommate is doing it. Startups require a ton of work, dedication, and often a lot of failing (more on that later). Think about what you want in a company and be honest about how much risk you are comfortable talking. At early-stage startups, you will most likely wear many hats and have a ton of ownership in shaping and defining your role. But while the payoff may be huge, there’s a built-in gamble of uncertainty. When it comes to later-stage startups, your role may be more defined, but you will also have the opportunity to learn from experienced entrepreneurs that built a sustainable company. And, you know, job security isn’t so bad either.

2. Leverage social platforms

You need to have an online presence, but you don’t have to be a Facebook or Twitter addict to use social media to your advantage. Even if your social media skills are a bit lacking, anyone can take some time not only to check out the company’s social media presence, but also to look up the founders and employees to see what they’re tweeting and sharing. Engage with a post or two that sticks out to you. Create or update your personal website so that your recent achievements are outlined clearly. And if you’re feeling bold, you can get extra creative with your resume to stand out. Mark, Thinkful’s curriculum developer, built a personalized website for his own application. 

I’m beginning my fourth month with this course and have had approximately 15 mentor sessions with Ethan so far, and I have to say that I have been extremely impressed with not only his proficiency in the subject matter, but also by his ability to present the information in a way that is conducive to understanding the material.

Ethan takes a genuine interest in his students to ensure that they are meeting both their educational goals along with personal milestones. He has provided invaluable insight into this profession and has helped me to understand what it takes to be successful in this field. Ethan has guided me through many obstacles throughout this course, but he is able to do it in a way that encourages me to grasp the lesson at hand and to not just be a source of answers.

Brian Henning, a Thinkful student in our Frontend Web Development course. 

Thinkful is awesome. I love the program and I my mentor Thomas was awesome. Thomas is very knowledgeable in everything we were covering in class. It was not uncommon for him to extend our 1:1 sessions a little longer to make sure I got the concepts (like get Git working). He even provided career advice. I have nothing but great things to say about Thinkful and I will definitely be referring people to your program.

Elda Moudy, a Thinkful student taking Intro to Frontend Web Development

Thinkful @PyGotham

The Thinkful team recently attended PyGotham, the annual NYC convention for all things Python!

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Organized and run by the NYC Python meetup group, the event attracted over 300 pythonistas and had 65 speakers including our “Patrón” of Engineering Saúl Díez-Guerra. Saúl’s talk on “Speed Without Drag” highlighted ways to make your Python code run faster.

We’ve highlighted some of the awesome speakers who presented specifically on Python education:

Elliott Hauser - @hauspoor - Finding Your Teaching Stack

Python enthusiast and teacher Elliott Hauser explained the value of building out a solid “teaching stack” when helping student learn to code. One of the largest barriers for teaching programming is getting the student’s coding environment set up and being able to easily share your code. For this reason it is important to choose the right tools that will help you to easily get the student up and ready to code. For example, his company Trinket.io let’s you see and modifiy Python code directly in the browser giving begginers at ideal coding enviorment to get started! Check out his recommended “Elements of the Teaching stack” from his presentation.

Best Of: Newsletters for Aspiring Programmers

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When I decided to start learning web development, I took a “total immersion” approach. I listened to programming podcasts at the gym, filled my inbox with web development newsletters, and made HackerNews my homepage. Thinkful’s “Best Of” Series aims to help you do the same, by guiding you to resources that will bring you up to speed with the world of web development and inspire you to keep learning.

Last week, we discussed the best hackers to follow on Twitter. This week we’re focusing on email newsletters. Here’s a round-up of newsletters that cover a variety of topics in web development:

If you’re focusing on front-end, or just looking for a place to start with web development:

If you love design…

Thinkful @FlatironSchool

This past week, the Flatiron School had their #ScienceFAIR for their Ruby, iOS, and Web fellowship cohorts. The 80 students presented some amazing capstone projects to potential employers and we’ve highlighted a few (including a past Thinkful student!).

1. NYC Subway Alerts (nycsubwayalerts.herokuapp.com/)

Have you ever been frustrated with the NYC Subway system? Surprisingly, you aren’t alone! Christina Cannito, Samer Khaleel, Yaritza Rodriguez, and Yonatan Miller used the API for the New York MTA and created an amazing web app that allows you to set automatically text alerts when a specific subway line is having delays or isn’t running.

Users are able to receive the status of their trains via text message. This allows the user to give themselves the appropriate amount of time to get to their destination. nycsubwayalerts.herokuapp.com/

- Sends text messages to the user with the train status using Twilio.
- Scrapes the MTA’s API using NokoGiri to get the train’s status.
- Clean and an aesthetically appealing interface using Bootstrap, HTML and CSS.

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