Posts about Coding

Find The Right Bootcamp For You

May 16, 2017

With more than 10,700 jobs added in the last year, Michigan’s tech industry is booming. If you’ve ever dreamed about taking a coding bootcamp and pursuing a career as a web developer, then now is the perfect time to take the first step. But how do you get started?

Having trained more than 650 developers, our staff has a lot of experience when it comes to helping people find the right program to fit their personal experience and professional goals. Just like programming languages, no two bootcamps are the same. It is important that you choose a program that is going to give you the best return on your investment. So if you’re looking to start a new career in tech this year, we have a few pointers from our staff. (more…)

5 Reasons You Should Learn C#

February 27, 2017

Our lead instructor, Kamel Rushaidat, Ph.D., shares insights on why he loves C# and why others should learn the programing language. If you are looking for an explanation of what C# is, hop over to our blog 10 Things to Know About the .NET Programming Language.

One question that comes mind when people are trying to learn programming for the first time is “What language should I start learning first?” There are a lot of options out there, and we teach a few tracks in our coding bootcamps, but I think that C# would have been my very first choice if it has been around when I started to learn coding.

Since its introduction back in 2000, C# has been gaining a lot popularity, although it is fairly new when compared to other popular programming languages ––– such as Java and C++. I have been using C# since its introduction, and I really enjoy coding with it. I have used it to develop many web, mobile and desktop applications.

Here are my top 5 Reasons on why you Should Learn C#:

1. It’s Easy to Start With

If you choose C# as your first programming language, you can pick up a lot of concepts easily enough. Setting up a hello project is very intuitive. As one of the most popular programming languages, you will have a ton of material on the internet that can help you resolve problems and errors in your code (keep reading to learn more about this). This can be extremely helpful if you just started to learn a new programming language. Plus, Visual Studio (which you use to write C# – see point #3!) is an amazingly powerful and incredibly helpful tool. If you already know Java, C or C++, C# will be fairly easy to learn, as many of the basic program structures and statements are similar.

2. The Ability to Develop Many Kinds of Apps on Several Operating Systems

Through many years, I developed many apps using C#, such as web, desktop, mobile, robot (Lego Mindstorms) applications as well as games (Unity) and REST APIs. C# can be your one-stop shop for all of those applications, so you won’t need to learn a new language to develop a different kinds of applications. This means it has a lot of practicality when developing.

3. Large Availability of Powerful Development Tools

One of the biggest selling points of .NET(C#) is that Microsoft provides a wide suite of powerful tools that can help programmers develop better programs. The most important of all of those tools is by far Visual Studio. Visual Studio is a very powerful and rich Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that provides a wide set of tools to support program development, testing and debugging, performance analysis, version control, deployment, and much more. Visual Studio is a beginning programmer’s best friend.

4. Microsoft has Your Back!

Microsoft is constantly adding new features to the language. Microsoft also provided support for seamless integration with other Microsoft technologies, such as Microsoft SQL server, cloud computing, Azure dep
loyment and many more. Having these features makes the language more versatile, easy to learn and increases its usability.Reasons You Should Learn C Sharp

5. Popularity

If you Google “the most popular programming languages,” C# will be most certainly be one of the top five most commonly used languages. This means that you will find many resources, books, tutorials, videos and more to help you learn C#. Microsoft has a training website, Microsoft’s Virtual Academy, that offers many courses for beginner developers. Other popular sites that provide tutorials include Pluralsight,, and Complete C# Tutorial.

Many companies use C# to develop applications, such as Quicken Loans, Domino’s Pizza, Sears, NBC news website and many more. (Learn more about this in our blog 5 Companies that use .NET)

I hope that those reasons are enough to convince you to start learning C#! See you on! ☺

Resolving Git Conflicts from the Command Line

September 8, 2016

One of the most challenging yet common activities development teams run into with Git is resolving merge conflicts. This happens when multiple developers are making changes in a repository at the same time.

This post provides a walkthrough of how to get through two typical Git conflict scenarios. To set the scene, Grant and I are two developers working on a simple web page. We’re starting out with two files, index.html and styles.css. Our repository is hosted at GitHub, and in this case we are both working directly on the master branch.


5 Michigan Companies that use .NET

August 4, 2016


At Grand Circus, we know that people want to know where they’ll be able to use their skills once the bootcamp is over. One of the awesome things about learning .NET at Grand Circus is that there are lots of local companies that use this framework every day right in our own neighborhood. Here’s a brief sample of a few companies that use .NET where bootcamp graduates could possibly work.

Quicken Loans

Located just down the road from Grand Circus, Quicken Loans is an online mortgage lender that employs hundreds of developers. Quicken Loans was recently listed as one of the top 5 places to work in America by Forbes. The company has a large development team, so there are tons of seasoned developers to learn from as bootcamp graduates grow in their careers. Dozens of Grand Circus alumni currently work for Quicken Loans in a variety of positions—everything from interns to software developers!


10 Things to Know About the .NET Framework

July 22, 2016

If you are considering becoming a .NET developer through our .NET (C#) Development Bootcamp, here are 10 things to know about the language you should know before you embark on our bootcamp:

1. I heard that .NET was only for Windows or PC users. Is that true?

Not anymore! Thanks to .NET Core, a set of tools consisting of the runtime, library and compiler components, you can create apps that run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. .NET Core runtime, libraries, and compiler are all open source on GitHub and are taking contributions. (more…)

How To Be Successful In A Coding Bootcamp

July 14, 2016

You’ve committed the next ten weeks of your life to coding bootcamp. Tuition is paid, software is downloaded, pre-work is submitted…now what?

In order to be successful in a Coding Bootcamp, you have to understand that it’s so much more than just showing up at 9am and going home at 5pm. Our most successful students are the ones who truly dedicate themselves to the program and are fully committed to the opportunity to kickstarting an amazing new career.  Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your time at Grand Circus:

8 Tips to Being Successful in a Coding Bootcamp

Treat it like a job opportunity

You wouldn’t show up late to a job three times a week. You wouldn’t wear sweatpants to work (unless, of course, it’s Pajama Day). You wouldn’t leave a project incomplete. You wouldn’t opt out of professional development opportunities.

Inside a Bootcamp classroom
Come in with the mentality that this is a job and treat it as such: be on time, be professional, finish your labs, do the readings, ask for extra challenges, take that second round mock interview even though it was optional, and aim to be the best student in the class. Bootcamp is an eight-week interview, and you’ll be on your way to is landing a job and having a career that you love.


7 Reasons to Attend Grand Circus’ Next Demo Day

May 18, 2016

Whether you’re a prospective student, a company looking for a developer or a community member just interested in cool things happening in Detroit, you won’t want to miss this!

Here are 7 reasons why this is an event you wouldn’t want to miss!


10 Things You Can Build with JavaScript

April 22, 2016

According to a recent survey conducted by Stack Overflow, JavaScript is the most popular language on earth. What is interesting about these survey results, is that even for developers whose primary responsibility is the back-end (server-side code) they are still more likely to research questions about JavaScript than any other language. That’s largely because JavaScript is inescapable. Ask any of our Java or .NET bootcampers and they will tell you that for their final projects they had to get to a basic level of proficiency with JavaScript. This is also true in the working world. Any teams that do not have dedicated front-end developers, have to do it themselves.

build this with javascript

Atwood’s Law states that: “Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.”

Jeff Atwood was making a joke at JavaScript’s expense, but it has turned out to be more true than not. With advances in browser technology and JavaScript having moved into the server with NodeJS, JavaScript is capable of so much more than it was just a few years ago. Here’s a quick run-down of what you can do with JavaScript. Some of it is pretty obvious, other things less so.

10 Things You Can Build with JavaScript


My Top 5 Tools for Building Websites

April 7, 2016

You know that a website is made with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Maybe you even know how to write in all three of those languages and put them together into a site, but something’s missing. Developers are supposed to be lazy, right? If all you’re using is plain old HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build more than the very simplest of projects, you’re doing too much work. Tools help us use solutions that already exist for common problems every developer faces. They let us strip out a lot of “coding overhead” and get down to the nitty gritty of actually writing our apps.

5 tools for building websites

Five great tools for building websites:


You’re Never Too Obtuse to Learn AngularJS

February 10, 2016

AngularJS is the most popular JavaScript framework currently being used. The only other JavaScript anything that sees more use is JQuery, but JQuery is more of a library. The fact that Angular is so popular means it’s a desirable skill to have on your resume. Bearing that in mind, let’s take a very high-level look at what makes Angular tick and some cool things you can do it you learn AngularJS.

What is AngularJS?

Learn to Code

At its core, Angular is a web application framework. The whole point of a framework is to streamline common tasks to make the whole process go more quickly.

Think of it this way: if you’re building a house (or any building, really), there are certain things you know you’re going to need: a frame, walls, electrical, plumbing. If there were a way to make creating a plumbing infrastructure quicker and easier, every construction company would be lining up to use it for their projects. Application frameworks work similarly. Let’s take a look at each of the major components that streamlines the app-making process in Angular.

Major Components of Angular:

Search Trends of AngularJS


The basic building block of an angular application is the module. A module is any collection of smaller angular components that come together to make up the features of a web app. Some simple web applications can be made up of a single module, but it’s generally good practice to try to break up your code into multiple modules so they can be easily reused.


Angular is a sort of subspecies of MVC framework, which stands for Model-view-controller. MVC is a standardized pattern for web applications. As MVC became more popular, it has morphed into a number of variations. Angular is one such mutation. Angular is most commonly referred to as an MV* or MVVM (Model-view-viewmodel). The reason for the confusion has to do with the fact that Angular doesn’t really have the key elements that go into an MVC. It doesn’t really have models. It has controllers, but they operate quite different from traditional controllers in an MVC. Controllers in Angular are all about interacting with the $scope, which is feature that gives Angular part of its special sauce. In brief, $scope is the part of Angular that allows two-way data binding to happen. What is two-way data binding? Big topic, short answer is: it’s what makes this possible.

JS Bin on

The example seems simple enough, but what’s happening under the hood is that the model and the heading are bound so that when one changes so does the other. When you type in the input box, it changes the model. The heading, which is displaying the model, automatically changes also. Magic! A controller’s primary responsibility is to interact with the view.


Angular services are where the traditional business logic happens. Services are used to interact with external services via AJAX. They are also used for information sharing internal to the application. Controllers cannot share information with one another directly. We can use services as intermediaries. These are often the real workhorses of an Angular application.


Directives in Angular are a way to extend the native HTML. By default, Angular has a number of built-in directives. It’s also possible to create custom directives to further extend the language and functionality of HTML. Directives are a very deep topic. In brief, directives are responsible for DOM manipulation and creating more clarity in the markup itself.


While not a part of the core Angular framework anymore, routing is a major part of many web applications. Routing is what allows a single-page-application to switch between controllers and views dynamically. The advantages of using routes and single-page application really come down to improving the end-user’s experience.  Angular originally shipped with a routing solution that is still available as an add-on.

Angular is a big framework. There’s a lot going on in it. It can be intimidating to step into. Hopefully this overview will help clarify some of the more important pieces you should focus on when learning to use Angular. You can find out more about each of these components by going through an introductory course on angular like this one from Code School. It’s free and a good introduction to some of the concepts we’ve discussed.  Happy learning!