Posts about Learn

Why Learn Programming?

March 14, 2018
Yasmine Grand Circus

Yasmine, a Junior JavaScript Instructor, shares her insights on why it’s important to learn programming

As a developer, I often get the question: “Why programming?”

During my days as a teacher, I rarely looked at a computer during the day, let alone actually use one to solve my daily problems. I found I was encouraging my students to be creative and make things every day, while not having the skills or ability myself to do the same.

When I became a programmer, I was finally able to gain the skills to be able to create things that tangibly solve problems people run into on a daily basis. Being able to create something from nothing is why I became a programmer, but there are many more reasons why someone should consider the career. Here are my top three reasons why you should!

  1. Relevancy

If you want to be relevant in today’s industry, or the very least, know what you’re talking about, 

Why learn to code?

learning to code is a really important gateway to understand how today’s society works.

Without a baseline knowledge of how the technology you interact with works, you run the risk of missing out on emerging careers, regardless of whether you use a programming language or not. Being able to talk to others about how things are built is an invaluable skill that will set you apart.

  1. Solve real problems!

While having a basic understanding of programming is necessary to communicate with others in programming related industries, a deeper understanding of code can help you solve problems in your daily life.

For example, when I first started to program, I would practice by creating things I knew would make me more efficient. I realized that I could write a program that would create a new daily workout routine for me based on my previous workouts. Writing the code to solve this problem took me about an hour on a weekend afternoon, and it’s saved me a lot of time searching for or thinking about workout routines every time I plan on going to the gym.

  1. Help real people find real solutions

Yasmine helping students at GC codetretreatAt its core, programming is really just taking problems or inefficiencies and using code to solve them, or make them significantly simpler.

During my first job as a programmer, we worked with a mental health organization that was trying to reach hundreds of people. Their main issue was the site was being able to receive donations, since they are a nonprofit, most of their business depends on them.

Thanks to our programming and problem-solving skills, my team and I were able to create a much more streamlined process for the organization that was user friendly and efficient. Watching the new site develop, hearing their needs and solving a real-world issue they had allowed me to see how good programming can make a big difference to others.

Ultimately, programming is really about a mindset. It’s about being able to take big or small problems and break them down into manageable solutions. The way we develop today has allowed so many people to be able to make everyday tasks, like communication or travel, so much easier.

All of this is possible because people chose to learn to program and utilized their skills to develop these processes. There are SO many reasons to learn programming; these are just a few that were important in my transition from teacher to programmer. If you have questions about starting your journey, don’t hesitate to reach out

The Secret To Being A Successful Bootcamp Student: Growth Mindset

September 17, 2017

growth mindset vs fixed mindset Being the Director of Learning for a coding bootcamp, I’m frequently asked what makes someone successful in a bootcamp setting. Leaving a career to jump back into school is hard. Going back to school as an adult is hard. Taking a bootcamp, which demands you learn as much as you would work in full-time job, is really, really hard. I know people take huge risks to join the programs I oversee, so I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing what makes someone truly successful. I think it comes down to this: the best bootcamp students have a growth mindset.

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

Out there in the great big world, there are two main types of mindsets: fixed & growth.

Fixed Mindset

The quick and dirty way to describe this is that individuals with fixed mindsets believe that they are smart, talented, capable, etc.; therefore, they are good at things. They, in essence, believe that they are born with the qualities that make them succeed. Those with fixed mindsets tend to experience failure and setbacks pretty traumatically. Following the same logic of their success: now, they have failed; therefore, they are bad at {perhaps coding?}. Learning ends at failure points.

Growth Mindset

On the other hand, we have those with a growth mindset. Individuals with growth mindset, in short, see failures and setbacks as opportunities for growth. They persevere and persist in the face of failure; they are good at things because they have failed. Individuals with a growth mindset believe that success doesn’t just “come,” it is a product of effort. Individuals with growth mindset subscribe to the brain-as-a-muscle school of thought. For individuals with a growth mindset, learning happens during failure points.

Growth mindset is a concept that has been around in education for a long time, but what it comes down to is this: how do you react to setbacks or failures?

Coding bootcamps require failure daily.

Sometimes multiple times a day. To be truly successful in a bootcamp, you need to be comfortable persevering through your mistakes. When you attempt a coding challenge and it doesn’t work, are you going to slam your computer shut, or are you going to try a different type of loop? When you’ve spent three hours working on a program and it’s not producing your expected output, are you going to delete all your code, or are you going to refresh and debug? When your API no longer works in the 11th hour, are you deleting that feature or are you buckling down to find a workaround?

Evaluate: What You Can Do Right Now

The next time you experience a big setback, before you take action, take a moment to evaluate your own reaction. Bootcamp students challenge themselves to exhibit grit and persistence to see setbacks, both big and small, as opportunities to become better developers. Bootcamp students are (or quickly become) individuals with a growth mindset.

Virtual Reality vs. (or with) Augmented Reality

August 9, 2017

Virtual Reality and its relatives Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality are exciting, powerful technologies that have all gained a lot of attention in the past year. The question is, what do they all mean?

What are Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality?

Many people have not yet had an opportunity to try one or more of these technologies. There’s much overlap in these terms as well, which can make the learning process more confusing.


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.


7 Keys to Unlock Your Full Gmail Potential

September 2, 2016

These tips will make you the master of your inbox

Do unread messages make your skin crawl? Does the thought of setting up email filters make you break into a cold sweat? Did accidentally hitting ‘reply all’ send you into a mental tailspin? If you replied ‘YES!’ to any (or maybe all) of the above, you’re not alone.

With nearly 1 billion active users around the world, it’s safe to say that Gmail is one of the most popular email services out there. Google’s email powerhouse is relied upon by businesses, universities and everyday people. What is the reason for such widespread popularity you ask? With a killer mobile app and sensational plugins, features and settings, Gmail allows users to create an inbox experience that is unique to them. But true Gmail masters are few and far between. Such a feat takes years of careful practice, preparation and a borderline obsessive amount of labeling. No matter if you’re looking to become a Gmail deity or just looking to add a little extra productivity to your day, here are a few tips to help you tackle your inbox.


How to Mingle (Not) Like a Five Year Old

July 27, 2016

One of my many roles at Grand Circus was Director of Marketing and Admissions. This meant it was my job to create ways for people to learn more about Grand Circus, our work and ultimately decide if a coding bootcamp was right for them. So about a year and a half ago, I started organizing Open Houses where Grand Circus staff and former students would answer questions, tour people around our space and introduce people to our community.

Here’s the thing that I noticed during these Open Houses: people are awkward—everyone, even staff at Grand Circus! (more…)

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…)

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.