A year passed and it is the time to review what we have done at CodeWeekend in the past year. Everyone gets into one or another type of conclusion for the year when it ends, and ours I can say is a positive one. We have done so much in the year 2022 and it was certainly one of our most productive years since 2014.
CodeWeekend Coding Bootcamp
We organized the 3rd cohort of our coding Bootcamp program. We received over 250 applications and of course as the nature of how we designed our program, not everyone gets in and can graduate. It is not a course as I say to our students, it is a Bootcamp. The program now runs strongly with 30 students, and they for sure the best ones out there. By February 2023 they will be graduating as full-stack developers and some already found jobs and are hired!
Instructors and Mentors
CodeWeekend is running by instructors and mentors. We worked with an incredible number of instructors and mentors and they have done so much to bring a lot of value to our students and to the CodeWeekend community.
For the list of our instructors, please check here: https://codeweekend.net/codeweekend-instructors/
for the list of our mentors, please check here: https://codeweekend.net/codeweekend-mentors/
We couldn’t have a wonderful year without the support of our partners. I want to mention one our major supporters: Hackajob. Hackajob’s support has been phenomenal in help us achieve our goals and run our programs. They provided scholarship for 20 female students to take part in our Coding Bootcamp program. Additionally, they organized a fundraising and their team run a half-marathon to support the education of developers in Afghanistan.
Another major supporter of our program was Scrimba. Scrimba provided a year of free access to their premium courses and content for 100 of our students. It is a generous support and had a lot of impact and help our students learn a wide range of skills, specially on the frontend side of technologies.
Our New Community Space
I always wanted us to have a dedicated space for our community. So we moved to somewhere we call home now. Please join us: https://community.codeweekend.net
Plans for the year 2023
We are planning to hire full time employees working in many areas of CodeWeekend. I think we are ready for that after more than 8 years of operation! As our third cohort finishes, we will be starting our 4th cohort of CodeWeekend Bootcamp. Having full time staff looking after many parts of our delivery and the program, we will be in a much better position and will be able to scale our work easily.
Additionally, we want to launch the new version of our website. We want to update the branding and the contents we provide on the website.
We also aim to work with more organizations and companies and bring more value to our community, alumni and our students.
CodeWeekend in the News
This year, CodeWeekend and our side project, YaganKar appeared in a couple of media outlets, and I want to highlight some of them here:
Updates from Our Students
Once in a while we asked our students to share their thoughts about CodeWeekend and how they are progressing in the Bootcamp program. They had a lot to say, and here are some of them:
That’s a wrap! thank you for being part of our journey in one way or another. Happy new year!
Jamshid and the CodeWeekend Team
In 2019, among many other programs, we started the CodeWeekend Web Developer Coding Bootcamp, and made this our main focus. With limited resources but a lot of demand, we launched our pilot program, completely free of charge. The pilot was a smashing success and we graduated 12 of 20 participants. You can find their profiles along with some case studies on our website.
As tragic events unfolded in Afghanistan, we got more ambitious in continuing and scaling our coding bootcamp program and expand it to a remote, full time offering that covers both Afghan youth inside and outside Afghanistan. As part of our offering, we are continuously seeking partnerships with companies and organizations abroad to offer internships and job opportunities for our graduates. The Coding Bootcamp lasts six months, and includes a lifetime of coaching and mentoring for our graduates.
Our new cohort of CodeWeekend Bootcamp started October 23rd, 2021. We started strong with 75 participants that are aiming to sharpen their skills and advance their coding career journey. We are able to accommodate this many participants trough a great support from Scrimba. Our participants, all from Afghanistan, will use the Scrimba platform to learn to code and follow the courses, guidelines and career paths to prepare themselves for new and better jobs around the world.
You can support our work by hiring or providing internships to our future graduates, sponsoring our events or donating to help us launch our upcoming Coding Bootcamp.
As part of my more than ten years of work experience in different software development roles in a variety of companies of different size and structure in Turkey, Afghanistan, England and Canada, I’ve developed insights that may be of value for those thinking about entering a career in this field, or who want to excel further in this area, which I share below. Some of these principles that are also covered in the book: The Passionate Programmer, by Chad Fowler, which I highly recommend.
Choose your market
Software industry is a huge and ever growing industry and as such it’s impossible to be expert in everything. Thus, you should give some thought to choosing where you want to focus. It’s generally recommended to be a specialist in one thing and a generalist in a few others. You can’t be a specialist in everything. For example: are you going to be a frontend developer, a backend developer, a mobile application developer, or something else? Choose to work on what you love, and then excel in it.
Additionally, the software industry is growing so fast that almost every day there is a new framework, tool or library developed that could prove to be useful to you. Thus, it’s good practice to have strong computer science core knowledge combined with a continuous learning mindset in order to keep on top of the pace of change in this industry.
Invest in yourself
In an exponentially growing industry like software, it’s very important to learn the fundamentals and how things work, to not find yourself perpetually copy pasting codes from Github or StackOverFlow (these are two of the most used websites by software developers). If you are thinking of doing software development as a career, you should learn to fish, AKA to code.
Additionally, make self-development a habit. Read books, join online courses, watch videos. It can be challenging to spend yet more hours in front of the computer for self-development, on top of your work hours developing code, so consider getting up and out, joining coding workshops in the community or software sessions offered in your area. Chances are you’ll learn something new, and get to socialize and build your professional network.
Always set high standards for yourself. As a software developer and in a network the likes of the Internet, you are in a flat structure. In that moment that you sit in front of your computer, connected to the Internet, you have the same opportunities and facilities as someone does in Europe or the US. Recognize this power, and you’ll quickly manifest the potential you to be excellent. Most of us are content to go with the flow. It takes active effort to fight the mindset of ‘good enough,’ and to strive for more. Work every day to force a remarkable career and you’ll soon find this leads to a remarkable life.
But it’s not glamorous. It takes adherence to those well worn paths: be disciplined in your work ethic, be on time, fulfil your promises, and get organized. This self-discipline is the start to remarkability.
Write a blog post, deliver a session in your local developers community, upload an instructional video to Youtube, volunteer to teach coding, become a mentor to someone entering the field or to a young person thinking about it. Do one or more of these as time allows. Do it for good, to contribute back to the community and help others. You will never regret helping out, never.
It’s same everywhere
Speaking as someone who has worked in what may seem like polar opposite countries (and in fact, geographically, are), I discovered that software development and the way most companies work are remarkably similar everywhere. The stress, anxiety, and risk of burnout when you don’t know what you are doing, or the consequences lacking discipline or failing to pick up new skills are the same anywhere. And so is the joy and sense of satisfaction when you work hard, conquer a new skill, and get your deliverable in on time. It’s a career that is somewhat universal, whether you are sitting in a teahouse in Shar-e-naw in downtown Kabul or at the library in central London or in a Starbucks in Seattle. Indeed, since people in this industry rely so heavily on the Internet, you are constantly connected to a community that transgresses borders, tapping into the knowledge and experience of people in vastly different places. This can only be a boon to those setting out in their careers in once isolated countries like Afghanistan.