What is Prework?

Prework is a series of baseline information designed to introduce you and help set context to what you will be learning. This will help start your journey on the right path and help frame what and how you will be learning.

Why does Prework Help?

Ideally, when the program begins, you'll hear concepts for a second time. The plan is, the 2nd time you learn it, it sticks. And by the third time you learn it, you're able to teach it.

Starting learning before the program is like training for a marathon. You don't show up the day of the race and start, you need to train beforehand. In our program, your brain is the muscle that needs to train. This prework is training for your brain.

What won't the Prework do for you

Prework only covers the basics; What we teach goes much deeper than tutorials can cover. Prework is not designed to try to teach everything about web development. We use it to establish context and a shared language to jump start the learning process.

Prework, and also the curriculum, is not the single source of truth to get started. The knowledge for all of our technologies is out there, available to all. We love this, embrace it, and encourage you to learn both inside and outside the class.

This Curriculum

We aim to create "T" based developers -- people with both breadth of knowledge, as well as depth of knowledge in a certain area. This curriculum is organized at a high-level by the Bipolar Learning Graph:

There are roughly 8 time units on the graph. So if your timeline is 12 weeks, one unit is roughly 1.5 weeks. So the process of learning to code might be:

  • sugar high @ week 1.5
  • immediate drop and low point @ week 3
  • rapid progress after low point, followed by a plateau @ week 4.5
  • inflection point @ week 9.5
  • fluency @ week 12

Don't forget that the cadence at a micro-level – not just the macro – is also important. The serial position effect (embedded below) demonstrates that we inherently learn and retain the first few and last few items discussed. By using, perhaps, a Pomodoro Technique™ with short breaks in-between, we can encourage a greater retention rate of materials by splitting lecture up into ~45 minute segments with ~10-15 minutes of break in-between.

In addition, there is the Von Restorff effect (below), that dictates we can add some shift-in-focus within each ~45min segment to further enhance the retention rate and get an extra peak in the middle of each session. We can achieve this by shifting content (i.e. throw in some new vocabulary or concept) and by moving from "words to phrases" (i.e. work through an example exercise).

Following these paradigms, we will work through lots of exercises and challenges throughout most lectures, and follow an objective-based path that keeps us focused and effective.