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Creating a Community of Coders

09/08/2015

Before we can build great software together, we have to build a strong community.

We're intentional about building community at Zip Code because great software is never built alone.  It's built by dev teams who collaborate effectively.

Here are a few ways we encourage collaboration:

Team Oriented Course Work

You can't pick your coworkers. At Zip Code, you can't pick your team either.

After the first month, each student is placed in a team for the remainder of the program. They don't get to choose their teammates, and there's no switching mid-way. Our students are forced to engage with their teammates and discouraged from becoming individual rockstars.  All of this is done to prepare them to work effectively with a professional dev team in the real world.

Code Reviews

Peer code reviews are standard at Zip Code.

Revealing your code to others can feel like standing in a room naked, especially when you're a beginner, but your peers can reveal flaws in your work that you're blind to. Students are encouraged to give and receive constructive criticism in a supportive, safe environment

Treating Bugs as Community Bugs

Encountering bugs in your code can be frustrating, and when you've spent hours trying to fix an issue your confidence can start to wane. Zip Code students are encouraged to think of their individual bugs as community bugs and create crowd-sourced solutions.

By working to create solutions together, each bug becomes a learning opportunity for the entire class.

Encouraging Student Teaching

Students are encouraged to lead their peers and share knowledge when encountering individual successes. By becoming a group of assistant teachers, each student gains a deeper understanding of the course material while taking ownership of their peers' education. In turn, they become stronger coders, create more effective teams and develop better applications.

Each student is also responsible for one blog post each week to introduce their peers to a new topic in computing.  In the coming weeks, we'll be posting the best of those here.  We can't wait to see what the Zip Code Community creates.

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Want to become a part of a community of coders? Apply now for our next 12-week Java bootcamp.

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