DevWell. Learn to Code for Free.
We’re pleased to announce the launch of DevWell.
For the foreseeable future, we’re offering completely free mentorship, live-sessions, and job placement support for those who want to learn to code but can’t currently afford tuition — no strings attached.
If you’re thinking about going into debt to attend a coding bootcamp, it’s likely that you can achieve the goals you think the bootcamp will facilitate without taking on debt.
Learning to code is a tacit endeavor which means the bulk of the learning process has to occur on your own by building projects, writing code, making mistakes, banging your head against a proverbial wall, digging through documentation, writing more code … rinsing and repeating. A Bootcamp can’t do that for you.
The value bootcamps provide are in four main areas:
- Trust in the Path: Many new learners don’t know whether the myriad of free curricula is sufficient. With so many things to learn, a bootcamp can give you confidence that you’re learning the ‘right’ things.
- Support and Community: When you’re stuck, there are people to turn to that you trust. When you want to quit, there are people who’ll convince you to stick with it.
- Interview and Resume Prep: While it’s entirely possible to land a job on your own, it’s easier when experienced developers can point you in the right direction, in regards to how to prep and construct your resume.
- Skin in the Game: You have to make a financial commitment and carve out 15–25 hours per week of your life. Being committed makes it less likely you’ll quit — you will want to quit at some point in the learning experience.
DevWell will aim to replicate a large part of that value at no cost by:
- Pointing learners to completely free but world-class and proven curricula available from freecodecamp.org, Google, Coursera, EdX, Khan Academy etc … in many cases, they’re equal to, or better than, what’s on offer at paid bootcamps.
- Supporting learners with Live Zoom sessions — open office hours and workshops — that allow learners a place to turn to when they’re stuck or feel like quitting.
- Aggregating resources that offer multiple perspectives on areas where new learners typically get stuck.
- Live sessions on interview and resume prep
- etc …
Why are we doing it?
There are a lot of people financially hurting right now. A portion of those people will be lured into debt in hopes of learning to code — for some, even debt isn’t an option. Regardless of one’s situation, there are very few reasons to pay to learn to code.
While not at all wealthy, my co-founder and I do possess privilege. We would like to live in a world where privilege is recognized and honest efforts are made to remove it.
That can start with our own lives.
Why do we think DevWell is a useful project to spend time on?
It need not cost $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 to become a working developer.
We’re not saying that everyone should learn to code. Nor are we saying that, for some, paid education isn’t a reasonable option. We’re certainly not saying that learning to code will lead to a guaranteed job, especially given the moment we’re in.
We are saying, that in the least, learning to code is empowering. It’s a skill that will open doors and allow you to bring ideas to life. For some, it can better their financial situation and dramatically change their life.
Can Anyone Learn To Code?
Most people can learn to code — there’s nothing magical about it. Most of us are glorified Google searchers.
The mystique around coding causes too many people to quit. They start learning, hit an inevitable wall, begin to think that “coders” are smarter than they are, and then throw up their hands and walk away.
Working coders are the ones who didn’t give up.
Should I Learn to Code?
This is a big question. Learning to code takes time, so if you’re not enjoying it, you’re unlikely to put in the hours necessary to learn the basics. But, if you make a start and feel like you’re progressing, then there’s no reason to think you can’t make it.
A day of struggle is a regular occurrence and is often a sign that you’re being pushed outside of your comfort zone. This is an experience to be cherished.
A month of toil for no reward… Maybe not so much.
Where should I start?
First, go register on DevWell.org and get an invitation to the Slack community. This will give you access to the free live sessions and more.
Then, we strongly recommend that new learners start their coding journey at freecodecamp.org. Their resources are well organised, clearly written and, as the name suggests, completely free. We will be structuring our open office hours and workshops around the resources available there as they provide an excellent framework for learning the basics of development.
Note — we are not affiliated with freecodecamp.org in any way.
How Can I Get Involved?
So you want to support DevWell? Fantastic! We need more developers, perspectives, experiences, and resources.
- Go to devwell.org
- Click “Get Started”
- Once in the Slack community, go to the volunteer channel and tell us how you would like to help.
Particularly, we could use support with the following:
- Live-sessions or workshops — just show up and answer questions on coding basics
- One-off AMAs — allow community members to ask you questions in Slack over a one-hour period.
- Video Tutorials—learners do better by hearing different perspectives on common problems, create a 5 to 20-minute tutorial for DevWell’s Youtube channel.
- Financially support — Go to our Patreon page.
We’ll recognize contributors on our website, on Youtube and/or in Slack.