What “Industry standard skills and technologies” really means

We often talk about how Mayden Academy teaches industry standard skills and technologies. It’s something we pride ourselves on and we believe that it sets us apart from universities, colleges and even other intensive training courses. But what do we actually mean? Why is what we teach any more relevant than what others are teaching?

As a tech company in Bath, Mayden employs around 30 developers, so we know what skills employers want. As far as we’re aware, we’re the only intensive programming training academy run by actual real-life programmers, rather than teachers.

The most common starter languages taught at junior level are Ruby, Python, PHP and JavaScript. Here at Mayden Academy we teach PHP and JavaScript. Let’s take a look at those languages in relation to jobs in this area. A quick search on Reed.co.uk for ‘Ruby software developer’ in Bath returns 14 available jobs. This might seem pretty high. And yet search for ‘PHP software developer’ and Reed returns 63 jobs. Python returns 43 jobs and finally JavaScript shows 125 jobs. I know which languages I’d want to learn! For extra credit, have a go at doing the same searches using England as the location. The results are the same.

Ultimately does the language you learn really matter all that much? Probably not. After all, programming principles are the same no matter what language you choose. Once you understand those, you just need to learn the syntax to write pretty much any language. Our graduates have gone on to work with PHP, JavaScript, C#, .NET, Python and many more. However we are one of the only intensive courses around that teach two back-end languages (PHP and Node.js), giving our students a wider view of programming technologies.

So let’s look beyond the languages that we teach and talk about the skills and technologies that make our curriculum so industry relevant.

University and college courses tend to take a broad approach, making their content relevant to a variety of people’s interests… but as a result, often less relevant to what is actually happening in the industry. You’re unlikely to learn things like Git, GitHub, Frameworks (CSS, Javascript, PHP or any other language), preprocessors, build tools and CI in those environments. Whereas with a course run by jobbing devs, you’re going to be using the same tools used by those working in the industry right now.

It’s worth being aware of courses that include quick but flashy projects that add little of industry relevance to your portfolio. Some bootcamps are offering training on things like developing ‘Amazon Skills’ for the Amazon Echo. Don’t get me wrong — this is a pretty cool project to complete, and it’s a lot of fun — but in reality what relevance does it have to getting a job?

Instead, students at the academy build real projects with real life applications like games, booking systems, mobile apps and a portfolio website to showcase it all. These projects require skills that employers are actually looking for and will help kickstart graduates’ careers.

Check out our curriculum or get in touch to find out more about our programme and how we can help you start your new career as a software developer.

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