Inside Techtonica: A Student Update

by Michelle Zaffino, Techtonica volunteer

Today at Techtonica, students are preparing for their first big exam. Three extra volunteer instructors are here, helping with review. It’s been an intensive couple of months for the inaugural class, and now they’re being tested.

Reviewing JavaScript

Since June, our full-time, full-stack developer class has convened at the Armory in San Francisco’s Mission District. Students have learned everything from conditionals (if statements) in JavaScript to writing algorithms and using APIs.

Students are learning more than just coding, though. This bootcamp is also a course on how to present one’s self to employers and network for jobs. Students recently received business cards through Moo, in preparation for O’Reilly’s Velocity conference. The team descended on San Jose for the conference, where they heard top speakers in the field of DevOps, and saw a new side of engineering.

After more in-depth learning, the students were ready for a little celebration and introduction to our larger community. Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation hosted the Techtonica launch party, an event where we delivered an update on student progress. At the festive cocktail gathering, guests sampled platters of vegetable crudité, fruit, and cheese while toasting Techtonica efforts.

Techtonica founder Michelle Glauser welcomed the crowd and gave heartfelt thanks to many new sponsors. Instructor Erin Allard delivered a rundown of every element of course instruction the students have been through so far. There was an impressive number of already-completed learning objectives, even though the bootcamp is just getting started—the students are making great progress.

Then we heard firsthand from the inaugural class. Nefis, Gabriela, Tonka, Diana, and Chelsea shared exactly how much they’re learning and how it’s already applying to their work lives. The students were all so appreciative of Michelle and her team, and it was very touching.

Back to the Armory for more tech training. It just happens to be burrito day at Techtonica, sponsored by Chipotle, where when customers buy a burrito at the San Francisco Westfield Chipotle store, Techtonica gets 50% of the profits from each sale. Techtonica fans tweeted pics with their burritos to show their support. It’s so exciting to see so many people enthusiastic about women and non-binary adults learning to code. And all this momentum leads up to graduation day in December.

Love what you’ve read and want to get involved? Techtonica is looking for sponsors, curriculum developers, mentors, board members, and volunteers. If you’re passionate about lending your expertise to enthusiastic individuals and seeing it make a difference, we would love your help. Techtonica hosts hackathons for program development and welcomes new volunteers. If you’re looking for new coding hires, Techtonica connects our graduates with job opportunities, too.

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