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Introducing React.js Program

Mar 1, 2016

It’s 3:30AM. I don’t think I’ve been to bed before this time in over a month. I’m ok with this, however. I’ve always loved teaching and for the most part I think people enjoy my teaching as well. I spent two years teaching the people of Los Angeles about Jesus, so teaching literally anything else seems pretty simple, since, well, many people don’t want to listen to a 19 year old talk about Jesus.

I started teaching technical topics at DevMountain and shortly after took over all operations of their whole Web program. It was a blast and it taught me how to teach technical topics quickly and efficiently. Teaching is essentially the same thing as programming except instead of programming computers you’re programming brains. Teaching at DevMountain was done entirely in person and it was here I also learned how to build curriculum to supplement teaching. Last March I wanted to see if the “bootcamp” approach could be taken outside of the context of beginners and carefully turned towards mid-sr level developers. I launched React Week with this goal in mind and from what I could see, everyone enjoyed it.

Later I started teaching on Egghead.io. Teaching short (3–5 minute) videos is much different than full hour long classes in person. It’s like snowboarding and skateboarding. It helps to know one, but it’s still entirely different. Luckily the great people at Egghead have the system down and they’ve graciously shared the tips with their instructors.

Somewhere in all of this I started blogging more and learned to love writing about technical topics.

At this point I had pretty solid experience in basically every format of teaching — in person, online via recorded videos, and through text via my blog. Interestingly enough I wouldn’t say that one medium is more effective over the other — they’re all just, different. Combine this sort of thinking/experience with the outcry of JavaScript fatigue in the community and React.js Program was born. The goal is to take my unique views of teaching through different mediums and combine it into one program.

The whole premise of React.js Program is that the student is going to have three different learning approaches thrown at them. First via text. Second via a video. Third via curriculum.

Not only are there different learning mediums, but each medium has different prerequisite knowledge applied to it. When teaching you have to walk the thin line of practical and easy to consume. Building projects bring practicality but they also require a prerequisite knowledge of the other parts of the codebase (and even if they don’t, students are convinced they do). Having hyper focused examples are easy to consume but then students struggle with “putting the pieces together”. My solution to this was having the text sections be hyper focused and having the videos be project based. Naturally this means that each text section can stand by itself (and for the most part can even be read out of order) while the video examples have a specific order since we’re building a project together. Combine this with actual projects students are required to work through on their own to apply what’s been taught via text and videos and you can see why I haven’t slept in a while 🙃.

I think there are those times in life when you’re about to release something into the world that you’ve been working tirelessly on and are nervous about the outcome. This is one of those times for me.

I’m hopeful though.