Students tell us time and time again that a big part of why they come to Alchemy is for the community and the stellar in-person training they receive from their instructors. It was paramount in an online transition to maintain these key aspects. So the big question as we transitioned from on-campus to online was: Can we replicate that experience? Can students get the Alchemy experience connected from their homes in a live, interactive format?
We’re happy to report that we’re seeing great results and we feel we’ve been able to stay true to who we are. It’s taken some tweaks along the way, adjustments to daily structure, and a lot of effort to maintain engagement and connection with our students each and every day. Students still have broad access to instructional staff and have built friendships and connections with their cohort peers. Career Services has been very active with all our job seekers, holding regular check-ins and helping them to pivot their job search in a remote world. The learning has been on-par with our traditional program, and amazing technology projects are being built.
This was very evident in the mid-projects presented by our Career Track students last week.
We are extremely proud of their ability to quickly adjust to the new format and thrive during this one week sprint to complete a project using NodeJS, ExpressJS, and MongoDB (along with a host of third party APIs and services). They also did an amazing job presenting online, creatively branding their project teams with app-related backgrounds, and imparting an impressive level of professionalism. You can check out their projects here and even watch their presentations. For all the employers out there, these students will be presenting their final projects on May 29th (you are welcome to attend, see contact info below) and graduating from our program on June 3rd.
Our new cohort has impressed us as well as they have adapted quickly. While they were understandably skeptical coming into an online program, they have found success in the new format. One of students blogged about their first week and had this to say:
Unexpected benefits have emerged as well. A broader range of students are asking questions and interacting. Something about the online format has allowed those who had previously been reserved or shy to now ask more questions, get more involved, and advocate for themselves more often. Our instructional staff has found it easier to deliver help and diagnose technical problems. And everyone seems more motivated to build community and reach out to one another.
Speaking of community, we are so grateful for everyone who has shown up in support. Industry professionals have joined us online for panels on how tech is handling the transition to remote and for providing current students tips and encouragement. Guest software engineers from Bumped, Nike, and Hinge Health have joined us for mentor hours. A Tech manager talked to our students about using people skills in tech, specifically in a remote setting. Past Alchemy grads have offered advice to our incoming cohort on how to navigate the program successfully. There have also been multiple happy hours that connected our students with Alchemy staff, alum, and others in the industry.
None of this would have been possible without our amazing instructors and staff, and especially our teaching assistants. They have provided incredible insights into how the program can be effective, leveraging their own program experience, their deep empathy and support, and dedication to helping our instructors continue to be productive in the classroom. A special thanks as well to Shannon Rasimas, our Career Services Director, who has been instrumental in building and maintaining the Alchemy community online. Also, thanks to Zoom whose technologies and services have been the backbone of the WFH phenomenon.
Please reach out to our School Director, Megan Nelson, with questions and more information about enrolling in our program. You can also join her every Thursday at 12:30PM for our online open house. If interested in hiring our grads, being a mentor, or just being part of our extended tech community, please reach out to Shannon Rasimas, our Career Services Director. We look forward to welcoming you to our community!