Join a nine-month educational community committed to learning and building the web together here in Pittsburgh, PA. Learn to code, work closely with mentors, and build a portfolio of projects. Dev.Year is the beginning of your life's work, not just career training. We want to set you free to build the open web, or join a company that is solving a problem you care about. Dev.Year is beginner-friendly, but will be suitably challenging and customizable for more intermediate level students. You don't need to know any code yet, but it certainly doesn't hurt if you have some practice under your belt.
You will start learning git, Ruby, JS, etc. but, even more, we want you to be equipped to learn what doesn't exist yet. By the end of the year, we want you to become a bona fide member of an open-source team. Instead of filling your time with classes and homework, you will be busy discussing code over dinner, going to hack-a-thons and workshops, user groups and conferences, coding with your mentor, and building projects with a team. Oh, and the year costs us (and you) just $5000 per student.
As Thoreau says in Walden, "Let's not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports [us] at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end."
You will meet twice weekly to collaborate with your team. Join the broader community by getting active on GitHub, mailing lists, twitter, and IRC. Attend Meetups, user groups, and conferences with your team. We will have developers joining us every week during our co-working sessions.
Be mentored and mentor others. Your team will meet weekly with a mentor to set goals and celebrate victories. They will work closely with you, providing resources and inspiration. Most importantly, your mentor will help ensure that you are on track to meet your goals.
We will host two weekly meals where we will invite guest experts in to talk about their favorite subjects. Talk SASS over stew and privacy over pancakes. Each Friday, we will rehash the week over a third meal, allowing you to customize upcoming schedules based on what your team needs.
Start by working on small projects to serve needs in the community. Take on increasingly challenging work with the help of experienced collaborators. Over the year, build a portfolio of your work and start to contribute to open-source projects. A serious amount of hours are set aside to work on projects.
Tinker and learn new skills. Expert guests will join us multiple times per week to help you dive into new languages and overcome tricky learning challenges. Workshops won't just be on code. We will learn about desk-building, logic, poetry, and occupational health as well.
Exchange ideas and start to ask hard questions about your work. Read important texts on the past, present and future of the internet, on hacker culture, and autodidacticism. You will be expected to write every week and discuss critical questions concerning the future of the open web.
The schedule for the year is, to some degree, up to you and what you want to build. We will provide the best community and resources we can, but we realize that if we plan your year for you, you won't be working towards what's next. As Calvin says to Miss Wormwood, "You can present the material, but you can't make me care." It's kind of like getting a bulletin in a church service or reading the translation at the Opera; you become a passive audience member with your attention on the content, not your experience. The success of your year requires serious engagement. We want to help you start your life's work now. Of course, there is something valuable about being able to answer the question "What should I learn next?" We won't give you an entire schedule for the year, but we will give you a Fieldbook on day one. Instead of setting your year in stone, this resource will give you some good ideas on first projects, what to learn next, some texts to read, and highlight some core principles. Think of it as a really awesome "Hacker Scout" handbook. Not only will the Fieldbook be packed full of great resources, it will provide a basic syllabus for the year's learning; it will help you set goals for your work and visualize your progress. Sorry, we can't give you any badges for your scout sash, but we do hope the Fieldbook finds a permanent spot in your knapsack and gives you an inspiring picture of what's possible with code. Below is a brief outline of the fieldbook: a three-part guide for starting, and an overview of its resources. It is a brief picture of everything you could learn throughout the year. Apply here.
Learn what things are and how they work: computer, os, program, server, client, language, internet, url. Build a personal site from scratch and setup your workspace: get git and software, build a desk, etc. Challenge yourself to find the best help and to fall in love with code. Read hacker FAQs.
Learn to use Terminal, publish your personal blog using Git, dig into HTML/CSS, and one dynamic, object-oriented language. Start building a web platform using what you've learned. Challenge yourself to use design methods in your work and study UX. Start re-writing parts of this fieldbook.
Learn C and get to know UNIX. Work with another object-oriented language, multiple web frameworks, and JS/JQuery. Help the community build an open-source project by becoming a consistent contributor. Start your own project with a team. Challenge yourself to write weekly and fall in love with a problem you want to solve.
A guide of the best resources for learning the technical skills you need.
Git, Terminal, Systems/Servers, C, Ruby, Python, web frameworks, JS/JQuery, CSS, SASS/LESS, HTML, Databases, APIs, Testing, etc.
A guide full of little projects to learn on and ideas for what to build next.
"Hello World", yourself.com, "Terminal for a Week", Open-Source projects to start on, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, build a web server, etc.
A guide and compendium of texts that inform the way we work and why.
Logic, human-centered design theory, poetry, mathematics, history of computation, history of the web, hacker culture, open source theory, privacy, security, economics, culture, comic books, games, education, etc.
You will start the year working in our Dev.Clinic on pro-bono client projects and move quickly to building your own ideas. You will form teams and work with experienced mentors to build web apps. Become a serious contributing member of an open-source project.
By the end of the year, we want you to be certified by the community you serve. Your client work, portfolio of projects, GitHub and stack overflow profiles, and writing collection will be a record of your work. Your portfolio will also reflect some of the personal goals that you set for your year.
Once the year is over, keep going. While we won't give you the same dedicated attention, you are still part of the community. Stay with us as a mentor. Come to meals and workshops. Keep coding with your team and start a company (maybe an open company!).
Study Hacker Culture, Open Source Theory and Economics, Writing, issues of Labor and Equity in technology, Poetry, Logic, Euclidean Geometry, and Applied Philosophy. After a year, you should have built up a serious collection of your work.
These are the events in the year that will challenge you as a person and help you become a better leader, entrepreneur, and learner. Practice improvisation, wilderness survival, desk-building, cooking, and artistic inquiry.
Dev.Year is a program of the Saxifrage School, a non-profit higher education laboratory
working to lower costs, re-think the campus, and reconcile theory with practice.