"Build your life around systems, not around goals"
This is the first of a two part interview with David Yang, the Co-Founder and Lead Instructor of Fullstack Academy. This interview was recorded on the very last day of my bootcamp cohort when everyone on the panel of 8 graduated and moved on to the next phase of their journey into a tech career. This part focuses on looking back to understand how the sausage got made. We talk about a lot of technical choices made during the history of Fullstack - don't feel overwhelmed if we talk about something you haven't come across, but if you wish to follow up I have included relevant links in the show notes. Finally we end this first part of the interview with some advice for students as they graduate into their post-bootcamp life.
- Fullstack's Origins as MBA Codeschool in 2012
- Entering YCombinator circa 2012 with a "multi-idea application"
- Writing Fullstack's first syllabus (in Ruby on Rails) during his honeymoon!
- Iterating towards a Fullstack JS syllabus when everyone else was still teaching Rails
- Technical Advisory from Michael Nutt of Movable Ink and Bryan Helmkamp of Code Climate
- Picking the MEAN stack coined by Val Karpov in 2013
- Switching from Mongo to PostgresQL and from Angular to React
- Fullstack's curriculum and learning software "LearnDot" has been rewritten three times
- How does Fullstack make decisions around the curriculum?
- The MongoDB (NoSQL) vs Postgres (SQL) decision
- Mongo is good for rapid project iteration but most companies eventually realize they want structure
- Learning the harder thing (SQL) first and then taking away aspects of it (NoSQL) is better than the other way around
- The Dominance of Firebase in Senior phase Capstone projects vs the backend curriculum in Junior Phase
- What's important about the difference between Junior Phase and Senior Phase?
- Think about learning in terms of switchbacks instead of linear progression
- Senior Phase is about synthesis: the roles of the three major projects of Ecommerce, Stackathon, and Capstone
- Why is it important to have CS Saturday Workshops and CTO lectures? Knowing what you don't know
- Security in the wake of Yahoo and Equifax hacks: Security is like defending a city with no gates.
- The Future of Fullstack
- Is there a future where we only learn serverless backends instead of traditional VPS backend? Probably not. Not knowing/owning your infrastructure is a high risk proposition
- If Junior Phase was one week longer - what would you add? Virtual DOM workshop, Redux Saga. More CSS/Design.
- Advice for The Post-Bootcamp Cliff
- Build your life around systems, not around goals
- Get your first 10-100 users on any project
- Coding 2-4 hours a day - don't let your Github go gray
- Speaking and Networking
- Paul Graham's essay on Self Indulgence and Life is Short
- The students that fail are the students that lose touch
- Don't take the job search too personally (Steve Yegge on the Anti-Loop)