27: Fullstack Academy with David Yang (Part 2: The Company)

"Not everyone needs to be Shakespeare, but you should know how to read"

We're back with David Yang and our interview turns even more meta (we love meta) and looks at Fullstack as a company. I was a technology stock analyst in a past life and always try to find opportunities to apply what I've learned. Amara's law states that "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." I think this is also true in many aspects of life from learning to code to building a company. In fact, the whole reason I started this podcast is to document the journey, which is far less covered than the destination. In this interview we look ahead to explore real questions from What Makes Coding Bootcamps Work, to controversies in reporting standards in the Bootcamp industry, to perhaps the biggest question of all: Should everyone learn to code?

Show Topics:

  • The assets of Fullstack:
    • Brand Equity
    • Investment in Technology - the LearnDot platform that is scaling to 3 campuses and remote instruction
    • Culture/Reputation?
  • Hiring and Maintaining Instructors
    • Choosing to have fulltime instead of part time Instructors
    • Instructors are vectors of culture
    • Mix of Industry and people who come up from Fullstack
    • The interview process of Instructors
  • Expanding the Franchise to Chicago
  • The Five C's of What Makes Coding Bootcamps Work
    • Curriculum
    • Community
    • Coaching
    • Commitment
    • Career
  • Expanding the Franchise to Remote
    • Content always approaches free
    • Community is hard to create remotely (Coursera's low completion rates)
    • Remote and In-person > Remote and asynchronous
    • Could Fullstack be majority Remote one day? Yes
    • But important to make the value proposition clear that there is a job at the end of it
  • Expanding the class sizes in New York
    • Finding more talented students, level out at 50-60 per cohort
    • Iron Triangle - Cohort Size, Student Quality and Curriculum Pace
  • Reporting Standards in Coding Bootcamps
  • Getting a job
    • Ultimately, there is no magic formula in life - getting a job is hard work
    • Companies want to hire students with skills from the bootcamp, but must convey intensity, passion, energy
  • The Golden Age of Bootcamps
    • In 10 years Bootcamps will be run by megacorps and some of the magic will be gone
    • Self teaching is not for everyone.
    • Human-to-human communication is high bandwidth
    • Colearning Spaces instead of Coworking spaces: Recurse center
  • Can and should everyone learn to code?
    • No, but you need technological literacy to be relevant (not a moral judgment)
    • Coding is the best proxy of technical literacy, there are others (eg. statistics)
    • Career changers who do bootcamps are often "2-for-1" type people
    • Life is very path dependent

What are you working on right now?

  • I see algorithms everywhere!
  • Porting a C++ library for graph algorithms
  • Synchronizing curriculum to git to track changes by instructor
  • Detecting Cheating


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