Makers (Junior Web Developer Course)


Program Description


Being a student at Makers Academy is a very emotional journey. Eating, sleeping and breathing code becomes a huge part of your life, but looking after your wellbeing is also critical to becoming a great developer. On site we have Dana, our Chief Joy Officer - a certified yoga instructor who runs daily yoga and meditation classes and is here to look after your well being.

It’s also important to unwind and bond socially with your cohort. We're surrounded by some of London's quirkiest cafes, yummiest street food and busiest pubs. We also host regular events such as Petcha Kutcha lightning talks, games nights, karaoke nights, as well as organising group activities like climbing, go-karting and going to the theatre.


PRECOURSE Everything you need to get ready for the main course In the four weeks preceding the full-time course, all students are required to complete a (very important!) part-time PreCourse, which ensures that all of our students get to the required basic level of competence when they enrol at Makers Academy. In the first week, we focus on the foundations: first, the command-line, which is key to navigating around your computer; second, you'll tackle version control using Git and Github. This is followed by learning Ruby syntax through challenges. The PreCourse requires a minimum of 20 hours per week to complete successfully, but the more time you can spend on the PreCourse, the better. Each Friday during the PreCourse, we send out a challenge to help solidify and focus students' learning and check in on their progress.

WEEK 1 Test-Driven Development and Object-Oriented Programming The main topics of week 1 are test-driven development and object-oriented programming. By now, students have some experience writing pure Ruby code and are familiar with the functionality of core Ruby classes. This week we start creating our own classes in a test-driven way. The aim of this week is to understand how to structure code using objects. The Friday challenge involves writing a simple object-oriented system of interacting classes.

WEEK 2 Further TDD and OOP This week we build a game using test-driven development and object-oriented programming to make sure students understand these important concepts well. We also cover more advanced Ruby and programming topics: lambdas vs procs, composition vs inheritance, iterators and recursion. The Friday challenge involves reimplementing some of the more advanced methods from the Ruby core library.

WEEK 3 Introduction to Web Development By now, students are comfortable using Ruby and writing object-oriented code in a test-driven way. In week 3 we focus on the fundamentals of the web: HTTP protocols, the Sinatra framework, HTML & CSS. We also learn how to deploy our code to Heroku and use the development tools in Chrome. The Friday challenge involves building a Sinatra application and deploying it to Heroku.

WEEK 4 Databases and User Management It's time to learn how to add a relational database to a Sinatra application using DataMapper. In this week we talk about relational databases, key-value stores and SQL. We also spend a lot of time discussing proper management of user accounts: hashing and salting, choosing appropriate hashing algorithms and mitigating common security risks. Students write a user management system (sign up, sign in, sign out, etc) from scratch, paying special attention to the security aspects. Finally, students also learn how to use Capybara to test-drive web applications. The Friday challenge focuses on relational databases. This is a an important milestone as students now have a full picture of web development.

WEEK 5 Front-End Technologies Now that students can build test-driven, secure, database-backed web applications, it's time to start talking about other front-end technologies: JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX and responsive design. Students begin learning their second language: JavaScript, also known as the language of the web. The Friday challenge asks students to reimplement the front-end of one of the most popular websites in the world.

WEEK 6 Lab Week This is a less structured week to allow students to consolidate their learning. Students may choose to revisit topics from the previous weeks, catch up on missed work or explore new projects.

WEEK 7 Node.js Students expand their knowledge of JavaScript by learning Angular (a popular front-end framework) and Node (JavaScript for the server), combining them to build powerful full-stack applications. The Friday challenge is based on refreshing your Ruby knowledge.

WEEK 8 Ruby on Rails Basics In week 8 we start working with Ruby on Rails. By now students have a solid understanding of Ruby, the web (HTTP, HTML, JavaScript, etc) and have experience using databases. Armed with all this knowledge, they find Rails easy to understand as it merely automates what they can do without it. This week we talk about ActiveRecord, the asset pipeline, routing and Rails architecture. The Friday challenge focuses on the basics of Ruby on Rails.

WEEK 9 Advanced Ruby on Rails Topics This week we talk about more advanced topics: Websockets, HTML5 APIs, using Bootstrap or Foundation, connecting to various APIs: Stripe, Twilio, etc. The challenge for this week focuses on these topics.

WEEK 10 The Final Project By now students are confident junior developers. To put their skills to their test, they build a final project that shows how far they've come since they started. This week we introduce fewer new topics and instead focus on helping students to build the first version of their final project.

WEEK 11 Graduation Early in the week we declare a feature freeze to make sure the final projects are as polished as possible. This is the most intensive week at Makers Academy, when all teams stay late trying to outperform each other to write the most impressive code. There is no Friday challenge. Instead, we have a graduation ceremony, followed by a party attended by friends, families, hiring partners, recruiters, ex-students and prospective students of Makers Academy.

WEEK 12 Hiring Week This week our new graduates receive the personal attention of our expert placements team. They focus on honing life-long learning skills and preparing to enter the jobs market. This could include technical tests, working on open-source code or even working on projects for charities that we partner with. For those students who attend Makers as entrepreneurs, this is a great week to start working on your MVP!

Cost & Fees


Last updated Dec 2017

About the School

Makers Academy takes students from novice to Junior Web Developers by providing intensive, hands-on course modules which provide the student with an understanding of cutting edge coding techniques suc ... Read More

Makers Academy takes students from novice to Junior Web Developers by providing intensive, hands-on course modules which provide the student with an understanding of cutting edge coding techniques such as agile & TDD. At the courses conclusion, there is extensive Job Support to help graduates enter in to the workforce quickly. Read less