If you've been anywhere near me for the last few months, you've heard me talk about joining the Code Academy (not to be confused with the online learning resource). Code Academy is a Chicago start-up that's teaching people how to build web apps and how to continue learning. They have courses in HTML/CSS, User Experience Design, and Ruby on Rails.
Why did I join?
Steve Jobs famously wanted to “make a dent in the universe.”
Mike Monteiro recently called for designers to “solve better problems.”
I want to do both.
As a web designer and front-end developer, I’ve had the pleasure of working in-house for Chicago magazine and on projects for great clients like the Chicago History Museum and the Anti-Defamation League. However when the project has truly required custom work, I haven’t been able to help. If I encounter a project that will make the proverbial dent, I want to be in the position to help.
I have tried to learn Ruby on Rails with e-learning websites like TryRuby.org, Lynda.com, and RailsForZombies.com but working next to other developers is the experience that I am looking for. I see the Code Academy as a tremendous opportunity to learn from and with great developers and designers.
I believe that combining User Centered design with a solid development workflow is the key to building great applications on the web. So I am enrolled in the Code Academy as both a development and UX student.
This is going to be a fun summer.