LEARNING /

Joining the Code Academy

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.