Daniel Müller is a new student of our Web Development course. He is a business development manager at Spyglass Ventures, helping to build and run companies in Health Care and the E-commerce space. Having just started the course, we thought we’d ask him a few questions about how he’s finding it so far and, looking ahead, how he plans to use the new skills he’s learning in his career.
1.) What were your initial impressions when you first began? When I first called and spoke with the CareerFoundry team, they explained the course concept, which I liked and thought made a lot of sense. I signed up the very same day and started a couple days later with the coursework. I am enjoying the learning process and I’ve experienced quick and useful results within a short period of time.
2.) As a beginner, how easily did you find it to pick up? Did it meet your expectations? The level of prerequisite knowledge was on par with my skill level at the time and it worked great for me. I had some previous basic programming and html skills, which were useful and helped me to go through the first couple assignments quite fast. I am sure, given a reasonable amount of time (1-2 hours a day), the coursework can be understood by anyone without prior programming knowledge at all though. I am pretty happy with the new things I’ve learned in the last four weeks. It’s a lot more interactive than I expected.
3.) How do you find the interactions with your mentor? Has the feedback been useful? The actual reason why I signed up was the “mentor part” of the program. I tried other online courses before, but either got stuck at some point or business commitments did not allow me to continue my studies and I gave up. Due to the feedback loops with my CareerFoundry mentor, the scheduled sessions, which fit perfectly to my schedule, CareerFoundry helped me to overcome this challenge.
4.) What has been the most enjoyable part of the course for you? The access to a mentor was the biggest thing for me. Unlike other programs I looked into, the steps described in the course notes actually reflect the exact steps you need to take. That was not the case with (some of) the courses offered by competitors.
5.) Which parts have you found the most challenging? Finding time to do the exercises, while performing 100% in a full-time job. I travel a lot, so finding time to sit down, have a clear mind and actually get some work done, can be tough. I had my first two one-on-one’s with my mentor while I was in the US. Finding time to talk with the mentor, despite the time difference was no problem at all.
6.) Looking forward, what are you hoping to get out of the next two months of the course? Is there one part you are particularly looking forward to? I’m a numbers person. Therefore I’m determined to get a lot better with APIs, database input/output. My mentor had some good ideas on how to graph numbers and display them on the web. Without a doubt, I want to try that as soon as I can.
Looking forward, I’m pretty confident I’ll soon reach a level where I can independently overcome technical obstacles, without a second person’s input or code review. Being able to effectively research, using templates and open source code is a big part of it. When my programming skills were mediocre, knowing about great resources online and people discussing things in forums, didn’t help me as much as it could. I was missing the basics, which I’m learning right now. I believe now I can build on these concepts and confidently progress further.
7.) And longterm, what are you hoping to do with the skills you’ve learnt in Web Development?
I am responsible for reviewing business plans of small aspiring companies. Not all of them are tech-related, but the majority are. This course gives me the tools and the understanding to better evaluate the feasibility of projects from a technical point of view.
Also, proprietary technology can be a barrier of entry for companies. Having a solid understanding of how difficult (or easy) it is to build something, may prevent investors from very bad investments. That’s part of my job. I feel being able to design and construct web applications myself makes me a lot better at advising investors in this matter.
8.) What would your advice be to anyone thinking about starting a CareerFoundry Web Development course? Right from the beginning - always produce! Have your own project and use what you have learned. It feels great to get better and to grow and advance my own projects. Very soon you understand how other websites are put together and you will be able to leverage technology to put your ideas online in no time. Whatever your reason to learn how to code, it’s a lot easier with this course than with books or classes lacking the mentor sessions. Being in control of putting your ideas out there and seeing if they gain traction is incredibly rewarding. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does - it’s a lot of fun.
If Daniel’s story has inspired you to learn more about Web Development, head over to the site for more information.