Watch and Code is a rigorous system for people that want to become great programmers. This video describes our approach.
The power of our system is that the ideal behavior becomes the normal, everyday, default behavior. Here's how we do it.
The first step for all students is our introductory course, Programming Foundations. You'll learn the basics of programming and get a feel for what being a Watch and Code student is like.
Jaril Valenciano, Software Engineer, Replay
When I started pursuing my interest in programming, I noticed that most programs were largely copies of each other. There were some variations with cost, time investment and job search assistance, but for the most part, the topics covered were similar.
Watch and Code caught my attention specifically because of the things it didn't cover. It didn't emphasize the latest front-end framework, nor did it try to shallowly cover technology after technology just so you can say you did it. Instead, Gordon uncompromisingly focuses on learning how to learn and programming fundamentals.
It's hard to emphasize just how much I owe my current developer career trajectory to Watch and Code. Because of the program's emphasis on open source, I made substantial contributions the Firefox Developer Tools. My work on that project was job experience that was especially sought after by people who would become my future employers—a group of Firefox employees who founded a startup that was, again, related to developer tools.
Janelle de Ment, Software Engineer, CrowdAI
Before finding Watch and Code, I had gone through a myriad of different online courses. While I was able to understand basic syntax, I was having a hard time carrying my understanding through to any sort of practical application. I decided that maybe a bootcamp was my best option and it was during preparation for a bootcamp that I found Watch and Code.
After completing the introductory course and passing the entrance exam, I immediately signed up for the paid program. A month after that, I also decided to abandon the idea of the bootcamp because I just didn’t feel I needed to do it anymore.
Now, I'm a software engineer at CrowdAI. When I first started, I never thought I'd get this far as a self-taught person. As it turns out for me, Watch and Code is more than just a curriculum, it's a support system that encourages you to keep at it, keep learning, keep coding, and to not give up.
Students are taught to experiment using what amounts to the scientific method as a pillar of learning how to problem-solve. You will rarely hear Gordon directly answer a student’s question. He will instead ask something like, “what experiments did you run to figure out why that variable’s value isn’t what you expected it to be?”. Gordon doesn’t give students answers, but he also doesn’t allow students to become unproductive and overly frustrated. He always leaves them with a clear, actionable step they can take to get themselves unstuck and then checks in with them. Eventually, students become more and more independent and move on to help other students improve their process during daily morning meetings.
The amount of support Gordon provides for his students is incredible. He hosts daily meetings where students can ask questions and practice skills. He is invested in the success of his students. The daily meetings also provide a supportive community of other students. We all make progress by learning from each other’s mistakes and successes along the way. I cannot say enough good things about Gordon’s teaching approach and the consistent effort and thoughtfulness he puts into Watch and Code.
Abhi Routray, Software Engineer, GE Aviation Digital
What really makes the program special is the focus on the fundamentals. What a developer does on a daily basis is very different from what most tutorials would have you think. For example, at my job, rarely do I write code from scratch. Instead, I add features or fix bugs in large, existing applications. This is entirely what Gordon emphasizes at Watch and Code, and he does so masterfully.
Anthony Xie, Software Engineer, Kapwing
Over time, I've come to recognize and trust in the care and thoughtfulness Gordon has put into Watch and Code. As a beginner, it's hard to distinguish between what learning resources are good or bad. There are numerous courses of varying quality online and even more people suggesting different paths like learning "X" framework and reading "Y" book. However, with Watch and Code everything you learn is cumulative. Each next thing can only be done after mastering the previous topic. In this learning environment, students can focus their energy on learning the material rather than worrying about what to do.
Adam Kearney, Software Engineer, Amazon Alexa
This is completely a hidden gem. It is insane no other programs teach you how to read real code so that you can then learn. Imagine learning anything if you didn't know how to read?
In addition, it is insane no one teaches you using real code bases. Why work on stuff that is fake and theoretical when you can work on something that is real and grounded? Gordon nailed this approach.