Jason Field, BrainStation’s Founder and CEO, spoke to hosts Rob Hayes and Tom Creighton about the development of Synapse, the world's first data-driven student learning platform.
After waitressing and earning a degree in graphic design, Maria was on a mission to find job security and utilize her skills. During her graphic design job search, she kept seeing “front-end development” as a hot skill wanted by employers, so she decided to enroll in BrainStation’s Remote Web Development Program.
What is your background, and what led you to enroll at BrainStation?
I graduated in December 2016 with a degree in Graphic Design. My brother took part in a Disney College Program and loved it, so when I graduated, I decided to try that program out. I was placed in a restaurant-related industry role because of my waitressing experience, but at the end of the day, I wanted a role in graphic design.
After Disney, I started reading about all the jobs opening up in cybersecurity, front end, and back end development. I felt that if I wanted job security, I needed a web or computer related job. Many of the graphic design jobs involved front end development, which was something I had never really heard of before. So I started researching “how to study web development.”
I searched for more than just university programs, because I already had a degree, and discovered bootcamps. I liked BrainStation, but wondered how that would work since it was in Canada and I was in Mexico at the time. Then I saw that there was an online, full-time, web development program, so I got in touch. BrainStation was great – every question I asked, they answered. I took BrainStation’s pre-bootcamp course, did pretty well, and was accepted.
Tell us about your online learning experience at BrainStation. Were you online all day?
We are actually online all day from 10am to 6pm, connected with webcams to see everyone in the classroom the entire time. The first thing we learned was HTML and CSS, and since I have a graphic design background, that let me express myself. For each project, I found a way to make it look good and practice what I learned. I liked all the projects we worked on because I was able to design the look of each project as well as how it worked.
What helped you stay motivated while studying online? Did you study from home?
Yes, I always studied from home. What kept me motivated was the teachers. We had two Educators plus a Teaching Assistant, and our class was pretty small. It was a total of nine students, so we always had one-on-one time with our Educators.
The whole time we interacted, the instructors asked us questions, so it’s clear if you don’t understand something in the course material – they catch it right away based on your code. If we didn’t understand something, we asked. Our teachers also wanted us to socialize and talk to each other. Talking and interacting definitely helped me stay motivated. If the teachers had just talked the whole time and we weren’t engaged in the conversation, I probably would’ve left the course. Also, keeping my webcam on the whole time was a big help.
I always thought that self-teaching was my learning style. But this class made me realize that I didn’t have to do that – I could always rely on the BrainStation teachers and not just do it on my own.
Read the full post on Course Report’s website.