Congratulations and welcome to Lambda School! This is the beginning of your journey to become a web developer and we're excited that you're here. Below are a few things we'll cover in Unit 1.
Having the ability to craft user interfaces is key for full stack web developers in all organizations. Another key ability for professional developers is knowing how to use Git. We cover both topics throughout Week 1 culminating in a multi-page website sprint challenge.
In Week 2, we dive into responsive design, which pushes our basic CSS styling forward into thousands of devices. A growing trend in today’s market continues to be mobile devices that range from large tablets to small screens. You need to be able to correctly deliver content to all of these mediums.
Great job! You crushed your first Unit at Lambda School!
You will learn...
Get to know your field
Welcome to the beginning of your professional journey into Web Development. Over the next few months it’s important you learn more about the track you’re pursuing as a whole, not just the technical skills needed to perform work in your field. This includes beginning to follow blogs and individuals within your field. Here’s a few resources to help get you started.
Lambda School isn't easy. It's supposed to be hard, so don't beat yourself up for not mastering the material immediately.
Your code will contain bugs, some of which might take frustrating days to find. One of the keys for being a programmer is to reframe your thinking. Every second you spend working on a problem is experience in the bank.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes while learning. Each success and mistake will teach you something, helping you become a stronger, more knowledgeable developer. Make the process of learning a passion and know that there will be ups and downs, all the while reminding yourself that you can do this!
Being a developer is work. It's hard work. You'll wrestle with coming up with solutions to problems even before you start typing on the keyboard, sometimes for hours, or days. If it were easy, it wouldn't pay nearly as well. Your code will complain at you for the slightest error, which is inevitably your fault. It will contain bugs, some of which might take frustrating days to find. One of the keys for being a programmer is to reframe your thinking to sidestep this frustration. Take the problem, turn it around in your head like a curiosity rather than a source of anguish--are there other approaches you can take to solve the problem? Step away from the computer and take a walk. Or explain the problem to someone else until they can explain it back--you might very well find the answer while doing this. Remember that everything you do is a valuable learning experience that you can bring to bear on future problems you encounter.
Next, you'll get an intro to React, one of the most popular UI libraries. React is a pattern, a mindset, that helps developers build small, reusable pieces of UI that can be easily put together to make a large-scale application.
Week 7 is all about using React Router. With the UI Library (React) and the Client Side Routing Library (React Router) you’ll be able to craft rich, robust and highly scale-able Single Page Applications.
And finally, to end Unit 2, you'll demonstrate the web applications skills you've built using React, Redux, React Router, HTTP/Ajax, and Functional Programming Techniques. Nice job! You will learn...
Intro to React
Single Page Applications
Networking prep and informational interviews
In Unit 1 we encouraged you to start getting to know your field. Now, in Unit 2, you should begin reaching out to people in the tech industry to start building relationships with professionals who can mentor you. The relationships you build today will be essential in connecting you with job opportunities when you're ready to job search at the end of the program. One way you can begin to build these relationships is through informational interviewing. Use the resources below to help guide you.
What to expect in Unit 3: Advanced Web Development
In Unit 3, we will continue our journey into React with some more advanced topics like class components, custom hooks, and testing, which we will introduce in week 9.
Week 10 is an introduction into the extensive world of state management in React. In this sprint you'll get hands-on experience with Context API, Redux and more, so get excited!
Then, you'll spend week 11 learning important authentication techniques and automated deployment tools. Additionally, you will learn the skills necessary to automatically test the sophisticated applications you've been building.
To end Unit 3, you'll build a project that demonstrates all of the Advanced React, State Management and Web Applications skills you've developed over the last several weeks.
You finished Unit 3, nice job!
You will learn...
In the last unit, you focused on an individualized approach to networking. For this unit let’s expand your networking skills to events. There are likely groups or regular events available in the cities or towns where you’re hoping to apply for jobs. Start making yourself a part of the tech communities you hope to be a professional in. Here are some resources to support you as you take this step.
Unit 3 asks us to be more fundamentally aware of the applications we develop and the design choices we make within them. In this unit a student should practice verbally articulating their choices and the ‘whys’ behind them.
You've made it to Unit 4, which means you're halfway finished with the program! In this Unit, you'll have the opportunity to choose between Java and Node.
Next, you'll learn how to secure the information managed by a Web API. You will learn how to use Sessions, Cookies and JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) to add Register, Login and Logout functionality.
Finally, at the end of the Unit, you will collaborate in a real world setting as the back end developer on a team that includes front end developers and designers to build a non-trivial project with Web APIs and Node.js.
You'll spend Week 13 learning about the fundamentals of Java and Java constructs needed for Web PAI programming with the Spring Framework.
Week 14 will focus on RDBMS and Intro to APIs. You will learn to connect Web APIs using Java and the Spring Framework and connecting those to a PostgreSQL database.
Next, you'll work on enhancing your understanding of Web APIs with exception handling, automated testing, and deployment.
Finally, you'll will collaborate in a real world setting as the back end developer on a team that includes front end developers and designers to build a non-trivial project with Web APIs and Java.
You will learn...
Java – Java Fundamentals, Web APIs with Spring, Testing with JUnit
Node – Node.js Web APIs, Data Persistence, Authentication and Testing
Full Stack Application development
Get ready for interviews
In Unit 4 you're almost done with your core curriculum. Now is a good time to get your LinkedIn up and running (if you haven’t already). There are a lot of skills you can begin to add to LinkedIn to start catching the attention of recruiters. Starting in Computer Science you'll be picking up speed with interview practice, so we’re including a few related resources on behavioral interviewing as well.
5 Tips for an Awesome Web Dev LinkedIn Profile
How to Build an Amazing LinkedIn Profile
Interviewing and STAR Stories
Tailoring a resume, cover letter, or your interview prep
Be sure to follow along with the guided projects during lecture. Visually seeing a concept implemented and doing it yourself will help you better understand the objective. Reach out to your instructor if you feel stuck.
Awesome job! You've completed the first 4 Units, and now it's time to dive into Computer Science. You've got this! In the first week you'll begin to learn Python, including functions, built-in data structures, classes, modules, and flow control.
Next, you'll learn how to formally think about and solve algorithmic problems as part of the Algorithms module. Some classic algorithmic paradigms will also be introduced, as well as time and space complexity and Big-O notation. Then you'll begin to get familiar with fundamental data structures, such as linked lists, queues, and binary search trees.
Now that you've begun to understand the basics of CS, we will be looking at one of the speediest structures in the Lambda School curriculum: Hash Tables. Additional study will include applications of hash tables and hashing functions. Then, we will explore how to implement graphs, and several of the algorithms surrounding graphs to how they can be applied to solving real-world problems. Finally, you will apply the knowledge you've gained during Computer Science to build a comprehensive program and practice interview techniques. Nice job, you've finished the CS portion of Lambda School!
You will learn...
Intro to Python
Practice your technical interview skills
In CS you'll begin to practice real interview settings. It can feel stressful at first, but you'll get the hang of it with enough practice. Use the resources below to help you along the way. By the end of CS you should be familiar with expectations and structure of technical interviews. You'll continue to practice them in the next unit, Labs, and you'll be required to pass a technical and behavioral interview in order to graduate. Use the resources below to help. It can be hard, but practice makes perfect!
Use UPER (Understand, Plan, Execute, Reflect). It is THE tool to get you unstuck from any problem. That's what it's for. Replace frantically searching for example code with using UPER, and you will change your experience little by little each day.
Learning new languages is a practicable skill, like anything else. The key to success in this unit is to understand the problem and come up with a plan before you start coding.
Labs is all about applying your knowledge and learning to work in cross-functional teams. In the real world, your team might have designers, mobile developers, data scientists, marketers, project managers, front-end web developers and back-end web developers. Cross-functional team members can often have conflicting priorities and objectives. To prepare you for this environment, you will be grouped in cross-unit and cross-functional teams to collaborate together toward a shared product goal.
All of the interpersonal skills you build in labs will make great anecdotes for future job interviews, so be sure to take notes about what went well and what you learned. During Labs, you will:
Contribute meaningfully to a software project with a team of peers and practice all phases of the Software Development Lifecycle.
Experience product development that solves real user problems.
Demonstrate a proficiency of teamwork, individual contribution, problem-solving, and professionalism.
During your labs experience you’ll receive career lessons related to your projects and team experience. These lessons will help you work towards professional endorsement as well, as you’ll receive a challenge to complete a required career artifact. You’ve already received lessons on the artifacts prior to entering labs, so the hope is you already have a working draft of your resume, a LinkedIn profile, and an active GitHub. Below are details of the expectations you’ll need to fulfill to achieve your professional endorsement.
The best teams take ownership as early as possible in all aspects related to planning, communication, organization, and coding. Whether or not the project succeeds is dependent on what you do on Day 1.
Labs is a collaborative, team experience. The most successful students over communicate with their teams, and practice talking about their work.
Labs will be your first experience on a real product team and it's important to face the challenge head-on. Remember that Labs is not only about building a project, but it's also about building an experience.
Welcome to Job Search! This final part of the course will provide you with ongoing structure and accountability so you can keep sharpening your skills in real product development while searching for a job. Congratulations! You're a Lambda grad! During Job Search, you will have...
Opportunities to work as a developer alongside designers and data scientists to continue to gain real team experience;
Opportunities to apply for paid and non-profit internships and externships; and
Help with sourcing job opportunities and pre-interview coaching.
You may be done with your track experience, but now is the time to gear up for the job search marathon. Job Search is designed to provide support to active job seekers. As you begin your job search, here are some resources that will help you. Remember, the job search is a balance of upkeep technical skills, while also utilizing all the career skills you’ve been learning at Lambda in the application and interview process.
Cold Outreach & Networking During the Job Search
Lambda Job Board
List of Job Boards
Negotiating an Offer
Tips for Job Search
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