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What is a SoT Bootcamp?

By Ruth
May 1 2017

Posted in Blog

Bootcamps

Bootcamps are 1-2 hour workshops or tech talks, delivered by industry volunteers. They provide an introduction, overview and context for a range of skills, technologies and tools that are in high demand in the New Zealand technology industry. Bootcamps are usually held on university campuses, in areas where we have employers and volunteers available to deliver them.

We focus on the skill areas that employers tell us graduates are missing! That means… lots of professional skills! Employers don’t expect interns and graduates to have much in the way of technical expertise, they’re assuming they’ll have to teach on the job. What they want to see in a candidate is the right attitude, aptitude and motivation to learn.

Our professional skills bootcamps include Developer and Designer-specific CV and portfolio bootcamps, communication skills, interview skills, Agile, and more.

We do have technical topics in software development, digital design, testing, business analysis, security… etc, and the curriculum changes every year depending on employer feedback.

Here’s a snapshot of the bootcamp topics we covered in 2016:

Tips for 2017 Bootcamp Presenters

Topic

The SoT team will have a chat with you about the topic. You’re welcome to suggest a new one, but we do have a “curriculum” that we’ve refined over the years. We’ll discuss what you have in mind, what’s worked in the past, and what’s achievable in 1-1.5 hours.

Audience

Our bootcamps are always free, and usually open to ALL SoT students, on a first come first in basis. If you have prerequisites or want to limit numbers, we’ll have a chat about how to get the right people in the room.

Attendees will have a wide range of knowledge/skill/experience. You can expect first years right through to final year.  In the event description, you can talk about any assumptions you have, e.g. “some familiarity with a programming language will be assumed”.

We have 2 levels of technical bootcamp, a “101” is targeted at an introductory level, and a “Masterclass” goes a bit deeper, ideally into an applied example.

Pre-requisites

You can suggest pre-reading or software installations, or if there’s a free online tutorial that will save you talking time at the beginning, that’s fine too.  Remember students are attending our bootcamps ON TOP of an already busy study schedule, so they may not have a huge amount of time to prepare for your session.

If you want students to bring a laptop, please mention it in the event description.

Bootcamp content

The most popular topics are the practical, worked examples. “Lecture style” can be tiring, bearing in mind it’s at the end of a long day, and we don’t have a catering budget!!

We suggest you spend 10-20 minutes introducing the topic, giving examples of how it’s used in industry, how it relates to other disciplines or tools, who uses it, and what the career path might look like.  Then 40-60 minutes on a practical exercise (either a demo or an actual workshop), then 10-20 minutes on Q&A’s or discussion.  But that’s not a formula, your topic might lend itself to a tech talk style.

During the bootcamp

We usually have 120 attendees at bootcamps, which is a large number to support if you have a technical workshop. Many presenters will bring along a couple of roaming helpers to go round the room and make sure that everyone is keeping up.  We also have a Slack channel where you can share content/resources during and after the session.

After the bootcamp

We really appreciate extra reading, tips about online resources or courses where students can continue to learn about the topic! If you’re available to support with Q&A’s via Slack afterwards, that’s also appreciated!

 

In 2016, we had 1,300 unique attendees at bootcamps!! While we don’t have enough jobs for every student, our goal to increase the skill & awareness level of students coming through tech education is mostly delivered through bootcamps. Thanks for being part of the programme, we HUGELY appreciate our volunteer presenters who are passing on knowledge to the next generation!

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