General Assembly began in New York as a co-working space with an educational component, originally called General Assembly Space. The idea was that space members would share their industry specific knowledge with the entire group, usually focused on web development or marketing. As folks outside of GA started to catch wind of these learning opportunities, the number of non-GA members at the events began to quickly outnumber those who were part of the General Assembly co-working space.
So GA pivoted and began focusing solely on creating courses, classes, and workshops on topics such as UX design, data science, digital marketing, product management, and general business fundamentals. The project quickly achieved enough success that the GA model expanded to San Francisco, London, and Sydney, among other locales.
General Assembly arrived in Boston in October 2012, and has been running its classes and programs out of the CIC since. Among the classes that have been taught at the Boston GA, a Google AdWords session has been the most popular to date.
Starting in September, General Assembly Boston will be offering an intensive,12-week web development course, Web Development Immersive. Each day from 9 to 5:30, students will learn all the components of web development in this rigorous, unique course.
As GA’s Matt Brendzel explained, “The purpose of the program is to take someone and train them to the level where they can work at an entry level job in web development.” He added, “We focus on teaching essential skills, what you really need at a functional level.”
The curriculum includes lessons on front-end and back-end development, HTML, jQuery, DSS, Ruby on Rails, basic security, how to use API’s, and more. As Brendzel explained, “We cover an enormous amount of different topics in this program. We want to make sure that we are giving people the exposure to all the things they would actually need on the job.”
The WDI course is not designed exclusively for folks with backgrounds in web development. As Brendzel explained, "Our typical students are all intellectually curious; they need to be interested in the material and willing to learn things, they need to be resourceful in dealing with all the complications that can come with learning how to program, and they should be able to work well together."
The entire idea of the program is to give people all the tools possible to begin a career in web development. For GA, that means preparing students for all aspects of working on intense development projects. GA even has an "Apprenticeship Program" to help WDI students get real workplace experience once the three month course concludes.
David Fisher, a founding trustee of the Awesome Foundation and the lead teacher of the WDI course in New York, will be leading the session.
The course starts on September 23rd; however, the limited space for Web Development Immersive is filling up quickly. This is not an opportunity to be missed.
Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.