“Begin with mitapov”, or whether programming courses are generally needed

    In this post - deciphering selected moments from the Python Junior Podcast release, recorded at the Moscow Python Conf ++ conference: we talked about Python teaching techniques and whether programming courses are needed at all.

    Main topics:

    • What motivates people to take programming courses?
    • Does life work after courses?
    • What is the difference between online and offline courses?
    • To whom they will be useful, and to whom training to the bulb?
    • How to choose a course and where to start learning programming?

    Python Junior Podcast - programming podcast for those who want to better understand Python. Esters are evangelical community MoscowPython and course instructors Less Learn the Python .

    In the conversation participated:

    • Valentin Dombrovsky, co-founder of MoscowPython
    • Grigory Petrov, MoscowPython Evangelist
    • Alexander Sinichkin, timlid at UseTech, speaker and teacher of GeekBrains
    • Ilya Lebedev, MoscowPython evangelist, co-founder of the Learn Python programming school

    Why do people go to courses

    Valentin Dombrovsky: Under what conditions can courses work at all? From the point of view of the organization and from the point of view of the person himself. It is clear that the courses simply will not invest knowledge and skills in a person if he does not want this.

    Ilya Lebedev: Those who take courses have different goals. And not always the goal - to get a job. According to statistics, which I once collected from various sources, the goal of "getting a job" is not even in the top three. Usually for fan dudes to go learn something new, or is it a variant of intellectual pastime for them.

    Not everyone goes to courses to change jobs.

    If we talk specifically about the change of work, then in our industry this is all bad. To get a job immediately after the course, you need a share of luck or a coincidence.
    There are almost no places where you can come, give money, time, and at the exit get the knowledge and skills you need to get an interview at and get a job. Or even almost - they simply do not. I do not know a single service that promises this.

    Grigory Petrov: I signed up for a course in general biology a few days ago, which was advertised on Habré. Understandably, I will never be a biologist, but in my picture of the world this course just competes with serials, books, and so on. Every morning I spend 15 minutes on the course, 15 minutes on the books.

    Programming courses do not compete with universities or internships, but with mitos and serials.

    Ilya Lebedev: I have statistics on courses that cost more than 20 thousand rubles, and there really are less than 20% of the participants go to change jobs within six months.

    It all depends on different parts. Now we are talking about courses not for the June, but already for advanced. People go with these thoughts: “I am a Python programmer, I work with Django, I get it high. I want to do this, not only sitting at home at a laptop: I want to talk with the funny guys and find something really cool that I will go down later. ”

    Instead of hanging out on Habra and Google, they go to some place where there is already curated content and there is someone who will answer all the questions. This is a concentrated way of self-study.

    Alexander Sinichkin:For such courses is already more or less experienced person. He has already plunged into the world of programming and knows that first of all he must do everything for learning: read the documentation and the materials that are sent to him.

    Although there are ordinary students who come to the institute, sit on pairs, draw in a notebook and think that they will get a crust - and they will have a job. I very often met such.

    Are programming courses effective?

    Ilya Lebedev: There are dudes who are waiting for knowledge to be invested in them. They will not help with any courses. They will sit and pick their nose, they are useless courses. And those who are proactive, and courses are not needed, because they themselves with a mustache.

    Courses help save resources.

    Here you can come to the idea that in general no training is needed, and all this is from the evil one, only to cut the dough. In fact, the story of “saving a little time” is often not a little, but a lot. And get a rhythm, deadlines, confidence, dating, and many, many advantages.

    Grigory Petrov: I study Japanese, and I really like to give it as an example. I taught him several years on my own, went through different ways. I hired a teacher, worked with him for several months, tried the praised Genki. A couple of months ago, I found the WaniKani service, already quite old. Starting to practice it, I realized: this is how to teach Japanese.

    Now I sit with WaniKani 15-30 minutes a day, I have progress, and everything is fine with me. And what did I do a few years before that? Independently chose different options, wondered and lost many hundreds of hours.

    Alexander Sinichkin: Courses do not do their job very well. Too little is given in the courses to be able to put a person on a real project.

    You are really very lucky if you find an intern in a real company on real projects. This is the most effective way: you are thrown into the water and you are swimming. Under supervision, but swimming and trying to get out themselves.

    These are not some educational projects, when you can break something and not bathe, do not think about the quality of the code or its optimization. It really has to quickly reach the most.

    One month of work will replace six months or a year of courses.

    My interns come to me after the courses and after a month they say: “What I wrote before is such a horror! This month has given me a lot more. ”

    What are the formats of courses

    Grigory Petrov: Now there are a lot of course formats. There are non-interactive formats, where only text. There are formats where we watch videos, read the text and pass exams, a la Coursera. There are more interactive where we communicate with live teachers. It's all online.

    And there are various offline programming schools where we study everything either partially online or partially offline. More than ten different options.

    Alexander Sinichkin:More courses vary in size. There are short webinars and workshops where a small topic is covered in two hours. There are 10 lessons on a single topic, such as Django, where they teach how to create a small online store from scratch. And there are voluminous courses that have been going on for several months, where the program is tight enough: not only Django, but also related topics, the same JavaScript, and deployment.

    Grigory Petrov: In Moscow, they will launch a new initiative - Bootcamp. This is when they take a living person and put them in a camp for three months, where 10-12 hours a day, he and the same highly motivated people study, study, study and no longer do anything. This format is now megapopular in the States.

    After studying at the "bootcamps", almost 80% of the participants get a job as a programmer.

    Yes, Ilya, I have long wanted to ask. When I opened the Learn Python stream with you, I was surprised to learn that the course is offline and online. It seemed to me, they are essentially no different. Tell me, what is the difference between them - according to statistics, according to feelings.

    Ilya Lebedev: When you study online, you are less involved in the general movement, and therefore you need to kick in more often, more often arrange common sponges. The percentage of "falling off" in online is higher, so for online you need to arrange more joint activity. We have weekly general calls, where everyone talks about their progress, and calls them separately for projects.

    How to choose a course on programming

    Valentin Dombrovsky: What is important to consider when choosing a course? How to understand if the course is suitable, is the teacher suitable, what should I pay attention to?

    Alexander Sinichkin: It is desirable that any materials of the teacher be available in free access to watch them before recording. It is necessary to understand how a person conveys his point of view, as far as available explains. Pay attention to how it shows something, if it is interactive, how to write code.

    For those who do not rummage at all, at first it is very difficult to understand our language at all, IT slang. We must pay attention to how a person conveys information. You can speak slang, but everything will be clear from the context.

    If you do not understand the teacher, then even paying for the course, you still will not understand him.

    Grigory Petrov: There is my favorite “Miller's wallet” - a pattern according to which our brain can keep 4–5 new pieces in focus at the same time.

    Therefore, write in a notebook, how many new pieces the teacher has entered during the 10-minute interval. If they are around 5-7, all is well. And if there are 20-30, then perhaps the teacher is a great specialist, but, you know, Einstein was a very fig physics teacher.

    Ilya Sinichkin:I'll be here as an opponent and say that all this garbage and does not work. Suppose you decide to purchase one of the courses that I teach. You google "Ilya Lebedev Python". Find my performance on some mitap and watch it. What do you learn from this? Find out how I prepare for classes? Not. Find out how I teach? Also not, because these are completely different formats. Even if the format is the same, it may have been several years and much has changed since then.

    You can google reviews on previous course sets. But there are always both super-dissatisfied and overly satisfied guys. The truth is somewhere in the middle. That number of comments that need to be collected to get a representative sample, most likely, will not.

    Когда я думаю, как найти надежный способ оценить качество учебного мероприятия, мне приходит в голову только один — пойти и поучиться там.

    It may be possible to enroll not for the whole course, but for a certain number of classes. If it does not, go away. This is the only way that works with me.

    Valentin Dombrovsky: Our podcast is supported by Learn Python. According to the author's method of Ilya, we arranged our courses. You can sign up, go to the first lesson, but you need to make a prepayment. And then, if you don't like it, we will refund the money. Ilya, there are statistics, how many people fall off after the first classes?

    Ilya Lebedev: One, maximum two people. But for 10 sets there were only two or three cases when a student did not converge with the curator. All the rest is when some personal and work affairs really fell on the people and they did not have time for courses.

    What is the role of the curator of the course

    Grigory Petrov: Ilya, I have a detector of "Miller's wallet" clicked. You introduced a new term - “curator”. Tell me a little, who is this?

    Ilya Lebedev: I'll come from the classification of courses. An important topic is what percentage of the teacher’s attention each student receives. On the one hand, there are some university stream lectures where one smart person comes and starts to rub something to two hundred students who sit in the audience.

    And on the other hand, this is some kind of mentor story, when I meet twice a week with the lord of the language I teach. He does not have a program, he specifically adapts to me.

    Finding a senior who can coolly teach is one more hemorrhoids, and he stands like a real developer.

    It is better to be closer to mentoring history than to streaming. And our courses are designed so that, on the one hand, each student receives as much attention as possible, but on the other, the course does not cost horse money. We have the whole stream divided into small groups of 3-7 people. Each of them is assigned a teacher, who is called the curator.

    Valentin Dombrovsky: We do not have professional teachers, we have people who practice.

    Where to start learning programming

    Valentin Dombrovsky : If a person wants to learn programming, but he can’t decide on that, what do you advise him?

    Grigory Petrov: You just need to start taking the first steps. In my opinion, the best first step is to come to the meetings.

    A person wants to learn how to program in some area. He looks at what mitapes are in his city on this topic. Then he comes to the mitap, listens, communicates. There will definitely be organizers - special people who need to communicate and answer questions.

    He approaches them: “Hi, I came from Tula, I work as a salesman in M.Video.” I have always been fascinated by the work of a programmer, but I am very afraid because I did not study mathematics at school. ”

    And then I run out at him with shouts: “Programmers do not need mathematics! Dude, there won't be anything at all but a plus and a minus! If you like Python, take this book, start reading. And if you have any questions, here is my business card for you, write. ”

    Alexander Sinichkin: I remember myself. Having come to the first mitap, I was very shy. It seems like smart people are standing here, they say smart things. I, the seller of "M.Video", will come, and what should I say?

    I would advise you to try to find constantly repeated patterns in your tasks. I started exactly with this. I wrote a little script, it was terrible.

    Your first code will be terrible, this is normal. It's just the first step.

    The main thing is to be interested. Then there will be mitapes, and a good code, and courses.

    Ilya Lebedev: Once I came to the MoscowPython mitap and listened to the report, which was called “Why an online store developer”. The developer told how he came home after work, put on his raincoat and hat and made his online store: purchases, warehouse, sales, marketing.

    After the report, I ask him: “Dude, what to do if everything is cool, you want it, but sometimes you can’t? I'm after work, I'm tired, I'm too lazy. ” He says: “Do not do it. Do not want to - do not do it. Watch the show.

    Then it seemed to me wildness, and very depressive. Like, there are people who want, but I'm not one of them, I do not have this superpower. Now I am much more relaxed about this and understand that this is a drop of correct advice. If you do not want, then do not do it. Maybe you like macrame.

    Valentin Dombrovsky: I have a final question. Alexander, facing Guido, what will you tell him?

    Alexander Sinichkin: I will try to thank him as warmly as possible for the fact that he created such a thing, which now constitutes an essential part of my life. And I hope it sounds sincere.

    Ilya Lebedev: I will say that he is cool because he creates trends and does not copy them.


    This is only part of the release.Python Junior . You can listen to the full episode .

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