Interview with Juan Musleh of The Learning Junction
June 5, 2013 in Education
One to five day courses that teach programming skills have been an increasing trend over the last couple years. They meet a demand for learning that’s faster than a traditional 12-week course and a lot more fun than pure self-learning. Juan Musleh (@JuanMusleh) is creating a new series of technical courses – The Learning Junction.
I’ve worked as a developer for several years in different industries building both enterprise and consumer internet products. Currently I’m working as a lead developer at Freshbooks, one of Toronto’s most successful startups. As for my academic background, I graduated from McMaster University’s software engineering program.
How did you get into software engineering and programming?
I’ve always loved learning and building new things and programming seemed like a good way to do both.
What can you tell us about your new project?Â
The Learning Junction team is putting together a series of popular topic courses to teach programming, design and other technical skills. Our aim is to create a fun social learning environment where people with different backgrounds can develop new skills and move at their own pace.Â We’re on the look out for what those in the tech community would like to see, some of our planned courses fall under mobile development such as iOS, Android, and web development such as ruby.
Why did you decide to do this?
I decided to put together courses that I would want to go to. I thought about what I would like to learn and how. You can definitely pick up a book to learn programming or look for information online. However, it will take you more time and if you’re trying to get a project off the ground, you simply don’t have that luxury. I also had a lot of non-technical friends approach me with stories about how much they want to learn to code and how frustrating it is since they’re just getting started. Coding can be isolating at times, so having a social learning environment is a very refreshing experience.
Since Ladies Learning Code these sorts of initiatives seem to have become more common.Â What will be new and different about The Learning Junction?
I think LLC and LJ are complementary. LLC offers great introductory courses, at the Learning Junction we try to cover more material and more topics. The only way we can do this is by keeping class sizes small and structuring the content so that people can move at their own pace.
For a while now I’ve been looking for a crash course in iOS development and I looked around, but I couldn’t find anything that would work for me. There weren’t too many options out there to start with, the courses offered were very expensive, upwards of $3000 for a couple of days of teaching. On top, the courses were offered at inconvenient times and were not frequent enough. So we decided to offer a more frequent and far more affordable solution.
What is the future of the programming related learning courses?Â
Our approach is to offer something more affordable with course material that is more attainable, nobody wants to shell out $1500+ and come out with nothing. As for the future I think people are going to adopt a more hands on approach. I think everyone realizes the value in learning new skills with others especially from those who are more experienced. It’s a great way to overcome the frustration of doing things on your own.
If you’re interested, get in touch with Juan and mention this blog post for a discount firstname.lastname@example.org