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Latest Code Project: Coder Ranking

Coder Ranking
Version 1 of the Mockup Site Design

While traveling over the Thanksgiving break, I encountered a sign for a "code school" along the highway. That got me thinking: why isn't there a code school that allows you to pick up classes?

I did some research on this "code school" that I saw an ad for, and noticed two things:
  1. They only do Software (Python, Ruby, C#, etc)
  2. They charge $12,000 for a 12 week course!

  3. I'll admit that $12k is a lot to shell out for a coding course, and their in-depth approach is nice, but most people (especially aspiring programmers) don't have enough to buy a new car with (including me).

    I did some more research on other code schools, such as Codecademy, Udemy, Coursera, Treehouse, and others, and found that they were all lacking some form of educational resource: in-person training, low cost, accreditation, full study specializations, basic training (ex: Java for an Android course), predictive course schedules, and a few others. So I thought about merging my Entrepreneural and Programming experiences to make one.

    That's where I came up with Coder Ranking.

    (The name is mainly the only .com domain that I could get.)

    What is Coder Ranking?


    Coder Ranking does three primary things:
    1. In-person Training: The "online education" doesn't fit everyone (I know it's a challenge for me), and helping students and getting help from emails and forums just doesn't help. Someone needs to be there to help explain it, or show it live so it can be better understood.
    2. Low Cost: Not everyone has a grand or so laying around for a course or two. Therefore, by offering the training at a low cost, it should be accessible by everyone.
    3. Courses are à la carte: If someone has some fractured formal education, and needs to catch up to the latest trend or at least round out their training, they shouldn't have to go through 2- or 4-year colleges to get the education for something they already know 50% of (see my example below).


    Coming from Fractured Training


    The last one is probably the best: the à la carte option. Since I was semi-formally trained in Web Development, I learned HTML (4), CSS, PHP, MySQL, XML/XSL, and basic JavaScript. HTML5 I had to learn on my own, and the jQuery library. However, the big issue here is that while I was trained in PHP, I was trained in Procedural Programming while other languages like Java and C++ use Object Oriented Programming, which PHP does as well. My training was acceptable, but trying to get a better understanding of OOP and implement it was like pulling teeth. After much, much research, I have found that OOP is better, and I should have been doing it all along, but the tutorials that I stumbled upon were either jumping around like the person that wrote it assumed the learner knew, or were too advanced to understand.

    Additionally, since I went to college, Java wasn't really a big thing, so I didn't think that a CIS Degree would help. So I went into Entrepreneruship. However, a few years after I graduated, Java is the big thing (Mobile programming, OOP-based training, code structures, etc), and a CIS/CS Degree would be needed for a fallback field in case I wanted to go anywhere. When I tried to take an "Android Development" course through Coursera, I thought that it would be nice to learn, since the instructions said "For beginner programmers, with little to no experience with Java." I signed up for it, and the first lesson was great. However, the 2nd lesson required an understanding and experience in Java. Otherwise, the lesson didn't make any sense. So I tried to get some education in Java, and (sans the Oracle training) there wasn't really much out there. I tried to pick up some odd courses and tutorials here and there, but nothing really made sense. After a while, I tried the Android course (again, without knowing it was the same course), and even with the little experience I had in Java, the 2nd lesson still beat me.

    So why wasn't there a place to get a Java education without a 4-year degree (and cost)? I didn't know.

    Badge!

    Extra Bonus


    Another thing I like about Coder Ranking is in the name: The students are ranked by their education material.

    By completing each course, a student will get a badge and some points toward their profile. Additionally, they will get a certificate saying they passed. As they get more education, they can get more badges and points (basic gamification).

    The added benefit is that they will also get an identifying code that will allow employers and the like to look up their public education record (limited to Coder Ranking) and see what they have done. No other coding school really does that. I have some certificates from some coding schools, but unless I take the certificate in with an interview, the only reference that my possible employer will have is a listing on my resume.

    Can I Test Out?


    Additionally, coders with experience can "test out" of a course" and just try for the certification. For example: I have plenty of experience, but I don't have many certifications in coding. Some certifications I can get are from odd 3rd party resources that will either charge me $200-$10k for a certification, and even then, it may require a class or two. I just want the sheet of paper saying I know my stuff!

    I'm hoping that I can get Coder Ranking accredited some how to make the certifications mean more than just a sheet of paper. It's in the works.

    I'll work on this a little more and get my entrepreneurial experience up and going once more!


Tags:#coderranking #gamification #badges #courses #coding