After doing a lot of soul searching, I decided to apply to General Assembly’sWeb Development Immersive. I got accepted, dropped everything in my life, and moved to NYC. Although the actual program begins in three days, I have had to do a lot of work already.
Here is what to expect if you’re thinking about doing something similar.
The Interview Process.
It started for me by simply reaching out and asking for more information while I was exploring several different options. Once I was sure that I wanted to come to GA, this was the process I went through.
Received A Prospective Student Handbook.
This was just a small PDF explaining the entire course, everything from the pre-work, the actual course, the next potential steps after the course, and useful information about what it takes to do something like this. If you are considering doing something like this, definitely read it.
Filled Out My Actual WDI Online Application.
This was pretty straight forward, I just had to answer questions about what I did (the job I had at that time), why I wanted to go through the program, and my commitment level to do something like this.
Met With An Admissions Officer.
We had a phone interview, he asked me several questions about what I hope to get out of the program, my current core competencies, explained the actual commitment involved (you really can’t have a life or a job for three months), and tried to see if I was a good fit culturally (explaining their process of education and their atmosphere).
If they still like you, advance to the next step.
The Pre-Admit Work.
*Note, I already did a lot of Codecademy’s Ruby Track so you may get asked about Ruby and actual back-end programming as well, I’m not sure.
After you do everything asked of you, the “formal” interview begins.
The “Formal” Interview.
I was living in Ohio at the time so I ended up doing a Google Hangout with one of my potential instructors where they started asking me all sorts of things. Here are a few to expect.
The Get-To-Know-You Part.
We started like normal interviews, explaining who I am, why I wanted to move my life to NYC and to GA, and if I was a bed-wetter or not (I made that last part up).
The Gauge-You-On-Your-Prework Part.
We then discussed the pre-work I completed and whether or not I enjoyed it, what was confusing, and what I learned doing it. I am guessing they want to gauge how well you enjoyed the work and see if you could do nothing but that for three months.
The Blow-Up-Your-Brain Part.
I then got asked some brain-teasers to help me understand how things would feel as I go through the program, not getting it at first, then having an “a-ha” moment, over and over again. This was fun, I have been using one of the questions I was asked on all of my friends.
There were other parts but I feel like if you just be yourself and answer everything honestly you’ll be fine either way. After this, comes official acceptance.
Officially Accepted Into WDI!
I was super excited! But wait, there is a catch… The Pre-Program work. In order to actually take the course you have somewhere around fifty hours of pre-work you receive that you MUST complete. Honestly, there is enough work involved in this that you can take double that time if you really want to. Want to start on this now? Read this book.
I’ll break down some of the pre-work for you.
The Real Pre-work.
The pre-work is really broken down into three main parts, computer and internet basics, web development basics, and programming and version control basics. It moves fast, expects a lot from you, and you come away with A LOT of great knowledge. I went from not knowing how to use terminal and knowing nothing about Ruby to being able to write small applications I made and run them on my computer.
Computer And Internet Basics.
This part was actually surprisingly useful. The focus here is to really learn how to use your computer quickly and efficiently, using things like quick-commands and better over-all workflow using your computer. I am already noticeably faster from going through this part.
Web Development Basics.
I have a decent understanding of the front-end of the web so this was a good refresher on HTML and CSS. If you don’t know what those are, or feel like they are a bunch of crazy gibberish, this part will be super useful. If you want a great introduction, This Course really helped me out but it costs $50. If you want a free alternative Codecademy is awesome.
Programming And Version Control.
The main chunk of this section was Ruby, Ruby, and more Ruby. I went through example after example, starting small and gradually getting more and more complex with everything from syntax (how to read and write the code), to programming concepts (like operators, variables, strings, loops, arrays, OOP in general, etc). This made my brain hurt from time to time but I actually loved every moment of it. I built little “apps” that would do stupid but entertaining things just for my amusement. I created a very disgusting choose-your-own-adventure game and made my friend play it. The other part I learned was Git and Github basics. Version control is a super important part of programming and Github is an amazing platform that is much more than version control that I would highly recommend you dig into.
After all of that, I’m guessing the real fun will begin.
Congrats! Now You’re Really In!
I hope you found my experience helpful! Many people have been super helpful and supportive along my journey thus far and I want to be just as helpful and supportive to anyone looking to explore a similar path! Good luck and happy coding! ☺