Brite Camp: How We Made Last Weekend a Little More "Brite"

More than 60 people joined us last weekend for our first public Brite Camp.

It’s not often you find yourself excited to come to the office on a weekend, especially earlier than you usually arrive on weekdays. This past Saturday, June 25, was an exception, as we hosted our first public Brite Camp workshop on Python.

More than sixty people (a pretty even mix of Britelings and outside friends) showed up bright and early on Saturday to improve their coding skills. One-third of the crowd hadn’t ever programmed before; one-third had some understanding of basic programming concepts; the final one-third were developers who knew other languages and wanted to learn Python.

Bob, our Senior API Engineer, took the beginners through the basics of programming, with help from TAs Kiel and Steve, who walked around the class ensuring everyone understood what was going on. By the end of the day, the participants had a number guessing game to show their friends.

Senior Software Engineer, Nesan, took the intermediate class through all the beginner material and beyond. Realizing that he had a sharp audience, Nesan blew through the lesson plan in a matter of minutes, then focused the rest of the day on application of concepts. In the end, not only did participants have a more robust customized version of the number guessing game, they also had a voting app.

On the advanced end of things, Rome and his TA, Michael, took more experienced developers through the differences in Python, introduced them to Django for Web development, and helped them build their own URL shortener.

By the time 4:00 p.m. hit, we had to convince people that we were out of material for the day — they didn’t want to leave!

We couldn’t be happier with how the day went, and a post-event survey revealed the same from our participants. Several have emailed their teachers directly, some blogged about their experience, others provided us with feedback like:

Briteling instructors wore orange shirts, which one Brite Camper described as "hot".

“It was very down to Earth. And I was actually able to complete the challenges!! Great workshop. Would love to come again.”

“Fantastic! Great energy. Perfect pace. Teaching and helping was amazing. One of the best trainings I’ve ever been to.”

“Good presentation. Fun open format for projects that allowed us to mess around and be creative in our solutions.”

“The teachers were great and I loved the casual, friendly atmosphere!! “

“Great instruction, very engaging, and awesome attitude. Can’t wait for the next one. Very friendly all around. Everyone seemed to really want to do this, as opposed to just doing it because they said they would. “

“The instructors (especially Bob and Kiel) were awesome! Very patient and friendly. The orange t-shirts were hot. In all seriousness, I really did learn a lot in a short span of time. I felt comfortable asking lots of questions (which is critical for learning), and it was very rewarding to learn how to write a short program. I had a ton of fun!”

We’ll be sure to put on more public Brite Camps, and may even continue the Python curriculum in the coming months so folks can continue to learn! Stay tuned!