Forum OpenACS Q&A: 1 week boot camp questions...

Posted by Scott Mc Williams on
Hi all, I see that the 1 week boot camp is coming to my neck of the
woods. I'd love to go, and probably have the time. But I want to know
if it's going to be completely Greek to me. As you may (or may not)
know my background is in design. But, I've always had a technical
side that I've been stoking the past couple of years. I learn things
very fast (especially with practical applications). I've worked on a
number of large OpenACS sites (Edulix, Royal and the upcoming SV2s,
Pinx and Mo Bio sites) and I have a pretty good idea of how ACS
works. I'd like to be able to get under the hood more than I
currently can (so I can stop bugging James Shannon too).

  I'd also like to extend my skillset to a point where I am even more
employable. I don't have a degree (I've been too busy running my own
company for the past 6+ years) but now I'm in the market again. I'd
even love a chance to work for aD if possible, I think I have a LOT
to offer. But I know that unless I have a stronger technical
background that's not going to happen easily (and even then it won't
be easy).
  So, I'd like to hear from some other bootcampers. Was it too
intense? Not intense enough? Was it a good experience? My knowledge
of SQL doesn't extend much beyond Create, Alter, Select and a few
other commands...will I be dead in the water? I promise to read
everything ahead of time!

Thanks for your input. Remember...if I can actually learn what I'm
doing, there'll be another body available for porting!


Posted by carl garland on
I attended a portion of a bootcamp last year and the AD team is great
and worth visiting just for the company and pleasure to sit in their
chairs.  I was hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the ACS toolkit during the bootcamp by talks / demos of different parts of the
toolkit. However the bootcamp consists more of: Here are the problem sets, if you need any help doing them ask (more than willing to help).
This is fine if the goal of the bootcamp is to determine who can/will
off a set of requirement specs can adopt a new tool set, code the solutions.  Upon evaluating the *cadets* results, offer positions to
those that are capable and produce acceptable solutions.  However I
was not really looking for an offer from AD but was hoping to gain more of *seminar* experience opposed to a *lab* experience.  I feel
it is probably just as easy to accomplish the psets at home, maybe easier considering no time constrains.  If your goal is to work with
AD then I would do the pset at home anyway considering the bonus you
get upon acceptance.  I think the boot camps are also a chance for
perspective employees to *check out* AD as well.  Since you can probably just go and visit them you could accomplish this without doing bootcamp.  AD seems like a great place to work and good luck if
that is your direction.  AD has done great things lately including the
role that they have given to Adam Farkas. In case your reading this Adam, I think part of the goal AD envisions for ACS and OpenACS is to gain an acceptance and usage in market share.  This would be helped
along if there were more of a seminar or lectures / demos of the ACS
features / usage either at beginning of boot camps or separate sort
of event. If I wanted to spend my hours figuring out how to do something, I prefer to do it in the luxury of my own home.  ACS is a great toolkit but can have a hefty learning curve.  Anything that can shorten that cycle is good thing.
Posted by Adam Farkas on
But of course i'm reading the bboards, Carl 😊

Thanks for giving the bootcamp a shot. I take your suggestions for changing the course quite seriously -- we need feedback from the people who have taken the course, and unfortunately we don't often get as much as we'd like. Particularly from people who leave early.

I agree with your observation that there isn't much in the way of lectures.

The value of the experience is supposed to be rooted in the help that you can get from the TA's and fellow bootcampers. Many people have told me that they tried to do the problem sets at home, but couldn't get motivated to finish (or couldn't find a peaceful enough locale.)

Bootcamps also give people a glimpse into the local aD culture (which, I might add is somewhat different in each office! If you don't believe me, try the course in california, then boston!)

I'll pass these suggestions on to Ravi Jasuja, who runs the bootcamps in boston and is responsible for a large chunk of the documentation/revamping of the problem sets.

Finally, for anyone who would just like to get a taste of what aD is about, without taking the bootcamps, we're having a series of free "developer events" around the country. We had one in NYC a couple of months back, which was well received. The next one is in Atlanta on Feb 7th. We try to line up ArsDigita (and OpenACS) developers to speak about (open)ACS. I've already talked Ben Adida into speaking at two of these events, and i'm predicting that they'll be has already agreed to do two of these events. Hope it helps.

Posted by G. Armour Van Horn on
I dare you to bring the bootcamp into Microsoft country! I'm an hour out of Seattle and would drop everything to attend a session I could drive to.