Students, Research

Apply Today to Earn a Spot in Lighthouse Labs Web Development Bootcamp

The Lighthouse Labs Prize awards one lucky FCAT student a spot in their eight week web development bootcamp, a prize valued at over $7,000. Applications are due by Friday, May 1st.

April 24, 2015

FCAT had a chance to speak with both Khurram Virani, Co-founder and Head of Education at Lighthouse Labs, and Yan Hong, last year's Lighthouse Labs Prize winner, to learn more about the bootcamp.

What is the vision or goal for Lighthouse Labs?

Our #1 focus from day one has been on career development.

Our framework is to prepare students for a paid developer internship of three to four months where they continue to work with bootcamp ferocity and subsequently become full-time salaried Jr. developers immediately thereafter. And thus far 100% of our graduating students who chose to seek work have secured it within the first three months (usually one month) of graduating. That’s right: Every. Single. Student

What can students expect to learn in this Bootcamp?

Students that graduate Lighthouse are capable of building web and/or mobile (iOS) applications comparable to many of the ones they use on a daily basis. There's a big difference between web sites and web apps. Our students can build apps, which are tremendously more complex than simple sites. 

The Web bootcamp focuses heavily on "full stack" (front and back end logic) and the Mobile bootcamp focuses on iOS only. 

Last year’s prize winner Yan Hon, believes that the bootcamp has given him a competitive edge in the web development field as he can now “work on both backend and front end development.” 

What's an average day like?

The day starts at 9AM where students participate in a a short morning lecture.

At 11AM, they start on the day ‘s coding exercises, or continue on larger multi-day projects. The instructor and other mentors walk around answering questions and explaining concepts even more, performing code reviews and pair programming, just like these senior developers would mentor juniors in their company. 

There may be a short breakout that day at 3PM to address any common questions or roadblocks, otherwise the day continues as normal.

Near the end of the week at 5 or 6PM a guest speaker (a developer, designer, manager, CTO or co-founder from a local tech company) drops by to speak about something relevant that they are passionate about to inspire and education students from a different perspective.

Students code away until 9PM, with teacher support like before, and often continue to work on writing and fixing their code until the wee hours in the night.

There are about 10 hours of homework on weekends. We also don’t take holidays off. #bootcamp

How does Lighthouse Labs fit into with the local tech expansion?

Multiple ways, but I’ll pick one prime example:

For their last two weeks, students work on a final showcase project where they can build anything using any languages or frameworks that they want. Many groups decide to use new techniques and languages that they haven’t learned in their first six weeks, and we encourage that. We encourage it because it this hunger to learn, break and build things is what drives innovation and subsequently makes them better more confident developers.

Every time we host a demo day at Lighthouse, our monthly event where graduating students demo and showcase their products, the community is blown away by what they can accomplish and how they are able to do so much in such little time, after just having learned to code. But even more amazing is that some of these go on to become businesses, win startup competitions and come back as hiring partners to find more talent. 

When FCAT asked Yan Hong if the experience was worth while, he replied, "Definitely, I learned a lot of web development skills in those eight weeks, and am now able to pick up any new web development technology with ease."