Binary Studio Academy PRO!
Here at Binary Studio we are constantly aiming to keep our tech culture on the highest level, therefore our developers often attend various conferences and we also used to host and organise conferences ourselves. Now we’ve started a brand new tech activity - Academy PRO.
Academy PRO is a synthesis of two events we’ve been hosting for a long time - Binary Academy and .NET Meetings. The first one occurs once a year when we select a group of talented students and teach them how to cook the technologies right. As for .NET Meetings, they used to happen each Thursday, when .NET department gathered in a conference room and discussed some technology or technique for about an hour. However, with time it lost its regularity, and as the result it hardly gathered half the department. Another important drawback was that the material reporter shared with the audience was easily forgotten, it was treated by their colleagues as a possibility to have an hour of a rest, than a possibility to study.
So together these two ideas made up Academy PRO. It includes a set of scheduled lectures just like regular Academy, but the listeners are skilled programmers, not students. This detail makes it a more sophisticated task for the lecturer to prepare the material as he should estimate the initial knowledge of buy throw pillows and on the one hand he must cover topic completely from the beginning, but on the other hand, course should contain lots of non-trivial information which cannot be found with quick research. Apart from that, there is also hometask assigned after almost every lecture, this is an obligatory requirement to the course as practice turns lecture listeners into developers with experience of working with current technology.
Normally Academy PRO course consists of 4-10 lectures covering certain topic completely. Most of the times the complexity increases from lecture to lecture. Hometask for lectures is to enhance the one prepared for the previous lesson utilizing the knowledge achieved this time. Lessons are taking place once or twice a week, which depends on the number of lectures planned. We stick to the estimation of one month for a course.
Regarding the lecturers, any developer may play this role. Everyone can share some knowledge he\she has and it will be quite unique within company.
Though the benefits from such courses are apparent, what we value the most is that this is a community-driven self-development activity, which enables you to learn something new and to share your expertise in a relaxed atmosphere. On top of that, Academy PRO helps both: those who deliver lectures and those, who listens to them: course audience gets technology knowledge, lecturer strengthens his own skills even more and besides he gets experience of public speaking, which may be handy for him personally and also gives him confidence for speaking on possible public conferences in future.
We have already tried Academy PRO in action with several courses (JS course, ANTLR) and it showed itself perfect. So far courses are taking place once a month and we are not going to slow down - we have scheduled a few courses to the next several months (Mongo DB, Architecture design, Agile engineering, etc).
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