COVID drove the UC Berkeley Coding Boot Camp online in early 2020. Sadly, it seems as though there are no plans to resume in-person classes. I say “Sadly” because I really enjoyed the in-person experience. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to teach real people than little black rectangles on Zoom. You can more easily control the learning environment by removing outside distractions. Plus, it’s easier to troubleshoot issues on students computers when we can work side-by-side on a student’s device.
But there are some positives, however. Students do not have to live in the Bay Area to attend the course. Also the class size is not limited by the number of chairs in the classroom. As a result, online classes tend to be quite a bit larger.
I remember those “first day of class” experiences in person. Students would take turns standing up and introducing themselves to everyone. With a class size of 25 students, this could take 45 minutes or so on the first day. With online classes the number of students enrolled can be 50, 60, or even more! That makes individual introductions impossibly long.
This inspired me to build app that would enable students to create a profile and introduce themselves online. Students could read the profiles at their convenience. This app could also generate code that we could use to seed databases for future class projects.
My next cohort will use “carlsonscoders.com”, which I have recently deployed on AWS infrastructure. It uses:
- Route 53 for domain DNS
- Cognito for authorization
- Amplify for hosting
- DynamoDB for the database
- AppSync for real-time database update rendering
- Cloudscape Design (formerly AWS-UI) for UI components
Amplify simplified the backend to the point where all I had to do was work on the front end components.
As of now, there is no fancy home page. Students need to register through a link provided by the instructor. You can demo the app using this link: https://www.carlsonscoders.com/course/ff68616a-c3b7-440a-8be2-358bda11d6a3