If you enrol on a HyperionDev Web Development or Software Engineering bootcamp at one of their on-site campuses, either in Cape Town or Johannesburg, you’ll have access to your own code reviewer and personalised 1-1 mentor. Let’s meet the team. Thabang Bhili does code reviewing and mentoring for HyperionDev’s on-site bootcamp in Cape Town; let’s find out what he does day-to-day.
Before becoming an on-site mentor and code reviewer for HyperionDev, Thabang graduated from the University of Cape Town with a double major in Computer Science and Business Computing. He then went on to do data analysis for research institutes, software engineering for two non-governmental organisations, as well as mentoring at the Community Development Forum. It was only after these job experiences that he became involved in code reviewing for the HyperionDev online bootcamps in Mobile Development and Software Engineering. What does code reviewing entail? A code reviewer needs to consider the following – code quality, code defects or errors and if there are new or better solutions to the problems at hand.
Professional code review and feedback is certainly part of Thabang’s day-to-day tasks, but it’s not all that he does. He says:
When it comes to mentoring, it’s very important to me that I understand a student’s goals and what he or she wants to achieve from the bootcamps. I find it very fulfilling to work collectively towards achieving those goals. Sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas is productive and mind broadening for both the mentor and the student.
So what kinds of students make good coders? According to Thabang, two things are particularly important.
Firstly, when it comes to learning, it’s integral to love what you do or at least to learn to love it. Secondly, temperament is integral: you need patience and the correct temperament to make the most of the less stimulating foundational work. Once that’s been mastered, you’ll have the ability and skill to think like a coder and, ultimately, to become a good coder. Learning the fundamentals is a key building block to more advanced concepts.
Thabang also points out that the students’ motivation levels tend to be very high on the HyperionDev on-site programs. This makes for an excellent class dynamic. But perhaps this has more to do with Thabang’s skills as a mentor. He says:
Of course ability is important, but to be a good coding mentor it’s necessary to understand people. Working with people comes naturally to me – perhaps because I have a history of working and leading in mass organisations. Some of my students even refer to me as their “friend”. That’s a consequence of the genuine connections we have created.
In his spare time, Thabang enjoys the good things in life like a good beer with friends over jazz or deep house. He enjoys playing chess, talking about ideas and participating in activist spaces.
HyperionDev offers both full-time and part-time on-site bootcamps. These programs merge a world-class mentor-led online learning environment with face-to-face classes. It’s the best of both worlds. You have access to the physical campus to attend group lectures, meet your programming colleagues and have in-person guidance and support; simultaneously, you have the opportunity to submit work through the online platform that will be graded by a professional code reviewer. And while you’re not on campus, you can enjoy the support of live chat, email, phone and video call. You’ll also receive post-bootcamp career support in the form of career coaching, intensive interview preparation and access to lucrative hiring networks. Says Thabang about the on-site experience.
Students have access to a mentor who exposes them to different programming paradigms and approaches. The goal is to get the mindset right, including thinking like a programmer in order to ultimately become one.