Instructor Spotlight: Life-long Coder James Traver Teaches WDI In Chicago

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James Traver, WDI Instructor for General Assembly in ChicagoJames Traver is a WDI instructor in Chicago. Having learned programming on his own from a very young age, James enjoying helping his students avoid the pitfalls that he endured as a new developer.
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Bringing Innovation Home: How One Student is Supporting Local Business in Flint, MI

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Adrian won the GA World Tour back in 2013, getting an exclusive deep dive into GA and the startup world. She has since enrolled in our online Web Design Circuit to learn front-end web development and design skills. Now, she’s putting her skills to work as a Senior Consultant for the Flint Area Reinvestment Office, supporting local entrepreneurs and building a startup culture in the blossoming Michigan city.

Follow Adrian on Twitter: @sunnyokina

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How to Measure Social Media ROI

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Social Media ROI

Using social media to market your business is something every business should do; however, despite what some may think, social media is not free. There’s at least a minimum investment that you have to make, even if it’s just your time, existing knowledge, and ability. When there’s an investment in the business, it becomes necessary to measure the return you’re getting on that investment, your ROI.

But how do you measure the ROI of social media? Well, the math is the same as any other ROI calculation:

ROI = (RETURN – INVESTMENT) / INVESTMENT

The math, the calculation, is easy. Defining “return” and “investment” are the hard parts. Here are 7 variables to consider when measuring, proving, and defending the ROI on your social media investment. Continue reading

Celebrating All Things Made In Seattle

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NewLocationLaunch_Seattle_Twitter_506x253

As a way of giving back to Seattle for welcoming General Assembly one year ago, we created a week to highlight great local products being developed in the city — from tech and design to music, food, and beer. From Monday, June 1- Friday, June 5 we want to bring people from all backgrounds together and foster collaboration through education. We want you to learn a bit more about some of the great work others are doing across a variety of disciplines all over Seattle. Follow the conversation with our hashtag #MadeinSEA.

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How Teaching Reignited My Passion For Programming

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teaching at General Assembly

During the winter of 2014, I started questioning myself about my long term goals. I had been developing for some time, and I love coding very much. It actually involves a lot of thinking prior to taking any action. Plus, coding requires a combination of Cartesian mind with good instinct; two qualities you’d rarely put together. The closest analogy to this would be a chess game: there is no way you can predict every outcome, and you still have to make a move given time and resource constraints.

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Creators Unconference: The Schedule Has Landed

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Creative-Unconference

Calling all marketers, growth hackers, storytellers, and media buffs: GA is pleased to announce the inaugural Creators Unconference, taking place at the Hudson New York hotel from Friday, 29 May– Sunday, 31 May. Rub elbows with some of the top influencers in the digital world during this weekend-long celebration of both digital and physical creative endeavors. Find the official lineup below: Continue reading

Why Data Skills Are Great for Non-Math Backgrounds

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datagirl

Never in my life would I have considered myself a data storyteller. While I had always been good at math—taking multiple levels of calculus throughout my years of high school, college, and grad schools—numbers didn’t really interested me. I was more interested in disciplines like sociology and government that I felt were ‘solving real problems.’ Eventually, I majored in English because I enjoyed the challenge of interpreting and communicating complex ideas. Plus, someone once told me that ‘girls can’t be good at math.’  Continue reading

4 Common User Interface Patterns You Should Be Using

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User Interface Patterns

“There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself.” This quote comes from author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Survivor, but it’s also a perfect summation of the world of user interfaces.

User Interface patterns (UI) are common best practices that serve as a reusable solution to a frequently occurring problems. Over time, users acclimate to these patterns and can even grow to expect them. Herein lies the issue. If a pattern becomes ubiquitous with a certain task, the user experience can be hindered if the pattern is not present or a suitable replacement is not offered.

As user experience designers, we need to keep up with these trends and patterns. However, it is not enough to just recognize and utilize them, but we must also understand the implications associated as well.

In this post, we will explore the following common UI patterns for further examples:

  • Input – Inline validation
  • Navigation – Infinite scroll
  • Content management – Hover controls
  • Data management – Draggable objects

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Business Exec Catapults His Career By Learning to Code

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Photo by Myleen Hollero, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Kourosh has years of experience in business development for both media companies and startups. Before joining San Francisco’s Web Development Immersive, he worked for Tugboat Yards. Post-course, he launched a startup with a classmate and landed a new role as the VP of Strategic Partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation. 

Follow Kourosh on Twitter: @kouroshk

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Why Entrepreneurs Should Learn Design Skills

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Visual-Design

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important investments that I make is in my own learning. Having spent a year running a content marketing consultancy, I’ve learned more than I ever would have imagined about my client’s pain points, the legalities of growing a new venture, and even accounting. 

Across all of these disciplines, I’ve noticed the following the trend—that with the proliferation of data and the pace at which information moves, information is becoming increasingly more difficult to communicate.

For years, I thought that learning to code would give me a competitive edge as a founder.  I’ve been self-teaching principles of data science and programming for years, to the extent that I can confidently work with developers. When my CTO Justin joined my team as co-founder, however, I came to a touch realization—I was wasting both of our time by figuring out how to become an ‘expert programmer.’ 

The best way to increase my value as an entrepreneur would be to learn design.

Here’s why: Continue reading