New webinar: "The Remote Job Search: My Microverse Journey" with graduate Paul Rail
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With the advent of technology, it’s amazing how the impossible can become possible. In many ways, Microverse is changing the education game as it aims to become the hub that helps develop world-class software engineers across the globe. After being part of Microverse for months, I really understand how they make that happen. Here's how they do it:

Diverse student body

Microverse students hail from more than 188 countries and counting. The program helps students grow holistically, not just in terms of development skills but also their professionalism and ability to thrive in a multicultural, remote-first setting.

Multi-faceted curriculum

Microverse's curriculum offers a structured and balanced mix of pair programming, solo learning, and peer-to-peer activities to ensure that students are focused and held accountable. On top of this, there are multiple support systems in place to help guide students along their journey.

Affordable and accessible Income Share Agreement

Microverse is the only online coding school offering an internationally inclusive Income Share Agreement (ISA) to help students get the education they need and only pay once they get a software engineering job. This ISA enables each student to become a full-stack developer without upfront costs. Microverse only gets paid after the student lands a job making more than $1,000 a month, at which point they pay 15% of their income until they’ve paid back the $15,000 tuition.

Flexible and efficient coding education

Microverse is a sustainable and quicker alternative to taking a four-year computer science degree. On top of this, there’s a laser focus on orienting students to immediately land a remote-first job upon completion of the program.

A holistic approach to software development

If you’re looking for an accelerated track to becoming a remote web developer that can compete at a global level, then Microverse is for you. 

The entire program has been carefully designed and structured to help students learn and gain the necessary skills and experience to succeed, not just in software development but as a competent team player and world-class professional.

By the end of the program, I will have learned the following skills:

Technical skills

  • HTML and CSS
  • JavaScript
  • React and Redux
  • Ruby 
  • Databases
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Data Structures and algorithms

Soft skills

  • Effective networking
  • Time management
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Remote work best practices
  • How to prepare for interviews
  • Effective job searching

With the student dashboard, I know just what lessons, exercises, and quizzes need to be tackled and submitted for each week, including who to collaborate with for each activity. 

The dashboard is also where I can see my attendance, request help from support, and track individual progress. Every single activity is conveniently linked to the appropriate Zoom call and GitHub link with the description of the project. The different student groups in the Microverse community are sorted and connected via Slack, so it’s always easy to find my assignments and reach out for support when I need it.

With all the activities time-blocked and broken down into manageable chunks, all I need to do as a student is to focus on learning and applying my newfound knowledge into building real-life projects that create real impact, effectively transforming me and my classmates into capable full-stack developers.

Schedule Breakdown

Schedule Breakdown
Photo by Niko Escobal

Microverse's full-time program runs from 8 am to 5:15 pm from Monday to Friday across two different time zones, UTC-6 and UTC+1.

As I'm currently based in the Philippines (UTC+8), I chose to be a part of the UTC+1 timezone, meaning that program hours typically begin for me at 3:00 pm and end at 12:15 am.

This means that I take my dinner during "lunch break," and I have to make sure I do my personal activities prior to the start of the program.

While this initially felt like a bit of a challenge in terms of managing my schedule, it didn't take long for me to adapt. It takes commitment to be a part of the program, but I promise it's well worth it.

👬👭 Morning Session

morning activity
Photo of sample morning activity by Niko Escobal

During each 30-minute morning session, students convene with their respective groups for that week to work together on shared activities. Shared activities include: (a) giving feedback on each other's code with peer-to-peer code reviews and (b) working through exercises designed to help improve professionalism and collaboration.

Frankly, I very much enjoy the morning sessions. It's become a pre-work ritual that helps me gear up for the day. On top of giving and receiving valuable feedback on our projects, it's also a chance to meet other students.

🙎🏿‍♂️🙍🏽‍♂️Program Time I

Programing Time
Photo by Avel Chuklanov

From 3:30 to 7:00 pm (8:30 am to 12 pm UTC+1), I focus on my first time block, which contains an array of activities. Each activity has its own category and time estimation and usually involves reading articles, watching videos, and working through exercises.

Program Time
Photo by Niko Escobal

Program time is spent learning individually, building projects, and working with your partner(s). You must join a call for at least 10 minutes with your partner(s) during both program time sessions.

Meeting twice a day with my partners during learning helps everyone tackle challenges and stay motivated in the program.

Microverse employs time-blocking, which is a helpful technique to ensure that students can focus on one thing, one block at a time. Typically, this is divided between solo and group activities.

🙎🏿‍♂️🙍🏽‍♂️ Learning with partners

I personally enjoy this period of learning with partners the most. There's something beautiful about sharing moments of struggle and joy in the process of learning. Consciously making an effort to have a smooth relationship with partners, despite the differences in culture and language, really helps build the collaborative skills crucial to becoming a professional software engineer. I'm confident these experiences will help improve my ability to shine and succeed in a distributed, remote-first team setting.

Not to mention that it is super cool to make new friends from all corners of the globe. Thanks to Microverse, I have made so many amazing international friends from all over Mexico, India, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Germany, South Africa, Armenia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Spain, China, Algeria, etc.

When you spend eight hours a day with the same team, it's no surprise that friendships blossom! Among some of my favorite moments are exchanging music, learning how to say new words and phrases in different languages, and sharing random stories about life.

👥 Pair programming

During pair programming, my partner(s) and I build projects using the driver/navigator pair programming method, so we all get to channel our energies, ideas, and input to make the project a success.

Lunch break

Lunch break at Microverse
Photo by logan Jeffrey

I'd be lying if I didn't say "lunch break," 7:00 to 8:00 pm (12:00 to 1:00 pm UTC+1) wasn't my actual favorite part of the day. During "lunch break," I typically just eat a quick dinner while relaxing with my family. Then I either de-stress by playing my guitar or simply enjoying a funny YouTube video. Then, it’s back to work!

🙎🏿‍♂️🙍🏽‍♂️Program time II

Programing time
Photo by Christin Hume

My second time block is from 8:30 to 11:45 pm (1:00 pm to 4:45 pm). Depending on the day, I'll either get back to pair programming with my partner(s) or continue doing solo work. In any case, this is the time I spend wrapping up all the activities that need to be completed for the day.

For example, I recently used this block of time to learn how to use JavaScript’s fetch API, practice DOM manipulation by building a simple to-do-list app, and write tests with Jest.

Aside from working on coding-related activities, I also spent some time revising my elevator pitch as well as my GitHub and LinkedIn profiles.

Prep for standup call

Prep for standup call
Photo by Jason Strull

During this short 15-minute period from 11:45 to 12 am (4:45 to 5 pm), I usually take a few moments to reflect on how the day went. After this, I check the dashboard to see how much I’ve done for the day and take a glimpse of what’s in store for the next day.

Then, I just take note of what my blockers are and think of the actions I need to take to address them. In order to have a productive standup call, it's essential to do this step.

👫👫👫 Standup team meeting

Photo by Parabol

Standup discussions are a positive force to help the team stay motivated and keen on moving forward. During these calls, we usually just ask each other how the day went and discuss how to address any issues or blockers that came up. 

It is during the standup call that I practice being proactive when it comes to both asking for assistance and offering help in any capacity.

Ending the week strong

Ending the Week Strong
Photo by Japheth Mast

Before I can say hello to the weekend, I need to ensure that I've completed all the activities for the week, for both professional and technical skills. And when I say complete, I mean that all projects have been thoroughly reviewed and approved before 5:15 pm on Saturday.

This includes getting at least 14/20 answers correct for the weekly quiz, which tests students on the core topics studied that week.

Aside from the weekly quiz, it's also important to fill out the weekly retrospective form, which recaps how the week went and measures whether or not last week's goals were accomplished.

Activity Progress
Photo of block progress by Niko Escobal

It's only after seeing 100% for Block Progress on the dashboard that I know I've done a great job and that I can look forward to the weekend.

Final thoughts

In another article, I highlighted how Microverse acts as a powerful commitment device for learning how to code. As I’m now undergoing Microverse 2.0, I can say with even more confidence that my opinion still holds true. In fact, the improvements to the program have been nothing short of significant.

With the modules reworked so that students alternate between technical and professional skills, students now learn how to balance their time more effectively within the week.

The introduction of weekly deadlines and quizzes creates positive pressure, ensuring that students are kept on their toes and are constantly doing their best to learn.

Here are my favorite parts about being in Microverse:

Prepare for real-world software development work

Being in Microverse lets me experience an actual simulation of what it’s like to be a remote software developer in the real world. I get to learn the methodologies, techniques, and best practices for remote work and collaboration. I get to experience pair programming and work in small teams of three to four, which reflect actual work environment conditions.

The entire program is geared toward making sure my fellow students and I are ready to dive into our first software jobs prepared.

Join a worldwide coding community

Being in Microverse means being part of one big, supportive global community of aspiring developers.

We’re all on the same boat trying to become remote software developers in order to change our lives, and it’s empowering to be doing this as a community coming from similar backgrounds. We struggle together, but we also grow and have fun together. There’s nothing more comforting than knowing that you have an entire community behind your back to help support you in your journey.

Get the support you need to land a job and beyond

Microverse support is genuine and extends beyond the program duration. The Microverse team is sincerely invested in its students. I can vouch for the fact that improvements are being made rapidly in order to address students’ concerns.

Microverse only wins when its students win, so they are perfectly aligned with our interests. Microverse helps not only with landing the first job but even for the jobs after. The career coaches don’t just help with interview prep but even with salary negotiations.

And this is what it’s like to be a student in Microverse — facing challenges head-on, alongside your peers, every step of the way.

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