You're in the last step! In this preparatory guide, you will find all of the information you need to prepare for your first day of the Academy. Please read over this information carefully so you don't miss anything pertinent for your preparation.
- Build a simple website introducing yourself (mandatory)
- Laptop Requirements
- Operating System
- Applications (Visual Studio Code & Google Chrome)
- Accounts (e.g. Slack & Github)
Other things to consider
- Your keyboard
- Computer literacy
Next to the preparatory learning on FreeCodeCamp we like you to do there is also some homework for you to make. For all information pertaining to the homework assignment, checkout the pre-academy homework git repository. This homework assignment is mandatory.
Your laptop should be relatively new in order to run all the latest software that is used throughout the Academy. It doesn't have to be very fast computer but a 64bit processor is necessary. Just as a reminder, tablets are not suitable alternatives for use in the Academy.
If you are looking at purchasing a new laptop before the start of the Academy, more often than not, a Mac is the definitive choice for developers. Having one makes installing and configuring your development environment a lot easier.
With that said, even with the Apple education discount program, Mac computers come with a price tag. But by no means is this your only option. If you're not in the market for a Mac, you are best to aim for a higher-end laptop (e.g. Lenovo) with hardware that is well supported by the Ubuntu operating system.
For the Academy, we only support the following Unix based operating systems:
- macOS (Apple)
- Ubuntu (a Linux flavour)
Why not Windows? Unfortunately, Windows is not very friendly with the core technologies that we teach during the Academy. We want students of our Academy to be able to focus on the fundamentals of coding and not the nuances that come with programming in a Windows environment.
As such, all Windows users will need to install the Ubuntu operating system on their laptop prior to the start of the Academy.
If you are unsure of how to do this, please follow these instructions for installing Ubuntu next to your Windows System. You can also find great how-to video tutorials through websites like Youtube, that will show you step-by-step, how to install Ubuntu as a dual boot setup on your Windows machine.
Note: Do not install Linux in a virtual environment inside Windows, you should boot your laptop straight into Ubuntu.
During the academy we will install a number of software packages, some of them have quite hefty space requirements. If you are installing Ubuntu next to your Windows system, make sure to permit Ubuntu at least 20GB of disk space, preferably even more.
At a bare minimum, the applications below must be installed and working on your computer prior to the first day of your Academy:
- Slack - We will be using Slack on a daily basis for communication and the distribution of information. Please download the desktop app; when the time gets closer to the start of your Academy, you will receive an invitation by email to join Codaisseur's Slack team.
- Github - is a version control system that helps developers build applications. You will be using extensively to save your code and build a portfolio.
Other things to consider
To view your Academy's schedule, checkout our public calendar here. This calendar exists to strictly give you an overview of the days in which you are expected to be in the academy.
Like any schedule however, things do come up and whilst we do our best to stick within the confines of our planning, things may change from time-to-time. Should this be the case, the calendar will be updated to reflect the appropriate changes and you will be notified at the earliest convenience.
As a future developer, it is important that you learn to love your keyboard. Being proficient at typing and knowing a number of useful shortcuts will help you become better at what you do. Take a look at some of the tips and tricks for your respective operating system below and, if you need to brush up on your touch typing, start as soon as possible.
- Keyboard Shortcuts Every Web Professional Should Know
- Application Shortcuts Every Web Professional Should know
- Navigating and Selecting Text
It is important to note that while we are a school that teaches people to code, we don't in fact teach people how to use their operating systems. You need to be proficient in the use of your operating system before arriving at the Academy. What is deemed proficient for the Academy? You should be able to carry out all of the following tasks with ease:
- Install/Uninstall applications
- Locate/Run applications
- Switch between open applications(without the mouse)
- Create new directories (in your terminal)
- Be familiar with the computer settings/system preferences panel
- Adjust computer settings
- Understand how to navigate using a browser (Chrome)
If you are unable to carry out some or any of these tasks or, as a Windows user you are new to the Ubuntu operating system, we suggest you follow some tutorials to get you up to speed. Below are just some suggestions to help guide you along the way; don't feel limited to what we have provided below, there are vast quantities of material found on the internet for all learning types.
- Ubuntu: A Beginners Guide (starting from section 6)
- Ubuntu Tutorial for Beginners Guide, Newbies Guide
Most important for Windows users that switch to Ubuntu: make sure you use Ubuntu as much as possible. Please make sure your first day with Codaisseur is not your first day with Ubuntu.
That's it for now...
A couple of days before the Academy starts, you will receive a Slack invitation you will be using throughout the program. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this email, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org