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Goal Setting and Expectations

Welcome to the Capstone course! In this first lesson, we'll outline the key goals of the course and set expectations for your learning journey.

Course Overview

This capstone course focuses on three major topics:

  1. Data Structures and Algorithms: You'll first dive deep into understanding various data structures and algorithms, which form the backbone of computer science and software engineering.

  2. Self-Guided Professional Development Planning: You'll have the opportunity to explore topics independently that are highly sought after in today's job market. Whichever topics you choose to explore will be informed by your future goals. For example, if you're interested in design and the front-end of applications, you might deep dive into accessible design, mobile-first development, and UX/UI best practices.

  3. Collaboration Week: Much like Team week, you will be given an opportunity to collaborate with others in the class. You'll be able to bring the skills that you've been researching to the table and share your expertise with others.

  4. Capstone Creation: Your culminating project will be the creation of a personal portfolio piece that showcases your skills and knowledge acquired throughout this and every previous course. This project might integrate elements from both data structures and algorithms and your self-guided professional development, but most importantly should align with what you are interested in pursuing. You should already have a proposed capstone idea by the time you're reading this lesson.

Expectations

Capstone Course Overall

In general, there are a few things that we will do on a weekly basis:

  • Career preparedness: Job applications, portfolio updates, etc.
  • Whiteboarding practice: LeetCode-like problems, either in pairs, groups, or with instructor feedback.
  • Continue to perform Scrum and other meetings with instructors

Data Structures and Algorithms

  • The day-to-day will be focused on applying yourself to learning concepts from Data structures and algorithms in pairs.
  • Reading lessons will be dedicated to class time in addition to the exercise lessons. There is no homework associated with lesson material from here on out.
  • Collaborate with peers for study groups and brainstorming sessions.
  • Seek help from instructors or peers when facing challenges.

Self-Guided Professional Development

  • Start by setting goals for your development, and then pursue those milestones through self exploration.
  • Explore topics of interest in pairs, groups, or solo.
  • Collaborate with peers who share similar interests to delve deeper into chosen topics.
  • Utilize online resources, tutorials, and supplementary materials to enhance understanding.
  • Document progress and insights gained during exploration.

Collaborative Week

  • Similar to team week, get together to create an application, or build upon one you've already been crafting to put your study into practice.
  • Share your expertise with your peers
  • Challenge yourself to be more specialized in a team environment

Capstone Creation

  • Brainstorm your project idea, which should align with personal interests and your goals.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan outlining project milestones and timelines.
  • Regularly update progress and seek feedback from instructors and peers.
  • Present the final capstone project showcasing your process, lessons learned, roadblocks, successes, and whatever you wish to share.

Remember, while collaboration is encouraged, individual effort and accountability are key to your success in this course. By the end of the course, you should have a portfolio piece that exemplifies your desired skills and interests that you can continue to build upon, and leverage in your future interviews.