The Power of Thinkful by Craig Nestler

This post was written by Craig Nestler, a student from our first class we introduced to Smarsh. They hired him within three weeks.

The Power of Thinkful

When I was connected to Dan, I had no idea what to expect. Fast forward a few months, after being a student of Thinkful's inaugural front-end web development class, and I have landed a job with a tech company. There are many things that contributed to my success, but l will highlight a few overarching factors.

The Thinkful Model

Thinkful carefully develops and curates an online curriculum full of great reading materials, tutorials, and projects that flow together. Their process allowed me take a concept and immediately apply it to a project in real-time, taking "learning by doing" to a whole new level. As I went through material and started hacking, I quickly found myself working through errors. If I was stuck after a while, Thinkful's live support was there to assist me within an hour, sometimes within minutes. This is huge. In comparison to other self-guided learning platforms where you have to look to forums at best for answers, I solved my problem and moved forward without wasting much time. It is rather demotivating when you are stuck, so the live support that Thinkful offers is a game changer.

Combining a self-guided curriculum with live support, this learning model gave me the know-how and skills to successfully start working on my own projects.

Career Discovery

Thinkful cares. They pride themselves in helping their students discover what they want to do with their career. In November, I was unsure whether I wanted to pursue front-end web development full-time or continue to do business development and sales. Throughout the course, not only did they guide me through the curriculum, but they connected me to industry professionals to speak to so I can get a better feel of the career path. This is extremely valuable, as getting a first-hand perspective swayed me to continue exploring the business side. Now I have learned one of the most valuable skills in the industry and I stand out as a business person with technical know-how.

Thinkful then takes it to the next level. Their employer network of tech startups, specifically in NYC, is powerful for students looking to change careers. Dan and Darrell are both experienced and credible entrepreneurs, who have brought on many tech companies and startups as hiring partners. Once you finish the course you'll have learned a critical skill and figured out the career path for you. Best of all, there are dozens of companies (and growing) looking to hire you. Super convenient, isn't it?

Value of Coding

Without a doubt, technology is immersed in every industry and employers are beginning to expect a degree of development skills. It is one of the most in-demand skill sets, as companies that never needed the internet are now dependent on it. Also, it is looked highly upon when a biz dev/sales person can speak the language. This is a key differentiator that can elevate you to the next level, especially at tech companies. Undoubtedly, my technical skill set and know-how contributed heavily to choosing me to hire.

To sum it up, Thinkful is there for you. Whether it is when you run into a coding issue, or are looking to make a career change, they have your back and aren't satisfied until you win.

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