The goal of the pre-course is that you learn to study independently and find solutions to coding problems with your peers - just like you will when you work in a software dev role.
The pre-course is a 4-week long, part-time course, which takes about 25 hours' of work a week. It starts 4 weeks before the onsite Makers training starts: the goal is to make sure that all developers start the course with the same knowledge and that they familiarize the way Makers work.
Developers have access to the pre-course materials after they had paid the deposit. By the time they are on the pre-course, we consider Makers to be developers, not students: we expect everyone joining us to be responsible for their own learning.
As a first step of the pre-course, developers will be added to our Makers slack channel. This is a platform where developers will be able to contact people of the same cohort, or Makers in previous cohorts. Devs will also receive a link with the materials for the pre-course: they will be expected to work on different coding challenges each week.
Via Slack, developers will also have access to pre-course coaches, who will answer questions each morning. But the most important resource for the developers will be the community they are in. We recommend that developers try to come to solutions with the help of their own cohort: this will give the confidence that developers will need not just on the course, but later in their careers. We have a lot of alumni who mention that when they feel overwhelmed in their software developer roles, they think back to Makers not just for technical knowledge, but also for the resilience that it helped them muster in the face of unknown problems.
Makers will not provide on-site or phone support for coding challenges: rather, the pre-course is an opportunity to gain confidence in working with teams, and coming to solutions utilising the available resources.
It is quite rare that developers don't finish the Makers pre-course - in the last 9 months, we had one person who felt that they were not ready for the onsite course afterwards (the developer in question later came back to join a later onsite course). Makers is a very self-directed course of learning, which is something to consider when applying - that's why we encourage everyone to come and meet the Makers before committing, either via arranging a drop-in visit, or by coming to one of our events. However, the pre-course will arm developers with amazing skills as long as they commit to working out the coding challenges on their own.