Articles on: The Programme

How will you learn according to our guiding principles?

The Sigma School learning model is different from how it's traditionally done. We have no teachers, no classrooms and rely a lot on making sure our students have the right mindsets and support when it comes to learning.

We believe most good materials are already available online, but yet it's not helping much in terms of employment (Yes that's correct. Most universities have already uploaded their lectures online and it's all for free). However, we know how difficult it is. And the numbers back us up. The completion rates of online courses remains all time low at lower than 5% for the past few years.

Being self-taught learners ourselves. We know the importance of learning  how to solve and debug problems on your own, without expecting to be spoon-fed. Thus, we want to make it extremely clear that this course is designed to help you learn how to learn, by helping you learn on your own.

Find out what makes our learning methodology so unique. As a fully remote program, we are pretty unique in that we don't have classrooms or teachers.

That's because we know that our highly-driven students don't need these things as long as they have the motivation and commitment to learning every day.

Here's how we fundamentally designed the Sigma School learning model:

We share your risk 🤝

We believe the education system today is broken. Educators get paid even if their graduates don't get a job.

Unfortunately, traditional universities / bootcamps have no incentive to perform and innovate to ensure their graduates get hired – they get paid regardless.

We want to change this. At Sigma School, we have a simple motto:

"We don't get paid if you don't get paid"

We're in this together. We want you to succeed. We only win if you win.

We help you master concepts 💯

At Sigma School, we believe in mastery learning, aka learning for mastery.

It is an instructional strategy and educational philosophy, first formally proposed by Benjamin Bloom in 1968. Mastery learning maintains that students must achieve a level of mastery (e.g., 90% on a knowledge test) in prerequisite knowledge before moving forward to learn subsequent information.

If a student does not achieve mastery on the test, they are given additional support in learning and reviewing the information and then tested again. This cycle continues until the learner accomplishes mastery, and they may then move on to the next stage.

All students will be required to solve capstone projects, quizzes in a module before moving on to the next. We have 6 core modules in total for our flagship Complete Software Development Programme. Pass them all and that means you're ready to take on real, paying jobs!

You learn by building projects 👨‍💻

Theory-based challenges and coding quizzes can only get you so far.

It's extremely common for beginners to fall into the trap of tutorial hell or tutorial purgatory.

Our founders did, our staff team did and tons of other coders did too. It's probably one of the biggest setback when it comes to self-learning.

This is how it happens. You do many tutorials and courses. When you finish a tutorial, you start looking for another one quickly, you feel that you must fill your head with knowledge as quickly as possible. Since you follow the learning content to build the project without problems, you begin to believe that I am an excellent programmer.

However when you try to do something on your own you don’t even know where to start! Do you know what could solve that? Another tutorial! And that’s how the cycle begins… Tutorial after tutorial, course after course, you keep feeling that after completing the next one you will finally be able to develop your personal project.

The truth is that there are a few reasons why we keep falling into this loop.

Without going too in depth, it's due to 3 fundamental reasons:

It's safe — Building a project form a tutorial has no risk. You can’t fail. If you ever get stuck you can continue watching the video for the answer, or even check the GitHub repository for the complete code! You don’t feel a real risk because you already have all the answers.
You "feel" progress  — After finally completing the “Hero to Zero”, “A-Z”, “Complete Roadmap” courses and tutorials we get a sensation of progress. We like to feel that we are moving forward and are actually learning something.
The Impostor Syndrome — The fear to being exposed as a fake programmer or developer is a very real condition most self-taught and even junior developers have. Making a tutorial is an excellent way to gain knowledge and calm this fear. But the true knowledge comes from actual struggle and searching for the right solution.

Don't worry. We got the solution for this.

The easiest and most straight-forward way of escaping tutorial hell is by simply stop doing tutorials and build something from scratch. And from scratch I mean from zero, no templates.

It may seem tedious. But you will also learn a lot. Because you won’t have anyone to help you. You have to read and find among all the information, what you need and discard what you don’t.

At Sigma School, we believe in a dynamic blend between assignments you build on your own, practice projects you build with your mentors, and real-world custom projects with real companies as you approach your graduation at Sigma School.

You learn what employers need 💼

Forget learning everything under the sun. Django? Ruby? Python? Javascript? Tensorflow?

We believe technology is a tool to build great products or enable streamlined processes. Don't be too tied to one technology. Don't spend forever exploring new technology stacks. A new one gets releases every few months.

We fundamentally built up a base curriculum to ensure our students are technically and fundamentally sound as full-stack software developers.

However, it's important to note that we want our students to be tech-agnostic. Job needs React? Job needs Golang? Job needs Python?

We don't cover these in our curriculum? Don't worry.

You will be capable of picking them up within a month or two.

There are tons of companies out there and they're all desperately looking for tech talents. No, that doesn't mean you need to learn all the tech stacks out there. Choose and focus on 1-2 company that you really want to get in (especially our diverse set of hiring partners)

Best part? We will assist you in your transition to the new tech stack for your first job. Universities can't do this. Bootcamps can't do this. They have invested too much of their learning infrastructure on one fixed curriculum it's going to be expensive for them to move.

We are designed to customising curriculum directly to employer needs to help maximise your chance of standing out from your peers and be the most job-ready candidate for the role.

You collaboratively in peer-to-peer learning groups and in pairs 👋

If there is one word that defines Sigma School, it is "collaboration." We believe that collaboration skills are extremely important to become a successful learner, team player, and, ultimately, a great software developer.The real-time collaborative experience we have designed is meant to help you feel supported at all times during your learning journey. You will collaborate with other students, other programmers (e.g. in open-source projects), and most of all, you will collaborate with your coding partner. Having a coding partner helps you stay consistently focused on your learning, move faster through the material, and get stuck or frustrated less often. What's more, collaborative learning gives you the chance to practice remote pair programming, improve your spoken English, and develop your teamwork abilities.

You become proactive 💭

At Sigma School, we do not have teachers. We believe in the Socratic method and we think that our role is to guide you to be able to find your answers. That means that you should NOT expect us to lecture you or to directly answer all your questions. Even though we will try to always be available for you, we expect that you will not wait for our reply, but rather will go forward in finding a way to the solution. That being said, as we mentioned previously, you will have a great support structure in place to help you when you are stuck and to review your code and everything you work on.

We curate the best 🌍

For the past 10 years, organizations and individuals from all around the world have started doing something amazing, they have created some of the best learning content in the world and they have made it available online to everyone.

We at Sigma School made the conscious decision to not continue adding to this pile of great content, but rather to design a fun, supportive, and holistic experience on top of the existing content using an innovative learning model and financia structure that gives more people access to a world-class education.

We have personally evaluated over 100 different programs, courses, platforms, and curriculums and we have chosen the content that we think is the most appropriate to help you in your learning journey.

We adopt the Feynmann Technique

Also known as the best way to learn anything. The Feynmann Technique is a method of learning that unleashes your potential and forces you to develop deep understanding.

Here's a simple graphic on how it works and how we include it in our learning system.

Feynmann's Technique

We believe in Bloom's Taxonomy

With the invention of the Internet & Google, memorising information has lost much of its value. Instead, humans add value in their ability to solve problems, think critically and create; these are the top levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, a structure that illustrates the depth of learning.

Bloom's Taxonomy

Lectures and traditional learning live at the bottom levels. At Sigma School, our programmes live at the top levels and are integrated into a project-based, hands-on learning model.

Phew! That could be a lot for some of you, but if you haven't gotten the hang of it. Read this page again. Absorb it. Understand why we're doing what we're doing. Everything in our learning system is meticulously thought through deep research, along with multiple pivots and tests. Everything is in place for a reason!

Updated on: 12/08/2022

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