This Week’s Top 3 #LearnedAtGA Tweets (10/19-10/25)

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Classes at GA are full of best practices, advice, and tips. We’ve asked our students to share what they #LearnedAtGA and highlight their most memorable takeaways from class. Here are three of the top tweets from this week:

 

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Alumni Interview: Grace Akotey

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Meet Grace Akotey, a graduate of General Assembly London’s 12-week User Experience Design program. A self-taught designer, Grace is now a full-time web designer with Crystal Ski Holidays, working on UX related projects and a full re-branding of their website.

1. What led you to User Experience (UX) Design?

I’ve always been a visual person. As a self-taught graphic and web designer, I’ve tried many things – from fashion to working in the city to freelancing – but there came a point in time where I wanted to get to the next level. A UX designer I worked with planted a seed of curiosity, and from there I started researching the topic and reading blog posts, and ended up enrolling at General Assembly.

2. What excites you about UX?

I feel that UX can sometimes be overlooked because it’s not tangible – it has no physical attribute, you can’t hold it in your hands. So what gets me excited is actually knowing how much thought and understanding of the user goes into each part of an experience. The best websites end up being the best exactly because of that.

3. What’s an example of good UX you’ve seen in real life?

Think about an ATM. After you’ve put in your card and punched in your PIN, what does the biggest button say? ‘10 Pounds No Receipt’. Someone has worked out the most frequent choice people make. That’s good UX right there. Continue reading

Alumni Interview: Chris Brady

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Meet Chris Brady, recent graduate of General Assembly Boston‘s 10-week Digital Marketing course. Chris is a Senior Digital Strategist at Velir, a full-service digital agency based in Boston that focuses on non-profit clients around the country.

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in digital marketing?

Throughout my career, I’ve had a trend of enabling the companies I work for to be successful online. When you see the impact that effective digital marketing can have on an organization, it is a really powerful opportunity. I like pushing the envelope of what is possible online and love that digital marketing is always evolving and changing.

I love the idea that you can’t get into the pattern where you approach something the same way. There are always new things to learn – or unlearn – everyday.

2. What is something you think marketers overlook?

I think the number one thing marketers need to do is to get outside of their own head in regards to the material they are producing. Often, messages go through so many hands internally that it is a strong reflection of the internal company.

It is much more important to get in the head of users, see their perspective, and identify what those users experience in their day-to-day lives that your marketing can address.

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Dash—One Week Later

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Ivan S., a teacher from Ukraine, sent us this picture of his students using Dash

Last week, General Assembly released Dash, our interactive, online learn-to-code program, to the world. What happened after that exceeded even our most wildly optimistic projections:

  • More than 40,000 people signed up, representing nearly every country on earth
  • Together, Dash users worldwide created over 124,000 websites, writing more than 41 million lines of code.
  • Collectively, users spent more than 9.3k people-hours (or 388 days) learning to code on Dash.

These numbers are great, but what we’re most excited about how much people enjoyed using Dash. We heard from a lot of folks over the past week. Here are a few highlights:

“Wow! All I can say is this is changing my life right now. As a graphic designer I have been trying to get into coding and every time I get discouraged and push it aside. I found your site today and can’t stop learning. I absolutely love the way this is teaching me it all seems to just click now. I was using crutches like adobe muse and didn’t have an understanding of what I was actually designing. I hope to really get into this and start coding sites all from code when I’m ready.”
– Sean O.

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This Week’s Top 3 #LearnedAtGA Tweets (10/12-10/18)

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Classes at GA are full of best practices, advice, and tips. We’ve asked our students to share what they #LearnedAtGA and highlight their most memorable takeaways from class. Here are three of the top tweets from this week:

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Introducing Dash, GA’s Online Learn-to-Code Program

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Introducing Dash

Earlier this year, we built Dash, an interactive, online learn-to-code program as an onboarding tool for our Web Development Immersive students. At the time, there were a lot of existing products, but we wanted something interactive and engaging, in a real world, project-based format that would prepare students who hadn’t programmed before to dive in. So we decided to build it ourselves.


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Back from the GA World Tour: Four Lessons from Four Successful Entrepreneurs

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On September 5, 2013, Adrian Montague and Myron Manns, winners of General Assembly’s World Tour giveaway, embarked on a 10-day whirlwind tour of New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London, where they visited GA campuses and met with well-established entrepreneurs. Here, Myron shares some highlights from their meetings. A special thank you to American Airlines, Elance, HowAboutWe, WeHostels, and The Wall Street Journal for supporting Adrian and Myron on their adventure.

Hi everyone! Here’s a quick read of some major points of conversation that came up over meals with four successful entrepreneurs during our GA World Tour: Baratunde Thurston, Tom Hulme, Jason Calacanis, and Sarah Lacy. We hope the insight we gleaned from this group will help others working on their own businesses and ideas.

1. Baratunde Thurston: Don’t be afraid to break away from an establishment

Our first meeting with Baratunde Thurston in New York was exactly what we needed to kick off the tour. He is a walking icebreaker, which got me and Adrian to open up quickly. Baratunde provided solid advice on handling the austerity that comes with transitioning away from an established organization to start something of your own, and he somehow conveyed this austerity jovially. In his case, this would mean leaving The Onion to start Cultivated Wit, a digital content agency replete with pertinent information and styled with humor.

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This Week’s Top 3 #LearnedAtGA Tweets (10/5-10/11)

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Classes at GA are full of best practices, advice, and tips. We’ve asked our students to share what they #LearnedAtGA and highlight their most memorable takeaways from class. Here are three of the top tweets from this week:

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Alumni Interview: Edward Drax

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Meet Edward Drax, graduate of General Assembly London’s 10-week Digital Marketing and 10-week Front-End Web Development programs. His career previously spanned advertising (at Saatchi & Saatchi), commercial property development, and a health and wellness business. Edward currently serves as Managing Director of Expense Magic, a mobile and web app that removes the pain of capturing, processing and storing receipts and expenses.

1. Why learn digital marketing when you also have a business to run?

While Expense Magic is part of Paperless Receipts, we are essentially a startup within the larger business. So I recognized early on that traditional marketing would be too expensive, too immeasurable, and too slow for us.

I’d been reading a lot about Push-Pull strategies and the importance of building a relationship with customers, and realized that digital marketing was the way forward. The ability to acquire your true target audience, converse with it, and track how you’re doing every step of the way – I wanted to understand in more depth how to do this.

2. You’ve had experience working with brands both small and big. How would you say digital marketing applies to more established players?

Mastering digital is just as important for big global businesses as it is for small nimble startups. For example, look at Burberry, and see how they are shaking up the fashion industry! For big businesses, it is no longer the case of “I have a product. These are the benefits. You will use it.” It is about establishing a community of followers, and letting people know that you’re here to listen and solve their problems. That is the role digital marketing plays, and if you’re not prepared to listen to your customers, someone else will.

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Alumni Interview: Natalia Fierro

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Meet Natalia Fierro, a graduate of General Assembly’s full-time Web Development Immersive program and part-time Front-End Development course. Before enrolling at GA, Natalia worked as a designer, art director, project manager, and commissioned artist.

1. What inspired you to learn web development?

Five years ago I visited L.A., saw the tech scene there, and knew I needed to get involved. I’ve always been interested in building things and I realized that acquiring web technology skills would make me better able to shape my own ideas, and other people’s ideas, into products.

2. What’s the best thing about coding?

Coding brings together people from so many different backgrounds, people who have accrued different strengths along the way. Everyone’s eager to help each other out, whether in person or online.

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