General Assembly DC Classes & Workshops: What Are They and Who Do They benefit?

If you live in DC and are interested in entrepreneurship and technology chances are you’ve probably heard of 1776 and General Assembly (GA). For those who are not familiar with GA, it is an educational organization offering courses in business and technology. They offer both long term courses along with shorter classes and workshops downtown at 1776 Campus. This has been the case since the start of their partnership was announced in September 2013.

I’ve always wanted to learn about mobile development, but never knew where to start. Even if I knew what resources to look at, I’d always make excuses about not having the time or the difficulty of it. But reading descriptions of courses being offered at GA, I became more curious about what I could learn. I wanted to figure out exactly what I wanted to learn and how the short courses can get me towards that goal.

I did my research and picked two classes: Data Visualization and Mobile Development for Non-Programmers. What I learned was not something I really apply currently in my day to day work, but it is useful. If you take some of the short bootcamps, you can learn more technical skills (Intro to Angular.JS and SQL Bootcamp). Just be sure to do your research ahead of time, and try to see if you can use other online tools to learn SQL first.

A Word Cloud (Bigger the Word = More Important)

Here are some of my thoughts post-education:
The data visualization course introduced me to visualization tools such as D3 and Google Fusion Tables. We looked at and talked about many of the visualizations on this page. As you can see from the link, there are definitely some cool insights you’ll get from the course. The question is how much will the knowledge help you? This depends on the person. For many, finding new ways to visualize data is something that may be very useful. Just remember that these courses also have their limitations.

For example, I wish we spent more time creating some of these visualizations ourselves. The mobile development course was very thorough in teaching me about tools and resources to become an iOS developer, but you have to understand that you may not like everything you hear, such as what extra cash and programming knowledge is required to continue further.

So before you take a class, know your goals. What do you want to learn? Do you think a specific course can get you started on the right path? Perhaps, you’re like me and you think anything learned is valuable; well then, take em’ all. Just be sure to remember that General Assembly is a for-profit educational institution.

You can find some upcoming classes by General Assembly hosted by 1776 below.

Upcoming Classes and Workshops
Solution Pitching to Investors ($35)
User Experience Design Bootcamp ($115)
Programming for non-programmers Bootcamp ($550)
Design Thinking Bootcamp ($125)
Intro to Angular.JS ($40)
How to Brand your Startup, Product, or Company ($40)
Branding Bootcamp Series ($140)
SQL Bootcamp ($200)