Here at Manchester Codes we’ve been monitoring the current Covid-19 situation very carefully. Just over 2 weeks ago we advised all of our staff, students and alumni on extra measures being put in place to ensure their safety but also to ensure they can continue to receive the best support from our talented tutors. We’ve disinfected the classroom on a daily basis, put out hand sanitiser and wipes for people to use and we’ve started live streaming lessons so students don’t have to physically attend sessions if they don’t want to, or it isn’t safe for them to do so.
It is now with careful consideration that we have decided to adopt a fully remote approach until further notice. This is for the safety of our staff, students and alumni, but also for their friends and families. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but as a company we strongly believe it’s the right thing to do.
We’ve weighed up different options on how we can continue to deliver an interactive teaching experience, and as a team we’ve decided Zoom will allow us to do this without impacting the student experience.
Zoom is one of the leading video conferencing applications. It has webinar functionality, which means our tutors can deliver lectures remotely, and they can continue to take questions from students whilst they do so. It also allows us to meet remotely with students 121 so our skilled tutors can continue to offer the mentorship that’s essential in ensuring our students success. We will combine this with Visual Studio Live Share — a live code collaboration feature built into the Visual Studio Code application — the code editor that our students use throughout the course. This will allow our staff and students to write code together.
Our approach isn’t just limited to lectures and mentorship. We are feedback led as an organisation, and regular standups with students help to ensure this feedback loop. We will continue to have these standups with students on a remote basis. We also send out weekly feedback forms to students to gage how well we are doing as an organisation and to ensure we’re at the top of our game. These will be amended so that we can gather feedback on our new temporary approach, ensuring that it doesn’t impact the quality of tuition that our students receive.
The health and wellbeing of our workforce is just as important as that of our students, so our tutors will be conducting lessons from their own homes, to ensure that they aren’t unnecessarily exposed. We do anticipate that staff may become unwell, and we have hired additional employees to cover in any such event, so that any affected employees can recover.
Our next class is due to start 31st March 2020 and the 4 other courses we have scheduled across the year will continue as normal, although until further notice the company will be Remote first.
There are benefits to this: allowing increased flexibility; saving commute time to our classrooms in the Northern Quarter; lowering travel costs for learners; reducing our CO2 emissions; and most importantly increased security for students during the current pandemic, whilst still receiving the same high quality of education.
This also extends to face to face campus visits that we usually host and our Open Evenings will be now hosted online.
If any of our current or future students have any concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch with us: [email protected].
Whilst we enter uncharted territory and a unique set of circumstances, we do not anticipate the tech industry grinding down to a halt — if we enter a period with restrictions of movement for those seeking to change career this can only be positive for those considering to enter the market, as the reliance on technology will likely increase in this circumstance. With much greater autonomy for many who are now working remotely in their day jobs, it’s also worth considering how you can utilise the time at home to your advantage. What does that mean in a nutshell? It’s still a great time to learn to code…now is a great time to take the leap, learn a new skill, and come out of this bleak situation with something positive!