By Noel Welsh on 08 Jun 2023
ScalaBridge London is a community for learning Scala, for people who are underrepresented in technology. We last met in 2020, stopping when COVID made it impossible to continue. I want to restart ScalaBridge London. Here’s the plan. If you’d like to take part, please signup.
We will continue to meet once every two weeks, but I’d like to alternate between in-person and online events. They have different advantages: in-person builds community and makes teaching easier, but online is more accessible and trivial to organize. It seems sensible to at least experiment with both.
We’ll keep the on-season and off-season cadence, which basically means following the school timetable in terms of holidays. This gives us three semesters of approximately 12 weeks per year. The long term plan for ScalaBridge remains to run a two-year experiment and then assess it’s sustainability. Our goal is to create very proficient junior to mid-level developers after 2 years, but I expect most students would be able to get jobs (if that’s their goal) after a much shorter period.
Our timetable means we’ll have a holiday around mid-July to August, so starting for earnest in September seems the most sensible route. However, I expect there will be a lot of enthusiasm around us restarting and I’ll like to harness that. So I think we’ll run some sessions before then.
Material and Mentors
I’ve spent time improving Creative Scala, our primary text. The first part of the book is almost complete, and I expect it will take at least a semester to cover that material. The other three parts remain to be written, though there are fragments of material available. (This blog post has more on the plan for Creative Scala.)
Giving mentors the support they need to deliver that material is a substantial task, and my inability to do this in the online setting is the main reason I decided to pause the group. I want to address this in one of the following ways:
Keep the initial student group small, so I can teach everyone and don’t need to support mentors. (This means the initial group must all be around about the same level of expertise, or divide into at most two groups.) I’ll develop the support material as we go, so that the next iteration is ready for mentors and a larger cohort.
A number of people have expressed interest in helping out with teaching, so put in the effort up-front to train them and support a larger cohort of students with mixed abilities.
I’d prefer to go with option 2, as I think it will make the program more sustainable for me and more fun for everyone.
Let’s Do It
Whatever we do has to work for everyone involved, so anything here is subject to change if something else works better for the group. Signup if you’re interested in taking part as either a student or a mentor, and join the Slack to discuss.