BDPA Detroit Chapter

From the Clasroom to the Boardroom

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Making After Hours event on 3D modeling

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If you were digging the last Making After Hours event on 3D modeling with TinkerCAD, but you want to bring the world around you (including friends and family) into your work, you'll love what we're doing this month!

May's Making After Hours event will be on 3D scanning, but you won't just be sitting in a room listening - you'll get out there and SCAN DETROIT! Learn the ins and outs of preparing your subject, scanning using the FREE app 123D Catch, and cleaning up your model from MakerOS CEO Mike Moceri, and then come along as we go out to scan some of the famous Detroit statues - the Spirit of Detroit and Monument to Joe Louis!

We'll be meeting at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, MI on May 31st (the day after Memorial Day), with doors opening at 5:30 PM. Tickets are only $5 (no fees!), but space is limited so act fast - click below to get tickets!

Get tickets to Making After Hours: Detroit w/ Jason Hall & Charlie Hess


Grand Circus events

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Detroit's tech scene is buzzing with amazing events this spring. This month's newsletter includes info on our new courses, a free coding bootcamp for women and free tickets to Detroit Startup Week. Intrigued? Keep reading to get all the details! 


New Course. New Knowledge. 

Our instructors have been busy building new curriculum, and we're excited to announce three fancy new courses. Amp up your knowledge and join us for one of these insightful classes: 

Fundamentals of Swift on June 15

Ever want to build an iOS app but weren't sure where to start? This crash course will cover simple data types, arithmetic operators and classes - helping you understand the basic steps to create your first app. 

Marketing Fundamentals on June 22 & 23

Interested in learning the basics of digital marketing? This course will cover everything you need to know to write your company's first marketing strategy. Topics include PPC and SEO alongside email and content marketing. 

How to Build an App Without Writing Code on July 9

We love programming langauges, but we may be a bit biased. If you're looking to build an app but aren't ready to take the leap in learning code, check out this course. You'll learn about several tools and resources that can be used to build your first website or app without writing a single line of code. 

Join us June 3 for our Mega Student Demo Day.

Java and Front-End students will present their final websites and show you what they've been up to. You'll also have the opportunity to meet some of Detroit's top tech talent and tour the space - all while enjoying snacks and drinks.  

What do Coding Bootcamp Students Build?  

You'll be amazed at what our students learn and build in the 10-week coding bootcamps. Final projects are built by every student within the last two weeks of each bootcamp, giving every grad a functional website to use in their portfolio. 

Want to know more? Read our blog: 7 Reasons to Attend Grand Circus' Next Demo Day


DEVELOP(her), a free coding bootcamp for women

DEVELOP(her) is an innovative program designed to increase the number of women working in technology. Twenty women will learn Java and get the support they need to start and grow a new career in programming. No experience coding? No problem. This 10-week coding bootcamp equips students with everything they need to become employable developers. Applications close June 3 at noon. 

Want to learn more about the DEVELOP(her) program? Join us May 25 at 5:30pm in Flint for our info session with more details. RSVP


Detroit StartupWeek

We are a proud sponsor of Detroit StartupWeek, a free five-day festival that started TODAY. Meet and hear from numerous local startups and entrepreneurs. More than 100 keynotes, workshops, tours will take place May 23-27. Our sessions on May 25: 

Grand Circus Tech Lounge & Tours

Time: 9am–5pm

Free Intro to Coding Workshop  

Time: 3–5pm

Score a free ticket!


Find Your Team's Next Developer

Our coding bootcamp students come from an array of backgrounds, industries and locations. Upon graduation, they have the necessary skills to start work as entry-level developers. 

If you're looking for developers to join your team, our student portal is the perfect place to start. Get instant access to students' LinkedIn profiles and GitHub portfolios. 


Upcoming Coding Bootcamps 

Applications are now open for our next cohorts. Coding bootcamps can be your gateway to a career in tech. Learn Java, Front-End or .NET (C#) in our 10-week programs. Important dates: 

Front-End Coding Bootcamp

Final Application Deadline: June 3

Java Coding Bootcamp

Early Application Deadline: June 24        Final Application Deadline: July 15

Front-End Part-Time Coding Bootcamp

Early Application Deadline: Aug. 9       Final Application Deadline: Sept. 9

.NET (C#) Coding Bootcamp

Early Application Deadline: Sept. 9       Final Application Deadline: Sept. 30


Learn Code For Free. New Dates and Locations.

Our Traveling Circus continues to grow! We have new dates and locations for our Intro to Coding workshop. Seats fill up fast, so register today if you want to start learning the fundamentals of JavaScript in our 3-hour workshop. 

May 25 in Ann Arbor at DUO Security

June 1 in Flint at Co+Work

June 7 in Detroit at dPOP!

June 13 in Detroit at Grand Circus

Our Intro to Coding Workshops are offered once a month at Grand Circus and several times throughout metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. 


Other Happenings

It's been an exciting May filled with three coding bootcamps and tons of events to fill our space. Our Coderetreat, as pictured below, gathered all three bootcamps plus Grand Circus alumni for a colloborative day of programming practice. Thank you to everyone for your hard work!

Check out our schedule for upcoming courses, seminars and events. 

Panels, Events & Tours:

Courses & Bootcamps:

Free Workshops:

From the Blog:

Open Position: 

Grand Circus is looking for a Program Manager. Interested? Learn more

10 Organizations for Learning to Code

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10 Organizations for Learning to Code



Colleges no longer have a monopoly on education, and programming is no exception. These 10 organizations can teach you to program just the way you like it: free or paid, online or offline, hands-on or hands-off. Rather than threaten you with a bad grade, they entice passionate students with the promise of a new skill, a new community, and maybe some cute badges.


  • Codecademy: An online platform with free courses in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and jQuery. Plus, anyone can create a course and share it with aspiring programmers. They also organized Code Year, an initiative to teach more people to code in 2012, and Code Summer+, which teaches programming to disadvantaged youth.
  • Code School: Online coding education for just $25/month. If you prefer to pick and choose, you can buy any of their grab-bag of courses individually. They also created Try Ruby, a basic tutorial that lets you play around with the language.
  • Treehouse: An online library with over 750 training videos. A lot of the content is free, but you can subscribe monthly to get access to their whole collection.
  • Google Code University: For a more self-directed experience, browse Google’s library of courses and videos – particularly tutorials and introductions for beginners. You can also check out the Python and C++ classes taught at Google itself.
  • MIT Open Courseware: The most popular course among all MIT’s free course materials is Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. You get handouts, homework, and quizzes – just like MIT, but without the big price tag.

In Person

  • Hacker School: A free, 3-month program in New York City with a few lectures and speakers, but mostly heads-down programming. It’s aimed at hackers who already love coding, who want to write free and open source software, and whose goal is to learn (not build a product or startup). The summer 2012 session of Hacker School is in full swing at Etsy, which provided $5,000 grants to female students.
  • Code Academy: Paid, 3-month classes in web development, user experience, or HTML and CSS. Code Academy is based in Chicago at the 1871 incubator. Applications for the fall program close on August 12.

For the Ladies

  • Girl Develop It: Technical workshops for female programmers held around the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. They aim to create a supportive environment where women can join the discussion and show off their skills. Courses are also available online.
  • Hackbright Academy: A 10-week training program for women in San Francisco – half learning, half doing. Applications for the fall program are due in August, and it costs $6,000.
  • Girls Who Code: An 8-week summer class teaching programming to high school girls in New York City, which began this Monday. They will take trips to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and work on a final project that tackles a challenge in their community, like recycling.

Programming isn’t for everyone, sure. But if it is for you, you’ll find tons of resources to help along the way.

Update: Also check out Dev Bootcamp (a 10-week program in San Francisco to learn Ruby on Rails) and Web Start Women (courses in web design and development for women in Boston).

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