I was at a Bitcoin meetup in Berlin where I met Falk Benke talking about a remittance startup now called Beam Remit. Right at the end of his talk, he mentioned that he’s been a Tech Fellow at MEST, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology and that they were actively looking for teachers.
I instantly knew this was something I want to do.
I approached Falk and told him why Meteor is a great framework for beginners. He seemed convinced and soon I had a Skype call with the school. This was the height of my love affair with Meteor and I spent most of the conversation talking about it as if it were some kind of omnipotent Deity. A month or so later I received the news that I had been accepted as a Tech Fellow, not least on my promise of bringing Meteor into the MEST curriculum.
The goal: build a product in 2 years
The entrepreneurial course at MEST lasts for 2 years with about 30 students in each year. In this time, 3 disciplines are covered: tech, communication and business. The course is product orientated and graduates must produce something to pitch at the end of their time. Most of the students have no prior programming experience.
This is pretty ambitious.
If you’re looking for a high results to effort ratio, Meteor is a great framework to choose.
- Only have to learn one language
- Intuitive, reusable concepts
- Write a little, achieve a lot
- Installation and deployment is easy
And just in case you figure out Meteor is not for you…
Support from the community
I started to think about how to break down Meteor and teach it from scratch.
Then I realised that it had already be done. There are already lots of fantastic Meteor learning resources.
A copy of Discover Meteor for every student
I contacted Sacha and asked if each of my 60 students could get a copy of his book. He obliged.
Great! An awesome curriculum.
Hosting credits donated by Modulus
Spurred on by my good fortune, I thought about how else the community might help. Colin Flynn of Differential provided me with a contact and soon Modulus had provisionally agreed to provide hosting credit!
Meteor from scratch: an experiment
I’m a self-taught programmer and I often wonder how I would’ve found Meteor if it was the first thing I every learned. It’s going to be interesting to see which concepts come quick and which are more difficult. The other items on the curriculum include Rails and Java. How will Meteor compare?
I hope to document my three months at MEST and share my findings with the community.
My current plan is:
- Get students excited by demonstrating speed, simplicity and flexibility using Meteor Starter as an example
- Follow Discover Meteor’s curriculum
- Create homework assignments using MeteorPad
- Build example apps (first one being a Meetup clone)
One of the most difficult decisions is if and how to use Coffeescript.
Please get in touch if you think you can help in one of the following ways:
- Provide sponsorship (even t-shirts are awesome!)
- Tutor MEST students remotely
- Come to Ghana and teach Meteor