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OpenBuild Web3 Frontend Training Camp Review

Hello, everyone! 👋🏻

As the Web3 Frontend Bootcamp is coming to an end, I have almost completed all the homework assignments and would like to take this opportunity to review my experiences and observations over the past month.

I am honored to have been selected to participate in the review of the homework assignments during the learning process. This not only allowed me to experience some things in the open-source community but also gave me the opportunity to provide more value!

Background and Motivation#

Before I begin the retrospective, let me reintroduce myself -

My name is Ourai, also known as "Uncle Lei" because I am already a middle-aged person over 35 years old. Among the trainees who are mostly born in the 90s and 2000s, I am considered an "uncle"...

Since graduating, I have been working in web frontend development for over ten years. I have worked for companies in various fields, used various technological tools, and worked on different types of projects, assuming various professional roles - my experience is quite extensive.

Based on my career experience and the past two years of my life, I have been continuously pessimistic about traditional internet industry web frontend development, and have been looking for a way to maximize the use of my existing knowledge and skills.

One day in May of this year, I suddenly wanted to learn about Web3-related things - before that, I had only heard about it and didn't know much about it.

Even so, finding a way to enter the decentralized world has been my wish for many years, and Web3 based on blockchain is the entrance (one of them)!

After some research, I found that the current situation and development trends of Web3 are in line with my expectations, especially the DAO, which is an organizational form that accompanies it - it is exactly what I envision!

Among the several Chinese DAOs I found, I chose to join FreeBe, which best matches my aspirations. Later, I saw the recruitment article for this bootcamp shared by the organizer in the group, and the mentioned benefits are exactly what I need, so I signed up without hesitation!

For me, transitioning to become a Web3 full-stack developer is the "way to maximize the use of my existing knowledge and skills" - this bootcamp can greatly assist me!

Trainee Perspective#

Although there have been some adjustments along the way, the structure of the bootcamp's curriculum can be broadly divided into two parts: "Basics" and "Advanced":

  1. Basics - Mastering the basic elements required to develop a dApp and practicing with more common project types such as NFT market and DEX.
  2. Advanced - Promoting products related to stakeholders' interests and helping developers who want to enter the industry adapt to its ever-changing nature.

Overall Design#

From a purely trainee perspective -

The bootcamp is more inclined to "help experienced Web2 frontend developers transition to Web3 frontend". Considering that there may be university students among the participants, a course introducing frontend development was arranged.

However, among the 200+ people who actually signed up, there are still many backend developers who are transitioning from Web2 or are already Web3 practitioners, and there are even a few with almost no experience...

Since this is a free bootcamp and the organizers have provided various reward settings, it is not feasible to invest more resources and costs to shape it better. Therefore:

  • The systematic and refinement of the course content will not be as perfect as those expensive training programs.
  • The post-course guidance and other services will not be as thoughtful as those expensive training programs.

The main purpose of the course videos is to outline the key points in the trainees' minds. If you really want to understand, you still need to expand and fill in more in-depth based on that outline.

At this point, the trainees' existing knowledge structure, thinking patterns, and learning habits will significantly affect the speed of learning and absorption of new content - some people quickly grasp it and complete the homework, while others ask many questions in the group.

For myself, due to my extensive programming experience and ability to think and summarize, I have already built an abstract model network in my mind, so it is relatively easy for me to understand most of the content. Even if I have questions that need to be answered, I can usually resolve them with a few words.

Therefore, I am often the one answering questions in the bootcamp group. This not only solves the confusion of others but also verifies and consolidates my own understanding of the knowledge.

In this regard, the "roughness" of the bootcamp's curriculum is not a disadvantage but rather a "wise decision" that kills several birds with one stone:

  1. The organizers have gathered a large number of participants at a lower cost, which not only expands their influence and benefits stakeholders but also benefits more people who want to transition or learn.
  2. Collaborative learning replaces tutoring-style learning, where fast learners help slow learners, achieving a win-win effect and creating a positive learning atmosphere.
  3. Indirectly encourages trainees to learn and complete homework, cultivating relevant habits for working in the Web3 industry.

Nevertheless, it is still hoped that others can ask valuable questions as much as possible, just like reading "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way".

In conclusion, I am very satisfied with this bootcamp as a trainee. I not only learned the knowledge and skills I urgently needed efficiently and for free but also received rewards and met many people. What more could I ask for!

Teaching Assistant Perspective#

Perhaps because I was active and enthusiastic in the group, I was asked to help review the homework assignments. This added the role of "teaching assistant" on top of being a trainee, making my position less singular and pure.

Various Insufficiencies#

After becoming a teaching assistant, I realized that there are really very few people reviewing the assignments!

After the first React course was launched, a flood of registrations and submitted PRs came in - 50, 100, 150, and it's about to reach 200! But where are the reviewers? Where are the people reviewing the PRs?!

Okay, let's bring in a few strong people, now we have people, we can start working - but how? What standards should we use for review? Is it enough for task 1 to have the required functionality, or should we also review the code writing?

With so many people submitting assignments, there will definitely be people who "cheat" by directly copying and pasting other people's code without using their own brains. Does that still count? If we want to manage it, how can we quickly and conveniently identify and detect such cases?

Although there are a few basic rules, they are not clear and complete enough. Plus, there is no effective configuration of GitHub Actions workflows for automated processing, which requires even more manual intervention.

Due to these reasons, the timeliness issue I was worried about in the homework assignment review has indeed occurred!

Trainee Profile#

As of now, among the 1113 PRs submitted, I have reviewed at least 451 of them, mainly for registration, task 1, task 7, and task 8:

reviewed-prs

Among these thousands of PRs, I estimate that more than half of them could have been avoided altogether. In other words, when reviewers request changes, they can be handled in the original PR to maintain a complete timeline and reduce resource waste.

During the PR review process, a significant amount of time was spent correcting submission specifications unrelated to the course content and issues related to Git usage. This made me very puzzled - what type of people are the target audience of this bootcamp???

I originally thought that the majority of people would meet the following criteria:

  • They don't need to have strong learning ability or self-drive, but at least they know to look at existing documentation and videos first.
  • They are proficient in basic Git operations and know how to use branches for transaction isolation.

However, the actual situation surprised me... I even began to worry about them - can they find Web3 jobs?

At this stage of the event, I found that some people are genuinely here to learn, but others seem to be solely motivated by money - they didn't even do a single homework assignment that required some time.

I am not sure if the organizers have already anticipated and accepted this situation.

Conclusion#

As a trainee, I am very satisfied with this bootcamp event. I not only learned the knowledge and skills I urgently needed efficiently and for free but also received rewards and met many people. What more could I ask for!

As a teaching assistant, I have seen many issues. Apart from some minor complaints, I have also come up with some improvement ideas in my mind, hoping to have the opportunity to implement them and solve those problems.

OpenBuild, please keep up the good work!

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