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Welcome to SEI: Learning Experience + Classroom Culture


After this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Understand the expectations for the course.
  • Align with the class on goals for the course.
  • Get to know your classmates.
  • Get familiar with class culture.


  1. Instructor - Kenny
  • Lesson blocks
  • Code-alongs
  • Labs
  • Reviews homework
  • Reviews Projects
  1. Instructor - Dalton
  • Lesson blocks
  • Code-alongs
  • Labs
  • Creates homework
  • Reviews homework
  1. Instructor Associate - Matt
  • One-on-one help
  • Reviews homework
  1. Evening TA's - Michael & Jason
  • One-on-one help

What to Expect

Emotional Framing

  • Programming is not about learning a sequence of steps. It's about developing a mindset to solve problems and think programmatically.
  • Progamming language not as important as:
    • Critical/analytical/programmatic thinking.
    • Conceptualizing, not simply memorizing, ideas.
      • The internet is your notebook/memory.
    • Being able to adapt quickly.
  • Deal with the chaos in your head. Being confused/lost is NORMAL. No one pays you because you know all the answers. A developer's job is to jump into confusion and find a solution.
  • Development can be very personal. It's about:
    • Debugging your own mistakes.
    • Being a good "Googler" and reading tech documents, which takes practice.
    • Learning more by doing, rather than by listening.
  • We try not to hold your hand.
    • There is a decent amount of failure that happens initially when learning web development.
      • It's good to get that out of the way before we start working.
  • This course is hard work: Be prepared to devote 80-90 hours a week, minimum.
  • The maximum point of learning is right at the edge of learning and panic. learning zone
  • This experience will be a roller coaster. informed optimism?

GA Culture

Classroom Culture

  • This is an open, safe environment.
  • Keep criticism positive and constructive.
  • Take ownership of your experience.
  • Check your ego at the door.
  • Channel empathy.
  • Don't compare yourself to others, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
  • You get back what you put in.

Mentorship Culture

  • GA collaborative and supportive; we lead with offering help.
  • Some students are good at one thing, others at another. Leverage each other's strengths.
  • Teaching is the best way of truly solidifying your understanding of a concept.
  • Your classmates will be the best foundation for establishing a professional network in tech!

Student Expectations

  1. Be Present.
  • We take attendance at 9:00 a.m.
  • Pay attention.
  • Let us know if you are running late by Slacking your instructor.
  • Attendance Policy:
    • You are allowd a total of 3 absences.
    • 3 instances of tardiness = 1 absence.
    • You must stay beneath the contractual limit of absences in order to successfully complete the course and receive Outcomes support.
  1. Be Persistent
  2. Be Independent
  3. Be Thoughtful
  4. Be Creative
    • This coursework is not paint by numbers.
  5. Be Alert and Mindful, not Distracted



General Assembly takes academic honesty very seriously and will not tolerate any student who plagiarizes in order to satisfy course requirements. Immersive programs at General Assembly are intensive and require a lot of work on the part of the student. That said, students will occasionally not be able to complete work in a timely fashion.

Rather than rely on work that's not your own to create the appearance of success, let your instructional team know as early as possible that you are not prepared for the work. It is much easier to come up with a plan than it is to succeed if you've been removed from the program.


Plagiarism is the act of claiming work that does not belong to you as your own. It can take many forms, and each concentration at General Assembly will have slightly different guidelines for identifying plagiarism in their fields.

Generally, it is safe to assume that, if you are including work that does not belong to you in an effort to build upon your own work, you can and should cite it. If you are using work that does not belong to you as a replacement for your own work, you are probably plagiarizing.

Team Building

  • Try to pair with someone new every day.
  • Say good morning!
  • This is your job for the next 12 weeks, bring some joy to work!

Common Student Concerns

  1. I'm making a lot of mistakes.
  2. What about imposter syndrome?
  3. I don't "do" math.
  4. What's the best practice? How do I find the one "correct" answer?
    • Best practices change constantly and differ from company to company.
    • If you think through a problem properly, you'll probably naturally arrive at a best practice.
    • All that matters is "Does it work?"
      • A company that hires someone with three months of experience doesn't really care about code quality.
      • Use your time to learn new technology or strengthen your problem-solving acumen.
  5. What if I don't have a perfect understanding of everything?
    • This course is set up to accommodate students of all ability levels.
      • We use scaffolded lecture notes, homework, and projects.
    • We make sure you at least understand the most essential concepts.
  6. What if I'm having trouble building an amazing portfolio/completing of all the assignments?
    • All projects are difficult.
      • What matters is the ability to think through the problems they present.
    • Don't worry about completing every lab/homework assignment.
      • They're meant as exercises in programmatic thinking.
      • Completing an assignment and only sleeping for two hours is worse than sleeping and not completing an assignment.
  7. When should I ask questions?
    • Ask for help only when you've been stuck .2 hours.
      • The more time you spend fixing your own bugs, the more you will learn.
      • Getting an answer from someone else stalls the learning process.


  1. Ask for constant feedback.
  2. Stand up and walk around.
  3. Get out a little bit each day and do something that's not related to programming.


Briefly Tell Us About You

  • What's your name?
  • Where are you from?
  • What is your hometown like?

Help Us Get to Know You

  • Tell us a guilty pleasure.
  • Share a fun fact about yourself.

Tell Us About Your Programming Experience

  • What did you enjoy about the programming work you did in Fundamentals?