Part of Co.Lab’s mission is a focus on diversity and not just any diversity, it seeks to cultivate and foster the “diversity in thought.” This can be observed from its educational model. Co.Lab offers practical training that helps participants build and market a tangible product. Through project-based and cross-functional learning, Co.Lab nurtures multidisciplinary cohorts made up of passionate, driven, and talented participants.
The premise is simple: Train a group of talented people and have them collaborate on actual projects, just like they would in a real-world setting. The programs closely mimic an actual work environment by teaching participants to work efficiently and effectively in a collaborative manner. As it said on the website, “No boilerplate projects or theoretical case studies here!” Co.Lab’s instructional model is designed to be cross-functional. There is a consistent and present collaboration between disciplines—PM, Design, and Development participants often find themselves in working conversation.
The school believes that diversity is a crucial factor for success. Founders Helen Huang and Sefunmi Osinaike both come from non-traditional backgrounds and have sought to create a safe space for individuals in tech who want to pursue their passions. Through Co.Lab, they hope to make tech learning more accessible to those whose passion and access have not historically lined up.
“Technology impacts a global audience—all the more value for the industry to be made up of people from different backgrounds, each bringing their unique perspectives and lived experiences to the table,” the school said.
Getting Started with Co.Lab
Co.Lab is not like any other coding bootcamps, it is more like a platform for like-minded and talented people to convene and work together to deploy tangible projects. As such, it doesn’t necessarily provide the foundational tools for a student to learn development. Co.Lab doesn’t teach students the basics, but rather how to use the tools they already have and how to build with them. Co.Lab students come to the school seeking real-world, relevant experience that helps them land their dream jobs which put that real-world experience gained at Co.Lab into practice on a regular basis.
Co.Lab is a great option for bootcamp graduates, junior developers, junior designers, and junior product managers. Essentially, individuals who are excited about, and could use getting product team experience. Each prospective developer or student who comes through its doors should be able to identify and use their skills in the most resourceful way possible.
An ideal student, also known as a Co.Laborator, is someone who is motivated, passionate, and willing to learn. Because Co.Lab places a heavy emphasis on team-based work, you would likely fit in well with fellow Co.Laborators if you are a strong team player with a creative flair. The structure of the programs allows each participant to bring something different to the table as they work hand-in-hand to complete a project.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
Co.Lab’s approach is one steeped in a team-based experience. Its programs expose participants to the challenges that come with remote work and ways to overcome said struggles. This, in turn, will boost participant’s confidence in their ability to pitch, design, and market new products.
The school also has a unique matching mechanism that assigns its cohorts specifically based on the characteristics of the participants. The matching process is based on “teamwork styles, experiences, interests, and other logistics”.
“Essentially, we pair product managers, designers, and developers up into product groups to collaborate and launch a real product together. They’ll get to work across-discipline, just like in an actual work environment; ship an actual product that goes beyond just a simple curriculum, and be part of a solid community with professional references and mentorship,” the founders explained.
Co.Lab is a part-time, eight week, remote-friendly program. In general, the first week consists of product definition and ideation. The second is a full-team alignment event that sets the goals of the project in motion. The following weeks are the building portion of the course and the final week includes product shipping and celebrations of all the hard work that was put into the project.
Product Management Track
The Product Management program covers the fundamentals and the practical aspects of product management. The focus is on collaboration as participants work together to complete a goal and gain the necessary real-world skills involved in product management. This eight-week program will also cover user research, communication skills, and problem-solving, among many others.
Product Design Track
The Product Design program is also a team-based course framed in the logistics of product design. In eight weeks, participants will learn how to conduct real user research, explore multiple solutions, perform user testing, and create prototypes. This course seeks to help participants create an outstanding product in a collaborative cohort, all the while receiving and handling customer feedback.
Software Development Track
This is an eight-week program that covers both hard and soft skills. While coding skills are crucial, this program will also expose participants to the positive impacts of working well as a collective. It focuses on the shift from independent work to group work and emphasizes the gain of critical collaboration skills. It features scope management, product research, management of product release, and continuous development as the product moves forward in the development stage. Regardless of the track, participants will walk away from Co.Lab with a clearer understanding of their chosen roles.
The pricing ranges between $299 and $2,000, depending on several factors like the learning track, course content, and others.
A Vibrant Community of Supportive Co.Laborators
Co.Lab not only helps students manage their workload and expectations better, but it also strives to create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone can pursue similar passions and goals without any reservation. This fosters a strong bond between Co.Laborators.
Participants also have access to Co.Lab’s large professional referral network, which can help them find their next employment. The best part is, participants would already have a comprehensive portfolio filled with proven industry experience to impress the recruiters. Co.Labs services are previously compared to a Master’s thesis where an emphasis is given on upskilling.
Co.Lab’s programs allow developers from contrasting backgrounds to pave their own ways and embark on an elevated journey with confidence. If you’re interested in testing the waters and see for yourself what Co.Lab is all about, you can sign up for any of its free events and information sessions.
Co.Lab for a Better Career Prep
Co.Lab is not your average training provider, it is a community for like-minded people who are passionate to see each other succeed. Its online presence is a testament to this. Read more inspirational stories, discover the latest industry news, and learn new career tips through its blog, You Belong in Tech.
Co.Lab recognizes that there is not only a need for cross-disciplinary collaboration but also the freedom for participants to upskill and learn through fresh, creative ways. Co.Lab’s programs prepare participants for challenges they may face in real-life projects. Through its unique format, the school is not only giving collaboration a new meaning but tech education as a whole.
Ready to take on new challenges? Visit the website for more information or start your application process here.
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