I want to try out an experiment. Basically, I want to find roughly 20 people who are motivated, eager to learn, but simply can’t afford one of my Go courses, and I want to give them the courses for free. I’m calling it a “scholarship” program because I don’t really know a better name for it.
I’ve alluded to having some ideas to help with parity purchasing power and this is one of them. While this isn’t exactly the same as a country-specific discount, I decided to start here because I want to focus on helping anyone and everyone who can’t afford the courses for any reason, not just because they are from a country with lower income.
Unfortunately, I can’t just give the course to everyone. For starters, I need some income to get by, but I also need to make sure this works and figure out how to scale it.
So heres what I’m looking for:
Don’t send me an email just because Go sounds interesting. If you haven’t actually started learning Go, chances are this isn’t for you.
For the first few recipients I want people who have already decided they want to learn Go and won’t let anything get in their way. I want to find individuals who have taken advantage of any and every resource they could find and are working frequently (preferably daily) at learning more about coding and building applications in Go.
In short, I want someone who is already on their way to learning Go and just wants a helping hand or a speed boost with the process.
I have been emailed countless times by people who run into a silly compilation error and immediately give up and ask for help. Far too many people just give up the minute something doesn’t work and don’t actually try to narrow the cause of the issue. This isn’t what I am looking for.
I want to work with individuals who will do everything in their power to figure out what is going wrong. I want to work with people who will look at the line number from the compilation error and try to figure out what is wrong. I want to work with people who will delete the entire line if they can’t figure it out and rewrite it to see if that helps. I want to work with people who will still continue to debug even after asking for help.
I have found that motivated individuals like this are far more likely to succeed, but they are also much more fun to work with and support because you know their questions will be interesting ones and not something that stems from just not reading or listening.
Now to be clear - I’m not saying I won’t provide any support, I’m just saying that for the purpose of this scholarship I am limiting my choices to people who I believe will meet this criteria.
The easiest way to demonstrate that you have put in an honest effort is to narrow down the bug. If you are sending me an entire project - chances are you didn’t narrow down the bug or spend enough time trying to figure it out. That isn’t always the case, but it usually is. On the other hand, if you can replicate the issue in a smaller piece of code then I can say with reasonable confidence that you spent time trying to figure out the issue.
Narrowing down a bug often helps you figure out the issue on your own, but even if it doesn’t it will make it 100x easier for the person you are asking for help to help you out. It makes it faster, safer (I don’t want to run random projects people email me on my computer!), and everyone wins!
This also maximizes the number of people I can help. If I end up giving scholarships to students who don’t put in a serious effort, my support load goes up drastically and I can only give away a few scholarships. If I filter for motivated individuals I can offer more scholarships.
I get it, we all like to get help as soon as possible, but it can be very frustrating when someone doesn’t respect other people’s time and expects help instantly.
It can also be frustrating when someone decides to bombard me with support requests from every possible channel. For instance, I have had a single person (a) email me, (b) PM me on slack, and © DM me on twitter all within a 30 minute window.
Don’t be that person.
I want to work with people who realize that everyone’s time is valuable. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions in slack - you can and you should - but it means that after asking you should wait patiently until someone can help out. I promise you, someone will, but they might be busy and need a few hours.
This is one of the most important criteria; only apply if you absolutely cannot afford a course.
Both my web development course and my testing course are on sale right now for 40% off. Both courses also have smaller packages meant to help make them more accessible. The web dev course has a book-only package that is currently $39. Even if you can only afford the book package, please do not apply. This scholarship is only for individuals who can’t even afford that package.
You don’t have to explain why you can’t afford a course. I don’t care if it is because you live in a country with lower wages, because you already work two jobs and are barely getting by while you learn to code, or because you are a student in debt up to your eyeballs.
What you DO have to do is clearly confirm that you cannot afford the course without a discount when you reach out. You could write something like:
I cannot afford the course, even the cheapest package, without a scholarship
I can’t really verify that you aren’t lying, but I am trusting that if you write in the affirmative that you can’t afford the course you will be honest about it.
If you meet the critera, email firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why you would be a good choice.
Be sure to confirm that you cannot afford the course without the scholarship.
I don’t know exactly how many free copies I plan to give away, but I will probably start somewhere around 20 and see how it goes. If all is well, I can probably scale up. Most students who work hard don’t require much support so I’m hoping to be able to scale up.
On the other hand I might botch this massively and have to rethink the whole thing. If that happens I won’t be able to offer more scholarships for a while and will need to figure something else out.
In the meantime my Go courses are on sale:
If you can afford to buy a course you should do that now rather than applying to the scholarship program. The sale that I’m running now will be over before the scholarship recipients are selected, but that shouldn’t be a problem because the scholarship is intended for people who can’t afford a course, even with the sale. I want to make sure that is clear so people aren’t upset.
I’m not picking recipients right away for a few reasons:
I hope that all makes sense, and if you have any questions after reading the announcement feel free to reach out.
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Jon Calhoun is a full stack web developer who also teaches about Go, web development, algorithms, and anything programming related. He also consults for other companies who have development needs. (If you need some development work done, get in touch!)
Jon is a co-founder of EasyPost, a shipping API that many fortune 500 companies use to power their shipping infrastructure, and prior to founding EasyPost he worked at google as a software engineer.
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