Creating an ouroboros, or: how coding boot camp students created SugarLearning, a tool that now runs their course

I’m having a ball this month – I’ve been to Melbourne to give 3 presentations at TechEd and I get to do the same again at TechEd Sydney in a couple of weeks. I’m also enjoying the hubbub and excitement of getting ready to release SugarLearning, which was made by the students of the first FireBootCamp course back in January.

As part of this, we’ve put together a video that shows how we used SugarLearning in our second FireBootCamp course, and will also be sending out a press release.

Watch the video above, have a read of the press release, and let me know what you think.

SugarLearning press release

SSW is announcing the beta release of SugarLearning. SugarLearning is an online training tool that was built by the students of SSW’s first intensive 9-week .NET coding camp, FireBootCamp, in January 2014.

In a circle of fruition, SugarLearning was used by the mentors of the FireBootCamp when the course ran again in July. The lead mentor Adam Stephensen used it to set and track completion rates of homework and required readings for the students. Thus, the student-created tool was wielded to help the newest batch of students acquire the same knowledge used to make it.

At SSW SugarLearning is designed to simplify the induction process for employees and employers alike. FireBootCamp mentor and Microsoft Regional Director Adam Cogan described the usefulness of the tool:

“The goal is to integrate new employees as soon as possible so they are job-ready. The employer can choose from core and job-specific learning tasks to customize the induction to ensure the learning meets the needs of both the employee and the unique requirements of each role.”

Adam Stephensen, .NET and Azure expert, and mentor of FireBootCamp students, talked about his experience using it for his students:

“While the application is simple, it has a fully featured gamification engine. There is the option to assign illustrative “achievement badges” to any categories considered especially important and all achievements are tracked online. I used it during the last FireBootCamp and, as a teacher, enjoyed the easy to read progress summary and leaderboards.”

The students built SugarLearning with modern technologies including ASP.NET MVC, HTML5. It is deployed to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud technology. FireBootCamp was established to train and guide developers while building a real world app for a real Product Owner. The intensive course focuses on in-demand skills to ensure that when the students graduate they will have the enterprise web development skills to hit the ground running.

You can test drive SugarLearning now at