Wow! FireBootCamp is #1 – We won the Microsoft Australia Partner Award for Learning

UPDATE: This has been re-posted on the FireBootCamp blog 

UPDATE 2: If you’re not familiar with the course, I put up 5 videos to watch on

Today, I am proud to announce SSW has won the MAPA 2015 Microsoft Australia Partner Award for Excellence in Learning for FireBootCamp, our 9-week intensive training .NET boot camp.


FireBootCamp was up against the very best learning institutions in Australia, such as New Horizons and DDLS. To give you an idea of the competition, these 2 companies have about 200 employees, have been in business for close to 20 years, and are known as leading IT technical training and certification companies.

I’d like to firstly thank Microsoft. Microsoft are a business and like to make money. They also like to reward and recognize their partners that make the biggest contributions. Companies such as New Horizions and DDLS do an awesome job of helping that bottom line. FireBootCamp doesn’t give out certifications or sell Microsoft licences – we just turn developers into full stack Microsoft developers, and are only in our second year. I am thrilled – and also a little surprised – that Microsoft has recognized our innovative and holistic approach to training, and seen the value of the fantastic course outcomes, even though the numbers are substantially smaller than the large learning institutions.

Thank you, Microsoft, for recognizing innovative solutions.

Figure: Marlon Marescia with the award at APC Australia

From SSW, there are so many to thank, but I’ll call out the primary guys:

Marlon Marescia – You came up with the idea of FireBootCamp, and put in the hard yards to make it a success. From planning the course structure to marketing the course, to answering every student enquiry, to establishing the pre-course “Jumpstart”, we know that without your conviction and dedication, we never would have made this happen. Thank you.

Adam Stephensen – Your dedication is outstanding. We know you sacrificed a lot of your personal time and energy, but it has paid off. You should be really proud. As Chief Mentor, you produced all the course content and even travelled to the Microsoft head office in Redmond to run the course there. Without your tireless efforts, the course would not have succeeded. Thanks, mate.

Gerard Beckerleg – Thanks for being an awesome mentor. You brought to the table a different perspective and a jaunty British accent. Your energy and enthusiasm paid off. Thanks for caring and working so hard for the students.

I would also like to thank all the SSW devs who have worked with the students over the sessions.

Our guest mentors:

Each of our amazing guest mentors spent time with the students, sharing their wealth of unique skills and knowledge with the class. Each session they delivered value and new learning to our students to help them succeed as full stack .NET developers.

Andrew Coates
Twitter: @coatsy
The boot campers always say meeting Coatsey is a highlight of FireBootCamp. He has been a guest presenter at every boot camp, introduced them to cloud and dev-ops best practices and inspired them to be “lazy and boastful”. He’s a work horse, so all FireBootCampers were so proud when he won the Worldwide Developer Evangelist.

You can see his sessions at:

Troy Hunt
Twitter: @troyhunt
Troy is not only tall and handsome, he is a god at scaring the daylights out of developers. He always comes along to scare the tired boot campers into an appropriate level of respect for ensuring their systems are built securely.

Catch Troy’s sessions here:

Tatham Oddie
Twitter: @tathamoddie
Tatham’s sessions at FireBootCamp are packed full of gold tips for writing JavaScript. He goes so fast the boot campers need to watch him 2 or 3 times.

Don’t believe me? Watch Tatham’s sessions for yourself: 

Eric Phan
Twitter: @ericphan
Eric is a master of building high performing websites and for every course has shared his wealth of knowledge with the boot campers.

Check out Eric’s mastery at 

David Burela
Twitter: @DavidBurela
David introduced the boot campers to development across multiple mobile platforms, and the best way to expose APIs that can be consumed by mobile apps.

You can see David’s sessions here:

Mark Liu
Twitter:  @fnopster
Building enterprise web applications with rich user interfaces can be complex. Mark has been building some of the largest TypeScript sites in Australia, and brings many years of experience to the boot campers. Mark’s sessions teach how to build large web applications using TypeScript, Angular and Web API.

Check out Mark’s sessions here:

Paul Glavich
Twitter: @glav
Today everyone wants to know Angular.  Paul brought our boot campers up to speed with his awesome sessions and great war stories from

You can see Paul’s session at 

John Bristowe
Twitter: @JohnBristowe
Building rich web user interfaces is made much easier if you use the right tools. John from Telerik got the devs up and going on the Kendo UI controls.

See John’s sessions at

TJ Gokcen
Twitter: @tjgokcen
The key to success is a great process. At FireBootCamp the guys live and breathe Scrum. TJ takes them to the next step by introducing Kanban and Visualisation into their process.

Watch his sessions here:

Chris Briggs
Twitter: @chrisbriggsy
Chris was a full time resource for the boot campers to utilise in the most recent boot camp. He presented numerous sessions and was invaluable for unblocking the devs when they got stuck.

Catch Chris’s many sessions at

Craig Bailey
Twitter: @craigbailey
It is important that devs have an understanding of SEO. In his sessions, Craig brought the guys up to speed on SEO and working with Google tools.

See what Craig shared with the boot campers at

Robert Beerworth
Twitter: @robertbeerworth
Rob gave the developers tips on how to best work with designers and design agencies.

Nick Hodge
Twitter: @NickHodgeAU
Nick’s sessions on Reactive Extensions always blows students’ minds.

If you want a great intro to Rx check out his talk here:

The guest judges:

We’ve used local and international guest judges at some of the FireBootCamps to evaluate the finished projects from each team. They added spice and excitement to the end of the course, and we thank each of them for taking the time out of their busy lives to give their feedback on the boot campers’ projects.

Thank you:

  • Scott Stanfield, CEO/founder, Vertigo
  • Andrew Brust, Research Director for Big Data at Gigaom, ZDNet, Microsoft Regional Director
  • Scott Cate, CTO EventDay, Microsoft Regional Director, ASP.NET MVP
  • Brian Harry, Owner of Team Foundation Server (TFS and VSO), Microsoft Technical Fellow and Product Unit Manager
  • Scott Hanselman, Principal Community Architect for Web Platform and Tools, Microsoft

Upcoming courses:

We’ve got new sessions of FireBootCamp starting later this year in both the USA and Australia.

  • Redmond, WA, USA – 12th Oct – 5th Dec 2015
  • Sydney, Australia – 30th Nov 2015 – 5th Feb 2016

With each new FireBootCamp, we re-evaluate the curriculum to ensure that we cover the most relevant and up-to-date topics that the devs will need to know. Previously, we’ve incorporated everything Angular and Git, and this time around, you can expect to learn lots about Application Insights and DevOps, as well as the bread-and-butter topics like ASP.NET MVC 6, Enterprise Architecture, Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 and so much more.

Whether you’re a new grad just starting out, a career changer, or an employer looking to hire an amazing developer, we can help. To find out more, watch the 4 videos at