We built a learning portal that keeps the Silicon Valley dream alive

April 22, 2019 by

You know the story: a classically nerdy guy grows up tinkering with computers, teaches himself how to code, heads to college, drops out to launch his startup, and poof, becomes a millionaire. It sounds familiar because it’s the origin story of tech legends like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. And increasingly (finally!) there’s a parallel plot shaping up for women developers, just look at Melanie Perkins from Canva and Lucy Guo from Scale.

The DIY nature of coding—plus the potential for a lasting legacy—has lured many into the field of computer science. As our economy shifts to weight technology jobs more heavily, the once-nerdy hobby and self-taught education now hold the promise of a secure, lucrative career for people on the developer track. In fact, more than half of today’s developers don’t have a degree in computer science or a related field.

This idea of self-empowerment was central to a new initiative from the Windows Developer Marketing team at Microsoft. Meet the Dev Collective, a learning portal for developers to grow their coding skills across Microsoft platforms. 2A’s mix of developers, designers, and PM consultants built the Dev Collective site from the ground up to help all skill levels boost their coding acumen. Here are some highlights:

  • Extensive content: The Dev Collective connects developers to Microsoft tutorials to learn everything from Azure Blob Storage to working with Javascript.
  • Curated learning: Developers have the option to nibble away at a variety of courses—maybe they want to brush up on C# or better understand Azure Databricks—or they can bite off a whole learning path that includes each course they need to master a new skill.
  • Personalized experience: Skill level badges on courses assist with navigating the catalog, while progress tracking and bookmarks help developers pick up where they left off.
  • Mobile-ready: The truth is, learning happens everywhere. That 15-minute bus ride every morning or that coffee break at 2 are opportunities to brush up on old skills and learn the latest techniques. That’s why we made sure Dev Collective travels well and is accessible in all formats.

We’re proud to help democratize coding with this learning management system, because who knows where the next unicorn will come from?