Pre-course work

Hello. Welcome to CodeClan and the introduction to your Professional Software Development pre-course work!

The aim of the pre-course work is to prepare you for the intensive nature of the course. This means by the end of the next two weeks, you should:

  • Understand basic terminology related to software development.
  • Be aware and understand some of the basic concepts of object-oriented programming.
  • Be comfortable with Mac computers and navigating the development environment.
  • Have a typing speed that will help you keep pace in class.

We’ll check-in with you a few times during the two weeks, but if you have a blocker stopping you from making progress or any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Please note if you are doing our Part-time Web Development course, you have 3 weeks to complete the content shared with you at Induction and the below content. This is part of your self directed learning module.

Pre-Course Work Contents

The pre-course work units are not the course materials that you will use during the course. Learn as much of the terminology as you can before you start the course, as class is very immersive and it will help you in the first few weeks.

The pre-course work is completed on a site known as Codio. You will be introduced to this at the Meet Your Cohort event and the link will be sent out on your cohort Slack channel.

When completing the pre-course work, the units are labelled in the order that you should complete them. The following is the order that we recommend that you tackle the content over the two weeks:

  1. Welcome
  2. Learning to Learn
  3. General Computing
  4. Tools
  5. Programming with Python
  6. HTML and CSS

The pre-course work is designed to be completed over the two weeks before the main course starts. However, we understand that everyone works at different speeds and may have different home/work responsibilities. We have set aside two weeks for the pre-course work to allow you time to complete the courses at a pace that is right for you.

Typing Speed

Practicing your typing is very important. An ideal minimum typing speed by the end of the two weeks would be 40-50 words per minute with a normal typing speed and 30-40 words per minute for Python code. Class can be quite fast paced at times, so to ensure you can keep up practicing your typing is essential. After all, practice makes perfect!

Send a screenshot of both your normal typing speed and your Python code typing speed to [email protected] by Thursday each week throughout the pre-course work.

Using Slack

During the course, you will use Slack. Slack is a messaging service we use at CodeClan for communication between students and staff. Whilst completing the pre-course work, we encourage you to ask your fellow classmates questions using Slack. The benefits of using Slack are:

  • You get to know your cohort by discussing your interests and problems.
  • You can support each other through your pre-course work.
  • All of the instructional team are on Slack so using their knowledge is highly recommended.

We will send you a link to Slack just before Meet Your Cohort and give you an intro on the day.


The pre-course work needs to be completed and we will check-in with you a few times during the two weeks, to see how you are doing and provide help with any queries or problems.

If you have any issues, responsibilities or commitments that mean you might struggle to complete the pre-course work, you need to contact us to let us know and we can offer extra support and guidance.

Once Completed

Once the necessary pre-course work is completed, if you have time, make sure you revise what you have already done. It is also essential you continue to practice typing to get your speed as high as possible.
Below is a list of resources that you can use to extend your learning and knowledge once you have completed what you need to do for the pre-course work.

General Computing

How to use a Mac: Learn the Mac In Under An Hour (

How the internet works:

How to navigate the keyboard comfortably to find ‘special’ characters (Focus on: Copy, Cut and Paste, Undo and Redo, Save, Move to trash, Open spotlight tool):

How to search using the Spotlight tools: Using “Spotlight” (

Learn some programming vocabulary. (

Terminal & Command Line:

Know what UNIX is: UNIX Tutorial for Beginners: Tutorials 1, 2 and 4 are good to do. You can do the other tutorials too if you’re feeling keen but they’re not necessary for the start of the course. (

David Baumgold’s “Getting to Know the Command Line” (

Git & Github:

Understand the basics of source code version control and why it is used: Read “Git vs. GitHub” – we got you to register an account on GitHub. This website explains the differences between Git and Github. (


How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python is a book written by Allen Downey, Jeffery Elkner and Chris Myers (

Good luck. You are awesome!

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