Developing Mindsets to Succeed
Our mission is to unlock human potential by training a diverse, inclusive student body to succeed in high-fulfillment technical careers.
When you’re transitioning careers, often many other aspects of your approach to work and life undergo a transition as well. Turing aims to be a place where you can work through these transitions successfully. While enrolled at Turing and during your subsequent job search, you’ll be provided with tools and strategies to develop the professional skills necessary to enter a new career as a software developer.
The pre-work for career development is focused on introducing you to a set of mindsets that we at Turing believe will make you a successful programmer. These mindsets are:
- Agency: Taking initiative and ownership over your learning and work
- Empathy: Understanding and sharing others’ emotions in order to relate to them
- Engagement: Active participation in community
- Grit: A combination of perseverance and passion
- Growth: A belief that your abilities can be developed through dedication, hard work, and resiliency
Your Gear Up pre-work is focused on Empathy, so that is not a focus of this pre-work while the other four mindsets will be introduced to you here. Your objectives in this pre-work are to:
- Understand the non-coding aspects that go into being a successful programmer
- Reflect on your current mindsets and build an understanding of new or differing mindsets
- Reflect on organizational processes that would be useful for you in this career
- Understand a strengths-based approach to development
- Begin analyzing how your strengths apply to your development at Turing
For the activities listed below, please create a gist on GitHub to capture your reflections for each of these 3 parts. When you’re finished, email your gist to Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Approximate reading time: 20 minutes
- Pick out 3 behaviors that resonate with you in the list and describe why they resonate with you in a reflection (4-6 sentences).
Organization is paramount to success both at Turing and in a career as a programmer. There are many ways to stay organized, but in this activity, you’ll explore one system in particular – utilizing a strong checklist. Read through and/or listen to this interview with Atul Gawande (author of the Checklist Manifesto). It includes an excerpt from his book, which is optional reading.
- Approximate reading time (including the excerpt from the book, which is optional): 22 minutes
- After reading, consider the idea of checklists. Write a reflection (4-6 sentences) on the benefits of a checklist and how an organizational system such as a checklist might help you first as a student and later as a full-time developer.
One tool we’ll be using for your professional development at Turing is the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. Unlike other assessments, one of the hallmarks of StrengthsFinder is that it focuses solely on what you’re already doing well in order to understand how to capitalize on those strengths.
Here is an excerpt from the above linked article about the purpose of StrengthsFinder:
The CSF is an online measure of personal talent that identifies areas where an individual’s greatest potential for building strengths exists. By identifying one’s top themes of talent, the CSF provides a starting point in the identification of specific personal talents, and the related supporting materials help individuals discover how to build upon their talents to develop strengths within their roles. The primary application of the CSF is as an evaluation that initiates a strengths-based development process in work and academic settings. As an omnibus assessment based on positive psychology, its main application has been in the work domain, but it has been used for understanding individuals in a variety of settings — employees, executive teams, students, families, and personal development.
You’ll take this assessment in the first week of Module One, but this activity invites you to begin building an understanding of how learning about and developing your strengths applies to your success in your new career. Read through the following three articles and write a reflection using the questions listed below:
- Approximate reading time:
- After reading the three articles, answer the following questions in a reflection (4-6 sentences):
- What is your impression of strengths-based development? What questions do you have about this kind of development?
- What do you feel are your top strengths? How do you know?
- How do you hope to develop your strengths for your new career in software development?
Additional Optional Readings on StrengthsFinder:
- Strengths-Based Development in Practice
- Debunking Strengths Myth #2: Why taking a strengths-based approach isn’t as easy as it seems
- Debunking Strengths Myth #3: When it comes to first impressions about employees’ talents, you should trust – but verify – them
- Debunking Strengths Myth #4: Understanding the real connection between talent and motivation