We’re Heading Back to the Ranch

Eric Wilson

3 min read

Feb 3, 2022

We’re Heading Back to the Ranch

Resuming in-person training in 2022

The pandemic forced us to reconsider what it meant for Big Nerd Ranch to be a training company and how we could best serve our students. As it became clear that it was not safe for us to teach students in person, we evolved our model to include live online training. 

Though we have learned a lot about training online and have made improvements to deliver great online training experiences, we know that in-person training has its own set of advantages, and some students prefer this method of learning. After all, up until March of 2020, every class we ran (with one or two exceptions) was in person.

Since then, we’ve missed the ability to walk around a classroom and check on our students. We’ve missed the conversations about programming, pet projects, families, and life; the evening labs where we dig deeper into programming topics and help students get their personal app projects off the ground; and the deep, personal connections that occur when you share an intense experience in the company of others. That’s why we are eyeing a return to the physical classroom later this year, set to begin in May of 2022. 

What are the COVID requirements? 

Taking great care of our students has always been our priority, and this is no different. In this case, that means taking the right precautions to ensure the safety of our students and instructors. Based on the most recent guidelines put out by the CDC, the best way to keep everyone safe is through vaccination requirements.  

We are requiring all of our instructors who teach in person to be fully vaccinated, and we’re requiring the same from our students. This means all students who attend our classes must show proof of vaccination. Those with a legitimate exemption from vaccination will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at the training class. Depending on the severity of the situation, we may also require masks to be worn while indoors.

In addition, we ask all who are planning to join a class to acknowledge that they have not had COVID-19 symptoms within the last couple of weeks and that they have not (to their knowledge) been exposed during that time. If you have traveled by air in the last few months, you have probably seen a similar type of survey from your airline carrier. 

Our lodging and catering partners also have strict cleaning and dining protocols in place to support a safe and healthy experience. They have taken great care of us and our students in the past, and we are confident that they will continue to do so when we return to the classroom.

What happens if COVID restrictions change? 

While returning to some form of in-person learning is our hope, we are optimists, not fortune-tellers. Circumstances surrounding the pandemic are fluid and in-person training might not be possible. We will continue to provide updates as in-person courses approach.

We are thrilled to be able to offer our signature Big Nerd Ranch experience again, as thousands of students have learned a new technology or leveled up their skills with us in person. Live online classes will continue to be offered as well, as this is a preferred option or the option some feel most comfortable with right now. We are excited to have you learn with us in whatever format fits you best. Sign up for a Bootcamp and learn more about them on our website here.

Eric Wilson

Author Big Nerd Ranch

Eric joined Big Nerd Ranch in the spring of 2019 to lead the training initiatives and brings a wealth of experience in both training and consultancy work.

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