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Getting ready to start the MLA!

If you're here because you've secured a place on the MLA, congratulations! Alternatively, if you are here to see if the MLA is the right option for you, this article will go over all the things you need to feel prepared and to start the course with confidence. 🙌


What are the start times and length of each session?

  • On the MLA, there are two Live Lab sessions every week. These Live Labs are usually held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6.30 and 8pm.
  • To prepare you for the Live Labs, you will also complete independent learning tasks before the sessions start.
  • You'll meet with your team to work on the group project on Mondays and Wednesdays (1.5 hours, 6.30-8pm).

  • On Wednesday evenings, there will also be optional drop-in sessions, in case you have any extra questions or just need some additional support or guidance.
  • Outside of class time, you should spend as much time as you need on independent study material and working on your projects.
  • These extra hours of work outside of class time will make sure that you are able to keep on top of the workload and manage it as effectively as possible! 💪


What should I expect from the group project?

During the MLA, a vital part of your learning will be a group project. During this, you will be working in a group for the full 12 weeks, focusing on building an app together. 👥

The aim of this project is to help you:

  • Focus on key skills you want to develop. 
  • Try new things in a safe environment with supportive people. 💛
  • Collaborate with a team of students with different areas of expertise and experience, which will in turn allow you to learn from each other
  • Experience a modern software development life-cycle from start to finish. ♻️


Expectations and commitment

  • To pass the MLA, you will need to attend as many live labs as possible, and complete all assessed work. You must also fully complete your final projects, and all assessment pieces must be completed and delivered in to receive your certificate at the end of the programme.
  • We understand that things happen and that life can get in the way sometimes. If you find that you can't attend a session or are unable to complete a piece of work on time, please inform your instructors, as they will be able to make arrangements for you to catch-up in your own time. ✨


What platforms / software do I need?

Equipment: You need a working laptop or desktop computer. This can be Mac, Linux, or Windows. Chromebooks and iPads will not work. 

You should also have a working camera and microphone, we want to be able to see and hear you!

Platforms and software:

  • Google suite
  • Butter
  • Slack
  • GitHub & GitHub Codespaces
  • Docker

Please make sure that you have all the correct equipment and platforms set up before the MLA starts! 🙏

Unfortunately, we cannot assist with incompatible equipment, but if you are having trouble with the setup of any of the platforms or software, our tutors should be able to help you troubleshoot these issues via Slack. 


To make your experience on the course more comfortable, we also highly recommend:

  • Good quality headphones or headset.
  • A second screen / monitor - this will make it far easier for you to follow along during live sessions!
  • A comfortable chair and desk setup. It is important to look after your body during long periods of sitting down, so make sure that you make a comfortable workspace for yourself, whether this means a specific type of chair or raised desk you can stand at.
  • We would suggest that you set up folders before the course starts so that you are able to keep your files organised and accessible right from the start. 


And above all, you should take care of yourself! 💗

The MLA is a wonderful course, but is undoubtedly intensive at times.  In order to gain the most from it, you should make sure that you have a healthy balance!

  • Take breaks. Grab a cup of tea or a snack, do some stretches, or anything else to make sure that you don't spend hours straight at your desk. ☕
  • Switch off occasionally and spend time doing things unrelated to your course. You could go for a calming walk outside, meet with friends, go to the cinema - whatever helps you relax! 
  • Wear comfortable clothes! 
  • Inform your tutors about any extra adjustments you need. They will be more than happy to accommodate any needs relating to disabilities, learning difficulties, or anything else which may require alternative arrangements to be made. Our priority is for you to feel supported so that you can succeed and gain the full benefits of the MLA, whatever your life circumstances may be. 


We hope that this helps you feel more prepared to start your MLA journey. Enjoy the course! 🙌