This spring (from April to June), WE plan to run a 2nd edition of the FREE Power BI Bootcamp!
Since 2023 was really busy with work and other engagements, I didn’t have the opportunity to organize the 2nd edition earlier – but, now, we are back💪
First of all, you are probably wondering who are WE😉. In case you missed it, in the last quarter of 2022, the 1st edition of the free Power BI Bootcamp was successfully delivered. Back then, the plan was to include max 15 persons in the Bootcamp, but since I received an overwhelming 82 applications, my community friends – Andrea Janicijevic, Pragati Jain, Mohammed Adnan, and Augustin Dokoza Bukvic, jumped in and offered their help in leading learner groups, plus we also had special guest teachers, who are proven experts in specific topics, such as Mara Pereira, Tom Martens, Parvinder Chana, etc. (that’s what the community is all about, right?). So, we could accept basically all applicants! Therefore, why change the winning habits – we are again planning to have multiple learning groups because we don’t want to reject someone due to a limited capacity!
The inaugural Power BI Bootcamp was a HUGE success! We shared our experiences and key learnings, including some of our bootcampers’ experiences, in the form of the session that Pragati and I delivered last year at SQL Bits, and which you can watch here. Not only we helped some of the bootcampers to land new, better jobs, but together with friends from Enterprise DNA (thanks to Sam McKay and Brian Julius), we provided them with an opportunity to continue their learning journey for free in the next 365 days!
Some initial considerations
As you’ve maybe seen in the social media announcement, the ONLY condition to apply for the Bootcamp is to be a woman, and/or not be able to afford paid training.
Back in 2022, the majority of reactions were positive and supportive, but I’ve also noticed comments about “sexual discrimination”. Therefore, I’d like to explain again everything related to the Bootcamp: starting from motivation, the reasoning for setting things as it is, all the way through the “rules” for the application and selection process and stages.
I firmly believe that transparency is the key to building trust, and therefore I’ll try to cover all the topics. In case something is unclear, or I missed something, feel free to get in touch and I’ll try to address all the open questions.
Why do I (we) run a Bootcamp?
As I said, the 1st free Power BI Bootcamp was such a rewarding experience. Not only for the participants, but also for us, Bootcamp leaders. Our energy tanks were full after each and every session, and getting to know that some of these amazing individuals got better jobs after the Bootcamp was something really priceless!
Before the 1st Bootcamp, I had tons of questions in my own head, as I wasn’t 100% sure about many different details – who may participate? Which topics should the Bootcamp cover? How long should the Bootcamp last? What should I set as expectations from the Bootcampers? And, many more…
Since these ideas are now more or less well-shaped, I decided to go with the announcement for the 2nd Bootcamp on Monday, January 22nd.
Why Bootcamp is free?
I’ve said this multiple times, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it again – I’ve gained most of my technical skills by leveraging free resources provided by industry experts. Be it a webinar, blog post, free conference, or free online course, I can’t deny that I profited so much from this free content.
So, I like the idea of giving back something to the community – people who are eager to learn and translate this learning into a practical application of these skills. And, I feel truly humbled and honored to be able to share a small part of what I’ve learned with someone else, hoping that this cycle of “knowledge sharing” will never stop…
Of course, I have a strong opinion about paying for quality content and that way supporting the content authors – I myself pay for a lot of learning content, and I myself am the content author – but, in any case, not being able to pay for learning/education should never be a show-stopper for anyone! Period!
Now, let me quickly return to the beginning of this post, and emphasize the one single condition that I set for applicants:
In the industry that’s run by US (when I say us, I mean males), I’ve witnessed multiple times and heard stories from my colleagues whom I really trust, that more often than not, women are not being treated equally in IT. Like it or not, that’s a fact!
First of all, in many parts of our planet, women don’t have equal rights when it comes to education. Then, even if they manage to educate themselves in a certain area, let’s say data analysis, it’s hard to break into the industry and get that job! Then, even when they somehow managed to break into that job, imagine the feeling of being alone in the meeting room with 10 male colleagues, where some of them are not being friendly to a female co-worker (this can go from ignorance to open boycotting, saw with my eyes).
In that world, the smallest of all the small things I can do, is to give a hand to all talented women out there, to provide them with a stage to excel and feel more comfortable and confident learning “male” skills and tools!
Why people who can’t afford paid training?
There are a lot of awesome training opportunities out there! No single doubt about it! And, for most of these, it’s well worth paying to learn new skills or upskill yourself. I can immediately list a minimum of 5-10 fantastic paid training provided by industry experts.
However, not everyone can afford to pay for training. It’s pointless to list all possible reasons, but if someone earns 300$/month, you can’t expect this person to pay 200$ for the training! Even if they want!
As I’ve already mentioned above, not being able to pay for the learning should never be a blocker to anyone.
Now, hopefully, I’ve explained the motivation for running the Bootcamp and the reasoning behind targeting specific groups of learners. Let me now introduce the application process and how things will work in the following weeks and months.
How the Bootcamp is structured?
The Bootcamp starts from scratch – assuming that you have never used Power BI before. So, we are starting by explaining what Power BI is, and how it can be leveraged to answer various business questions. Then, we cover a whole range of different topics, such as data transformation with Power Query, data modeling, writing DAX calculations, optimizing performance, all the way to sharing Power BI assets with others. The Bootcamp curriculum follows a similar flow as the official Microsoft PL-300 training, so you may feel comfortable taking the exam after the Bootcamp.
We will meet once per week (approximately 60-90 minutes), and then you’ll get homework for the next week:)…In between, we are communicating in the Slack channel, so you can get a quick helping hand from Power BI Bootcamp leaders and/or your peers. The goal is for you to have a fully functional report/dashboard to showcase after the Bootcamp, but also to become part of the network of like-minded individuals.
And, the most important thing – we will show you how to do something, but in the end, there is no better learning than doing it by yourself – so, you’ll have to pull up your sleeves and build your own Power BI solution (with our assistance and guidance, of course)!
The application process will start on Wednesday, January 24th, and will last for 3 weeks – until February 15th. Every single application will be evaluated, and I and my team keep the sole discretion to accept/reject a certain candidate.
There will be a maximum of 15 bootcampers per group, as we’d really like to dedicate time to the group and support them get something from the Bootcamp that will help them in their future career. In my opinion, makes no sense to run a webinar-like presentation for 50-100 people, without any interaction or feedback from both sides. We want bootcampers to work on their learning goals, and to put some effort into building their skills, as the main purpose of the Bootcamp is to help YOU – bootcampers – strengthen your Power BI and data analytics skills and knowledge. All of you will get honest feedback from our side, but we also expect you to challenge us and provide your feedback on the Bootcamp! Only then, this will be a success for both parties.
Out of 15 bootcampers per group, AT LEAST 10 will be women. I can’t tell you 100% confident which criteria will be applied to assign these 10 spots before I receive the real applications. In general, preference will be given to women from regions without proper education opportunities, or those that are trying to switch their careers from other industries to the data analytics field…
This by no means excludes others – for example, a female from Norway (an example of a country with good education opportunities) who’s currently working with Excel and wants to learn Power BI. As I already mentioned, each application will be evaluated individually before announcing the final list of bootcampers.
The remaining 5 spots per group will be assigned to those who can’t afford paid training. These 5 spots can be assigned to women only, men only, or a mix of both – it depends on the applications.
Once the application process is closed, we’ll evaluate all the applications and create a list of 15 bootcampers per group by the middle of March, so you and we have enough time to prepare and get ready to start in April.
How should I apply?
I guess if you’ve come so far by reading this article, you’re interested in learning how to apply:)
First of all, you don’t need to send any payslips, tax reports, confirmation about your salary, and so on…to demonstrate that you can’t afford paid training.
WE TRUST YOU!
You don’t need to send us a CV, reference letters from previous employers, etc.
You SHOULD provide us with a short introduction about yourself, your motivation for taking part in the Bootcamp, and finally your expectations: how this Bootcamp can help you to achieve your goals (whatever the goal is: to change the job, to get a better salary, to be more recognized by the manager/colleagues, etc.)?
Also, make sure to include your location and time zone.
Keep it short and simple, no need to write a novel, as I’ll definitely not ask you: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” types of questions:)
And, one last thing that I can promise: we’ll inform each and everyone about the outcome of the selection process – both selected and non-selected applicants (hopefully there will not be many of you in the latter group).
Your applications should be sent to: email@example.com
- January 24th – The application process starts
- February 15th – The application process ends
- February 16th – March 15th – evaluation of the applications and compiling the list of bootcampers
- March 16th – Information about the application process outcome and announcing the list of bootcampers
- April 1st – Bootcamp kick-off
There will be no prolongation of the application window!
The only thing I expect from those who make it to the bootcampers list is to respect the others’ time, and respect the fact that someone else couldn’t make it to the list – simply said, I expect those selected to regularly come to Bootcamp classes and put some effort during the Bootcamp.
If you’re not sure that you can attend at least 70% of classes, please pass the chance to someone else.
Thank you very much in advance. We are really looking forward to receiving as many applications as possible, and spending our time with you and Power BI during the Bootcamp!
Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Nikola