Chapter 2 — What is a Chingu Cohort ?

& What is Chingu not good at (yet)?

Chance McAllister
5 min readNov 7, 2016
Still need to add another 20 or so countries to this image, we’ve had members from around 90 countries join the cohorts

What is a Chingu cohort?

The easiest way to think of each cohort is like this:

1. Chingu designs, facilities and launches collaborative coding cohorts.

2. A ‘cohort’ is a smaller group of motivated people who are working towards the same goals.

What everyone shares in common is a desire to learn software development and collaborate.

3. An easy way to think of the cohorts is to compare it to a fitness gym.

A gym has lots of equipment you can use to get better. It has treadmills, weights, yoga mats, etc. If you don’t use the equipment, you’re not going to get the results you desire.

Gyms are like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game. You take your plan to the gym and choose which equipment you want to use based on your goals.

For example, if you want to improve flexibility, you might use the yoga mat and do some stretches. If you want to gain strength, you might use the weights. If you want to build endurance, you might jog on the treadmill.

In the same way, if you want to improve your portfolio and learn how to work in a dev team, you can sign up for a project. If you want to study with people who are also working on the P1XT Guides, there’s a P1XT Study Guide Support Group. If you want to finish FCC, you can join the FCC Speedrun Challenge. That sort of thing. :)

4. Each cohort lasts 5 weeks, and you can join another cohort after.

Most people learn to get the most out of the cohorts by the second session. After about 3 weeks, we send out a way to signup for the next cohort session.

5. The objective of each cohort is to provide a learning environment that people can use to accelerate and broaden their skills.

By joining a Chingu cohort, you’re investing in yourself by working with others. You should come out of each cohort having made progress toward your overall goals and built a friendly network of coders.

The metrics of success will be different for everyone. Some people get jobs, others finally find the motivation to code on a consistent basis when they see what others are building. Some people get their first experience working in a remote dev team, others get their first interesting project to put in their portfolio. And many others greatly improve their soft skills working with others, which is a fundamental skill developers rarely get the opportunity to practice prior to working.

See Part 1 of this Handbook to learn more about how these cohorts can help you achieve your goals.

Important to note

Everything about the cohorts is flexible and will always be a working experiment. We’ll always be improving things. What this means is just as you are constantly learning new skills and expanding your opportunities, so are the Chingu cohorts.

What is Chingu not good at (yet)?

If coding resources are like roads, Chingu is the bus people can jump on to help get to their coding goals in a faster, more robust and enjoyable way. That being said, this bus isn’t perfect and may sometimes have engine troubles. We generally believe that it’s better to drive with others in a vehicle that sometimes has engine troubles than it is to walk alone the whole way, but it’s worth noting that there’s a list of things we’re looking to improve:

— Some people will sign up for pair-programming, a project, accountability buddies, etc. and for whatever reason won’t be able to commit.

Essentially, life happens. People get jobs, go on vacation, lose interest in coding, all kinds of different things.

Also, the above challenge is kind of the price paid for not charging a price. No one has to pay to get access to the opportunities, but we’ve noticed that the people who donate are usually the ones most committed to learning to code.

Being financially accessible to anyone in the world — no matter their economic situation, where they’re from, or what their background is — is a big part of why Chingu exists and how the cohorts have been able to accomplish so much.

Please see the FAQ chapter to see ways we fix this challenge.

Not all projects are going to go 100% smoothly. In fact, most team projects are going to be a challenge, as most people who join have never worked in a dev team before. This is a good thing, as these projects are a low-pressure way to get experience that can help you greatly in the future.

Employers want to hire people with hard skills, but also people they can trust will work well with their team.

Sometimes it’ll be like this

What Happens When All The Stuff Doesn’t Work?

Chingu is not a school, it’s a coding network, collaboration platform and diverse learning environment.

We are organizing these to the best of our ability because we believe they should exist and know it can help people get to places they might not otherwise get to. That being said, we all code, eat dinner, have jobs, hang out with friends, and other such things. The Stuff won’t always work perfectly, but please don’t get too mad — we’re always trying to find ways to improve the cohorts! :)

Quotes that matter to us

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them. — Albert Einstein

Growth needs a ladder, that ladder needs to be built. Come on craft the first step. — Trion

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. — Alan Kay

Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine. — Alan Turing

I think it’s possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary. — Elon Musk

It always seems impossible until it’s done. — Nelson Mandela

See you soon! Also if you have a quote you think would fit well here, feel free to let me know and I’ll add it!



Chance McAllister

Founder @ Chingu. Experience Designer. Lifelong learner. Teacher. Runner. Reader. Insatiably curious. Apply here: