Is Chingu worth paying for?

After signing up for chingu and missing voyage 12 by a matter of days, I was looking forward to joining voyage 13. Only now they seem to have changed it, so payment is required to get involved.
It does look like good value, if it is everything they say it is but it still feels like a big step to sign up with so little information on what will be involved.
Basically I’m looking to get experience of coding with others - but what if I pay my money and then get matched up with a team that isn’t committed or has other issues? The Chingu site talks about this sometimes happening and how you should continue to complete your project alone, but if I wanted that experience I could do it by myself, right?

So, those who’ve done Chingu - is it worth paying for?

I was in an early Chingu cohort, not as fully realised as it is now.

I would say, it depends!

How much is it? How much is that to you? Do you think it looks like it’ll provide value you couldn’t get elsewhere?

Like I said, I was in an early cohort and have no idea what it is like now.

That said I would not have paid for my personal experience of Chingu. I liked it. I learned some things. But I don’t think I saw extra value in it that I didn’t already get from being the sort of person that seeks out communities anyway.

Your mileage may vary.

Thanks for the response.
The cost seems reasonable, and I can afford it, it’s more a psychological barrier I think - I’ve not paid for any training in my learning journey so far, and it feels like a big step.
Also having to pay upfront before doing any of the pre-work stuff doesn’t feel right, I’d like to know a bit more and get a feel for how it all works before paying anything, but this doesn’t seem possible.

As a first-timer who is just finishing Voyage 12, maybe I can help a little. A little background about me: I just started learning to code in June, so I had about 3 months experience of HTML/CSS and basic JS going into the voyage in Tier 1.

The biggest thing I wanted out of Chingu was the experience of completing a project as a team, and figuring out all the little things that come with working in a team: communicating, task delegation, pull requests, etc.

The first thing I had to do for the voyage was complete the pre-work project. The pre-work project for Tier 1 consisted of cloning a bootstrap theme website without using bootstrap, only HTML/CSS, and a little bit of JS. This one, to be exact.

As this was the first time I had ever tried cloning a website, I found this to be a great learning experience. Of course, this could easily be done on your own, so, so far there isn’t any reason to pay money to do this. During this time, though, if I had problems, I could be reasonably sure that if I posted my problem in the group Discord I would probably get a helpful reply within a day. That’s one big thumbs-up I would give to Chingu, the Discord community is really helpful.

So, I finished my pre-work and was accepted into the voyage. For Tier 1, the teams consisted of only you and one other person. From what I understand they try to pair people in similar time zones, as my partner and I were. From here on, it’s basically on you and your partner to read through the handbook and figure out where to go. Moderators post announcements in the Discord every week about what’s going on and about where you should be in your project development, but for the most part all the information about timeline, and development process, and what is expected every week is in the handbook.

I was lucky in that my partner and I got along well and were able to set up a good work flow between the two of us. This was the most valuable part of the experience for me. We had to set up meeting schedules, decide on what kind of project we wanted to do, decide on what features we wanted to include, who would do what section, how we would handle pull requests. This is all something that you can’t get working on your own.

Specifically working with git/github, and learning how to handle our branches and merges, and conflicts that eventually happened was a good learning experience. Because working by yourself on a project and using git there aren’t as many chances for problems. But add in another person, who also isn’t very experienced, and you quickly realize that you need to be more careful with how you do things. Maybe you forgot to pull the updates before you created a new branch, and maybe the other person merged a branch without doing a pull request…and soon you might find that your master branch is missing features that it had earlier, and so is your development branch, but it’s missing different features!..I can tell you I spent a good few hours learning all about reverting commits and undoing merges.

So this was week 6 and we’ve finished our project, and I feel a bit underwhelmed to be honest. Not with our project, or with what I’ve learned, but with how the voyage is ending. We’ve completed our project, and from what we’ve read in the handbook we should do a write up about our project and post it in the Discord, but we’re a little confused about it. Is that it? We post it, and if people want to look at it they look at it, and if not they don’t, and we just move on? I would really like some feedback.

So, I’ve written a lot, I’ll try to get to the point, haha.

Would I pay $30(I think this is the new rate) to do it again?

Probably, but not for Tier 1. As a self-learner I think the experience of working remotely in a team is worth the money for me personally. But as my HTML/CSS and basic JS skills have expanded, I think doing a Tier 1 project with one other teammate would not be worth the money now. I don’t think the learning leap would be as great a second time.

But for Tier 2 I think it would be worth it again to challenge myself with newly learned skills, and to gain more experience working in a bigger team.

So, all that said, for you personally, you have to ask yourself how valuable the remote teamwork would be, because I think that’s the big takeaway from Chingu. Any of the projects you could do on your own. Do you have any other opportunity to work on a project with other people? If not, Chingu might be a good resource.

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If you get put on a team with people who have more experience than you, you can learn so much in 6 weeks that it may seem more than you’ve learned in several months (maybe half a year) previously. Of course this depends on how open-minded they are. But, in my experience (3 voyages), most are quite willing to act as mentors.
If you can afford the fee comfortably, give it a shot.

Thanks for the input everyone, it is very helpful. I was surprised to hear that the teams for tier 1 are only 2 people, as I was expecting 4 or so. I’ve decided I will explore some other options for team working first, and maybe join Chingu on a future voyage, perhaps when I’m ready for Tier 2.