New Code Academy To Feed Local Tech Workforce

Mar 5, 2016

A new coding academy will help people underrepresented in the tech world find jobs.
Credit Vernon Chan / Flickr

A new code boot camp opening in Pittsburgh's Allentown neighborhood this April is meant to supply entry-level workers to fill positions in the Steel City's burgeoning technology industry, with a focus on populations underrepresented in the tech sector.

In Code Academy Pittsburgh, four experienced programmers will teach up to 15 students a wide variety of coding classes over a 12-week period starting April 18. It's a collaborative venture of Work Hard Pittsburgh and Looking for Group, a Brookline co-working space and gaming center.

"(It's) going to provide front-end web development training to people here in the Pittsburgh region, and to position them for highly sought after, employable skills," said Josh Lucas of Work Hard Pittsburgh.

Lucas said the Code Academy will help fill a growing workforce need in Allegheny County.

"With Facebook moving in, Uber moving in, Amazon opening up something in the Strip, let alone all the startups here in town, we know that there's a great demand for entry-level junior developers, and there's no training program to create them short of getting a degree from a four-year university," Lucas said.

The curriculum was written by Looking for Group. It's divided into three main sections: Development basics: C#, Ruby, TDD and Git; Frameworks and APIs: MVC, Rails, Databases; and Web development: HTML/CSS, Javascript, Angular.

Tuition is $8,500, but Lucas said five full-ride scholarship packages are available for women and minority students.

"A big part of what we're doing in the Code Academy is finding ways to scholarship groups that are underrepresented in technology, so that we're not only building a better workforce, but a more diversified and equitable workforce," Lucas said.

According to the Code Academy website, half of the profit made from the boot camp will be directed to local startups. Students' final projects will be pro bono work for local nonprofits.

Classes will be held at 753 East Warrington Avenue weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m starting April 18. Both scholarship slots and paid slots are still available.