Coding For All: Makersquare Aims to Expand the Programming Corps

7/8/14Follow @angelashah

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of demand for people to learn the basics. They want to do their own websites. A custom website developer can charge $3,000 to $6,000 but you can do that on your own. The immersive courses are for people who want to be in Web development. They’ve already been in tech for two years, in sales or marketing. This provides them with the knowledge to get them through a technical screen for an admissions process. They want to learn this because it’s the largest segment in the job market. We attract a lot of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) people.

In the part-time program, one group we have is recruiters. A lot of recruiters don’t know what they’re recruiting for; they just look for buzzwords in a profile. They don’t actually understand the profile. We give them the context to understand what front-end design and back-end design means and make them effective. Designer can create Photoshop mockups of websites, but can’t make the site themselves. People in marketing can embed analytics tracking capabilities by adding in small snippets of code.

The last segment of our students is sales. They are often selling SAAS products and customers will ask about API integrations, services working together. Most salespeople are unable to answer; they have to ask a developer.

We are starting to do corporate trainings. Rosetta Stone approached us to teach 20 people. This is a route we’re going down. These companies want to send entire sales and marketing departments to us.

X: How are you different from community colleges and other courses like this?

RP: The issue with community colleges is that they are not attracting the top talent to teach these types of topics. We are regulated by the state but we are non-accredited. This means our curriculum can advance at a fast pace, we can keep up with the trends. You will not find a community college teaching bootstrap in Foundation. They have a two-year lag in their curriculum, but the technology changes every year. Last year, the demand was in Ruby. Now, it’s 50 percent Ruby and 50 percent JavaScript.

Our curriculum is vetted by the companies. When we first started, we talked to companies: What do you find valuable?

The [U.S.] Department of Labor is getting on a lot of large schools’ case. They are graduating a lot of people without producing good outcomes. Our focus is outcomes. We measure recruiting numbers, … Next Page »

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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