When someone needs a website or mobile app, they search for a coder. Almost anyone can be trained to write code and enter the digital workforce—once there, opportunities abound: from helping businesses, governments and other organizations build the websites and apps they need to supporting the digital systems that power economies worldwide.

The cyber world is full of self-made successes who began with nothing but an enthusiasm for computers, and we want to help write more of those stories. Code Partners—the only coding bootcamp in Montgomery County, Maryland—now offers scholarships that will pay for up to 70 percent of tuition for our Code 201 class.

Women, U.S. military veterans, and populations underrepresented in technology are all eligible to apply for these scholarships, which are generously funded through the EARN Maryland grant program. Scholarships will be awarded based on Maryland residency, financial need, and the applicant’s ability to meet entrance requirements. No prerequisite classes are required—however, to prepare for the entrance quiz, Code Partners offers Code 101 and Code 102 courses. Our inaugural Code 101 one-day classes, held in Bethesda, attracted good attendance, and our instructors received excellent reviews.

The one-month, Code 201 course starts May 14 at the Ana G. Mendez University System campus in Wheaton, within walking distance of the Wheaton Metro station.

Developing the Coding Workforce

DAI has been excited for years about the inclusiveness of coding as a career and the potential of coding as a jobs creator. That’s why we teamed up with Rockville, Md.-based United Solutions to launch Code Partners. Our instructors teach code from the ground up, with a focus on applying this practical skill in real-world scenarios.

We encourage anyone who wants to see “behind the computer curtain” to take the 201 class, which is based on the proven curriculum developed by Seattle, Wash.-based Code Fellows. Students can advance to the 301 level, which prepares them to perform web development, and on to the 401 level for aspiring software engineers.

In Montgomery County and the greater D.C. area, many organizations are looking to hire people with software and web development skills. According to JobsEQ, in May 2017 there were more than 65,000 job openings for computer-related occupations in the Washington-Baltimore region. Of these, more than 10,000 were for software developers and 4,000 for web developers. Most of the software and web development positions were for entry- or mid-level, meaning that graduates of Code Fellows’ 201, 301, and 401 Full-Stack JavaScript, Mobile Applications, and Python courses would be eligible candidates.

Coding and Global Job Creation

DAI has embraced the Code Fellows model because our mission in developing countries includes helping to create long-term jobs. Information and communication technology (ICT) is a sector ripe for job growth around the globe. While Code Partners will help local people start their coding careers, we also hope to apply this model in developing countries. Why? Because a rich and effective ICT ecosystem better positions developing countries and their citizens to create jobs, drive economic growth, and increase self-reliance.

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Though “coding bootcamps” are relatively new, this much we know:

  • Coding students come from all walks of life—including from high schools, community colleges, entry-level jobs, the military, even mid-career positions—and include women and men of all ages; and
  • A degree from MIT or experience in Silicon Valley is not required to learn coding—only an interest in how computers work.

If you have ever thought about a career in technology and you’re attracted by the idea of a skill that seems set to be in high demand for the long haul, we encourage you to learn more about Code Partners and the scholarships now available.