School for coders set to open

| 28/08/2019 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life
UCCI president Dr Stacy McAfee and CEC CEO Charlie Kirkconnell

(CNS Local Life): Cayman’s first immersive code academy is opening its doors with its goal to help teach people who want to pursue careers in technology to become programmers, developers and coders. Cayman Code Academy, established by Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) and the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), is based on a curriculum designed by Seattle-based Code Fellows.

The first series of classes are scheduled to take place in October at CEC’s Strathvale House in George Town, with enrolment beginning 11 September.

Founded in 2013, the Code Fellows trade school has helped more than 1,150 students find new careers, with a median salary of US$72,500 a year for 93% of those working in the field, stated a press release.

Mitchell Robertson, the school’s vice president, said that they believe coding is for everyone, not just the elite. “We know that the end goal for most students attending our schools is to secure a job in the tech industry,” he said, adding, “This is why we are excited to be partnering with Cayman Code Academy, CEC and UCCI to help change the lives of Caymanians through the power of technical education and our proven curriculum. This will undoubtedly lead to stronger businesses, more talented workforce, and a stronger Cayman Islands economy.”

Shorter courses are designed to expose individuals to the basics of software development while intermediate and advanced courses will help participants to become entry level web developers and provide existing coders with access to professional development courses. Students will receive hands-on development experience, working in teams to apply their training and building apps to expand on technical skills.

The classroom-based education will be paired with internships and mentorships with global tech companies operating within CEC’s Cayman Tech City.

“With over 175 technology-focused companies now established within Cayman Tech City, we think now is the perfect time to launch an in-person, immersive training programme to meet our industry’s needs,” said CEC’s CEO Charlie Kirkconnell. “We want to ensure that Caymanians and residents of the Cayman Islands have access to quality tech-focused education so that they may become significant players in our ever-evolving global digital economy.”

He said the academy aims to graduate 20 students the first year and “to match and even exceed Code Fellows 93 percent job-placement rate”.

Through an extensive programme of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach initiatives which include conferences, summer camps and code clubs, CEC and UCCI have been working together since 2012 to promote technology-driven careers and opportunities, stated the release.

UCCI president and CEO, Dr Stacy McAfee, said of the academy, “Now that our students are aware of the opportunities and we are certain of the growing demand for talented programmers, we want to ensure that we are delivering student-centred, well-resourced programming that will help graduates access tech careers and ultimately drive positive economic development, innovation, and social change.”

UCCI is seeking sponsors to support the Cayman Code Academy scholarship programme and complementary initiatives, such as alumni support groups, free courses for local educators, hackathon events, youth clubs, which aim to foster an innovative tech community. “We want to ensure that students who may not be in a position to cover course tuition fees are able to participate and access this globally recognised curriculum taught by industry experts,” said McAfee.

Interested candidates are invited to attend a free information seminar on Tuesday, 10 September at 6pm at UCCI. Mitchell Robertson of Code Fellows will talk about Cayman Code Academy and what to expect from the courses. Attendees will get the opportunity to ask questions. RSVP to Bianca Mora at B.Mora@caymanenterprisecity.com.

For more information go to the Cayman Code Academy website or email info@caymancodeacademy.com

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Category: Education, Local News, Technology

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