CodeNow Holds First Bootcamp with 24 DC High School Students

On December 27 through 30, CodeNow held its first boot camp with a class of twenty-four DC area high school students, 10 girls and 14 boys. Watching the students grow their skills over the four days was an unbelievable experience and makes us very grateful for the support we’ve received so far.

Our goal is to give students an understanding of what programming is to see if it is something they are interested in or not. We began the boot camp with lessons in the programming language, Ruby. Students were then introduced to Arduinos, an open-source electronic prototyping platform that allowed them to create interactive projects. Once armed with these lessons, students spent the second half of the boot camp building encryption engines, which allowed them to feel a genuine sense of accomplishment.

During the four days, our trainers and guest speakers: Clay Johnson (Author of The Information Diet), Yanik Silver (CEO of Maverick 1000) and Vijay Ravindran (Chief Digital Officer of the Washington Post) talked about their experiences and the importance of learning technology skills. At the end of the training each student was given a netbook to enable them to continue learning and experimenting. According to one student “The most interesting thing I learned during the boot camp was everything. Listening and learning about the opportunities we could have if following the right path and solving problems in the world. Can make us better people and hopefully change the world.”

The boot camp was a culmination, but it certainly was not the end of CodeNow for these students. To continue to help grow their skills, we will hold meet ups once a month to answers questions and have discussions on how to further apply what they have learned. For those who remain engaged we will provide mentors and assistance with finding internships. Also, throughout the year students will receive invitations to participate in events like hackathons and field trips to tech companies.

Our boot camp would not have been possible without an awesome team! Jeff Casimir, founder of Jumpstart Lab led the trainings and developed the curriculum. Steve Klabnik author of Hackety Hack and Neal Sales Griffin, co-founder of Code Academy were amazing trainers. Taylor Lorenz, Andy Walker and Quierra Welles were fantastic volunteers.

A very special thanks to our sponsors: JumpStart Lab, iStrategy Labs, Fission Strategy, CityBridge Foundation, Awesome Foundation, The Byrnes Family Foundation, KNP Communications, Cadre, DC Tech Meet-Up and to Logik for allowing us to use their space.

The year 2011 was a remarkable year. CodeNow went from an idea to an actual initiative that has exposed eager, young minds to the world of programming. We hosted three weekend trainings, a four-day boot camp, gave out 24 netbooks, and provided more than 1,000 hours of free training to students who had never programmed before.

This is only the beginning. CodeNow’s goal for 2012 is to expand to three other cities, and we will need your support. If you would like to get involved please click here. I look forward to updating you on our progress.

Many thanks,

Ryan Seashore
Founder, CodeNow

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January 15, 2012 | 8:54 pm