A career in software development promises a bright future. But it can be difficult for many young adults to afford the type of coding education they need to be successful. Some schools, especially those in underserved communities, don’t offer the level of coding courses needed to unlock opportunities in the software industry.
To help fill that gap, coding boot camps are springing up across the country, including Memphis, Tennessee’s first full-time adult coding bootcamp, CodeCrew’s Code School. CodeCrew is a local nonprofit that runs technology education programs for students from the city’s underserved communities. In July 2018, they launched Code School, a six-month hands-on program that teaches the skills necessary to become a software developer.
For Code School graduates, a six-month investment of their time can mean significant increases in earning power. Most recently, several graduates have secured full-time technology roles that pay more than $50,000 a year. To help graduates land a job, CodeCrew partners with local employers looking to fill open tech positions. “Our goal is to connect young adults who have the interest and aptitude to become software engineers with employers who need more tech talent,” says CodeCrew Executive Director Meka Egwuekwe. “This is a win-win-win for these young adults, for employers and for the overall prosperity of our community.”
With an emphasis on educating and supporting African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and women and girls, CodeCrew is on a mission to bring greater diversity to the tech sector. “The diversity and inclusion problem in the technology field is due in part to lack of exposure to computer science programs at the secondary school level,” says Egwuekwe. “And a lack of diversity among educators means students simply do not see themselves as computer scientists.”
For some students, covering the tuition for a full-time coding boot camp can be challenging. CodeCrew understands this, and thanks in part to Bank of America’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, it has been able to offer significant financial assistance to students in need. “Bank of America’s unwavering championing of CodeCrew is ensuring we play our role in moving the needle in diversifying tech,” says Egwuekwe. Once graduates secure new jobs, Bank of America also provides these students with monthly check-ins with a financial advisor for as long as a year. This kind of financial assistance and advice is designed to help Memphis’ CodeCrew graduates learn money management skills to help bolster their financial future.