BoomTown and CS First—Google’s pilot program encouraging South Carolina’s Lowcountry students to explore computer science through a series of after school clubs—have teamed up to work with local middle schoolers on the fundamentals of software development at Burke Middle High School. Both companies recognize the importance of exposing young students to computer science in positive and encouraging ways, and that these kids are the next generation of software developers and engineers.
“At BoomTown, we’re always looking at ways we can better our community, especially through initiatives that inspire people to develop the skills to support our ever-expanding tech economy,” said Grier Allen, CEO & President of BoomTown. “It’s especially fulfilling to be able to help empower the students who are right in our own backyard at Burke Middle High School with the tools they need to pursue great opportunities in this field.”
As Charleston continues to grow its software and tech industry—Silicon Harbor—growing companies have difficulty finding enough qualified local talent qualified to help them sustain growth. CS First and BoomTown recognize that in order to sustain growth in the technology sector there needs to be a structure in place to develop the next generation of engineers and developers. Instilling an interest in computer science as early as middle school is a valuable way to build skill-sets for students that will lead to job opportunities in the future. CS First is a Google program developed here in the Lowcountry that focuses on increasing student access and exposure to Computer Science (CS) Education through after school and summer programs. The goal is to build the CS Education capacity of K-12 schools, and BoomTown is collaborating with the group through employee volunteer work at Burke Middle High School.
BoomTown volunteers (or gurus as they’re affectionately known) help facilitate the program along with Google’s CS First teaching fellows. They’ve met twice weekly for a one-month program session spanning April 22–May 22. Classes run between 60 and 75 minutes and middle schoolers engage with the basics of computer science by learning coding skills in a creative and supportive environment.
After the program, students will tour the BoomTown office for a chance to meet with software developers, get a feel for the working environment of a software company, and see first-hand the potential opportunities that might be available to them in the future.
Many of the participating students are minorities who are underrepresented in the tech job force. CS First is hoping to help level the playing field for career opportunity by introducing software development to kids who otherwise may not get that chance in their regular school curriculum.
CS First launched in South Carolina’s Lowcountry in August 2013. To date, CS First has partnered with schools in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Its programs have engaged more than 1200 students in 85 unique programs. Google Teaching Fellows and community volunteers have spent more than 700 hours (and counting!) in school computer labs working with 4-12th grade students who are learning to code in a fun, supportive club atmosphere.
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Charleston, SC, BoomTown is a fast growing, web-based software company that offers a robust online marketing system for real estate professionals. The system includes a customized real estate website integrated with local MLS data, personalized online advertising and inbound marketing services, a dedicated Client Success Manager, and a cutting-edge CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) with marketing automation. BoomTown’s software solution is being used by the top-producing real estate brokerages and teams across the country, and the company was recognized for three consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013) on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies List. For more about BoomTown, visit boomtownroi.com.