Charleston Digital Corridor Revamps CODEcamp with Version 3.0

codecampv3-logoThis past week, the Charleston Digital Corridor hosted their quarterly CODEcamp open house at which they announced CODEcamp Version 3.0. Nearly 100 attendees—compromised of students, instructors and other industry professionals, and HR professionals—came to scope out the new talent pool. CODEcamp is among Charleston’s reputable resources building out the tech talent pipeline with programming courses. Entering its third year and Version 3.0, CODEcamp has evolved into a career-facing program with the goal of job placement.

CODEcamp has offered a range of classes since its inception, and their new, more focused approach allows students to choose between two tracks—front-end or backend programming. Students are also paired with a mentor who will help coach them into the job market. This matching is a crucial resource to the majority of CODEcamp students, 70 percent of whom are students or unemployed and underemployed. The rest of the students are industry professionals expanding or sharpening their skills.

Completely community sourced, CODEcamp’s instructors, hailing from Charleston’s numerous tech shops, guarantee that the skills learned meet industry standards.

Tweet from Kevin Eichelberger, CEO of Blue Acorn: 

“We would never have been able to launch the program in 2012 without the support of our tech community and the City of Charleston,” said Digital Corridor Foundation Chairman, Kirk King. CODEcamp received a $247,000 award from the South Carolina Department of Commerce to “expand CODEcamp and accelerate results,” said Ernest Andrade, director of the Charleston Digital Corridor. The new programming is a “shift to focus on getting folks employed,” he said.

“Just like we work to help ‘set the table’ for business investment through physical infrastructure, we must also build up our innovation infrastructure to foster entrepreneurs and high tech companies in South Carolina,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “We are pleased to partner with local organizations, like the Charleston Digital Corridor, on programs to continue to move the needle within the innovation community.”

codecamp-labThe community was also behind the inauguration of the Charleston Digital Corridor, including their beautiful CODEcamp computer lab located at the FS2 co-working facility in downtown Charleston. The Digital Corridor also offers students numerous networking events throughout the month, giving students more opportunities to get involved. CDC Program Director, Carolyn Finch has taken CODEcamp under her wing since being hired. With help from Flagship residents to make CODEcamp as relevant to the local industry as possible, Finch has been a significant part of growing the program. Web 101, a required course, begins this Tuesday, and sold out fifteen days in advance. “We now have a waiting list, which is unprecedented,” Finch said.

CODEcamp has already had 500 students, and is adding to that number every semester. Silicon Harbor accounts for approximately 5 percent of the regional economy, and that number is growing annually. Programs like CODEcamp are crucial to keeping us relevant in an industry that is constantly changing. As for CODEcamp’s next steps to help expand Silicon Harbor, Finch says they plan “to do more of the same!”

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