Our Team

Meet the dedicated team committed to bringing new opportunities in the software development industry to our veterans.

Jon Young

Lead Instructor

After working as a software engineer for companies such as Groupon and OneMain Financial, Jonathan is returning to the classroom as Code Platoon’s lead instructor. Prior to his shift into tech, Jonathan taught high school special education mathematics at Chicago’s Harper High School, which was featured on NPR’s “This American Life.” Jonathan has also taught web development at General Assembly and Actualize Coding Bootcamp. He loves to be a part of “A-Ha!” moments in the classroom, and is dedicated to student success.

Jonathan received his BS from Northwestern University and his Masters degree in Teaching Special Education during his fellowship with Teach for America. He is a proud graduate of Dev Bootcamp.

Ben Golden

Instructor

Ben Golden is an Instructor at Code Platoon and a Software Engineer at Cultivate Labs. He’s passionate about writing clean and effective software, especially if it’s doing something important. He’s interested in teaching, and building strong software teams and communities.

Ben previously worked as a management consultant for Stax, and in a range of other roles including tutor, assistant teacher, standup-comedian and poker player. He has an AB in Economics from the University of Chicago and is a Dev Bootcamp graduate. He spends most of his free time searching for the perfect dad joke.

Rodrigo Levy

Founder, Executive Director

Prior to Code Platoon, Rod spent 20+ years in finance and entrepreneurship. He was a Partner at G-Bar Limited Partners, where he co-founded and managed their volatility-arbitrage trading desk (BBR Trading).  He built the team to 20 traders and software developers, and was one of the founders of Cerrio, an internal software start-up that was a Complex Event Processing, Platform as a Service company.

He holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in engineering from Cornell University, and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he graduated with honors.  Rod has also completed Dev Bootcamp’s web developer program.

Paul Knudtson

Executive Board

Paul is the Vice President of Development at Student Veterans of America Illinois and leads the Veterans Program at National Louis University as the Director of Armed Services Relations.  Paul has served as a thought leader with Illinois Joining Forces, a state-wide, public-private network of military and veteran-serving organizations working collaboratively in person and online to help service members, veterans and their families connect with support services. In addition to providing essential contributions to the success of the Education Working Group, he formerly served as Co-Chairman, Employment & Job Training Working Group leading the Veterans As Strategic Assets Initiative.  Paul is an alumnus of Northwestern University where he graduated summa cum laude and founded the NU Veterans Association. Paul is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve with over 20 years of service.

Jill Greer

Executive Board

Jill founded and, until recently, headed the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Tax-exempt Bond Program, which has executed over 60 financings totaling nearly $1.3 billion. Previously, Jill was a Vice President in Municipal Finance at Goldman, Sachs & Co where she originated over $3 billion in financings for health care systems and institutions of higher learning.  Jill is also a founding Board member and past Vice President of the Board of Beacon Academy, a new high school in Evanston, IL.

Currently, Jill is Treasurer and Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee at Chiaravalle Montessori School.  She also serves on the JFNA’s Bond Program Oversight Committee.  Jill received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Avi Kaufman

Executive Board

Avi accelerated his journey of learning to code in 2013 when he was fortunate enough to attend Dev Bootcamp in Chicago with Rod. Since then he has worked on several projects and is now focusing on the real estate sector. Avi is an Army veteran, with service in Iraq. He enlisted in the Reserve as a private and ten years later left the service as a captain. Avi holds an undergraduate degree in history from Brandeis University and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He worked at General Electric as a marketing and analytics manager. He lives in the Boston area with his amazing wife Shira and adorable son Sammy.

Edward Donovan

Executive Board

Edward Donovan is General Counsel and Secretary of Crealta Pharmaceuticals.

Previously, Edward was General Counsel and Secretary at Actient Pharmaceuticals. Edward joined Actient in 2012 and led all legal and corporate governance functions, including litigation, government affairs, intellectual property, and transactional and commercial law, as well as overseeing Actient’s compliance program.

Prior to Actient, Edward was a partner in the Chicago office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. AtKirkland, he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and corporate law, and completed numerous pharmaceutical and other healthcare related transactions.

Edward holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois.

Following West Point, Edward served as field artillery officer in the U.S. Army for five years.  He was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia and 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and led his teams on several overseas deployments. 

Don Bora

Executive Board

Don has been a professional software developer in Chicago since 1990 during which time, he has had the great fortune to work at many types of companies employing varied technologies.  

A few years ago, Don decided to give back to the Chicago community.  He sought out opportunities to lend his experience to those who might benefit.  He began mentoring at the Founder Institute and then The Code Academy (now The Starter League).  In the summer of 2011, Don co-founded The Mobile Makers Academy and is the lead instructor, ushering much needed iOS development talent into new careers.  While Don is currently leading classes at The Mobile Makers Academy, he is also mentoring at Dev Bootcamp.    

Don has been an outspoken advocate for women and girls in tech, seeking to bridge the technology gap by exposing the fun and creative side of programming. He frequently mentors both high school and college students who display an interest in technology and coding.

Don is also a partner and co-founder of Eight Bit Studios.  He loves meeting new developers, seeing their tremendous potential, and giving them the opportunity to be great.  At Eight Bit Studios, Don develops software on various studio projects, careful to learn something new with each one.

Brian Willard

Executive Board

Brian Willard currently leads the Data Liberation Front which is responsible for Google Takeout as well as various other data mobility features.  He has been at Google since March of 2012.  Before that he worked at a variety of companies: Cerrio a (failed) start up focusing around real time messaging as a service, BBR a proprietary equity derivatives firm, QRM a financial services firm, and Microsoft (Visio and SharePoint).  Brian has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In his free time he plays hockey and runs.  His favorite language is C#, which he keeps try to get adopted at Google but has had very little success so far.

James Bell

Technical Advisory Board

James is currently the CTO and Co-Founder of Purple Gator, a mobile gaming platform with multiple games on the Apple App, Google Play, and Amazon App stores. He also has worked in all aspects of tech development, from intern to chief architect, in languages from Assembly to Java.  He has a BSEE from Washington University in St. Louis, as well as graduate work in both CS and EE from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis.  He is a veteran of the USAF as a member of the Missouri and Illinois Air National Guard.  In his free time he loves tinkering with new tech toys, weight-lifting, and traveling to new countries.

Dave Hoover

Executive Board

Dave Hoover is co-founder of Dev Bootcamp and co-author of “Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the aspiring craftsman”. He has been learning how to develop software since 2000, when he decided to leave his previous career in adolescent psychotherapy. Over the years, he has helped grow several successful businesses (Obtiva, Mad Mimi, Groupon, Dev Bootcamp) and became an active angel investor in 2012. During this time, Dave has been Staci’s husband, and a father to Rose, Ricky, and Charlie. They’re all very good at keeping him humble.

Richard Espy

Advisory Board

Rich is currently the President and CEO of STRATUS Solutions. He leads STRATUS in delivering cloud-based software development technology to government and commercial customers. Prior to STRATUS, Rich served as the Director of Professional Services for OPNET Technologies (now Riverbed), Program Manager for Booz Allen Hamilton, Principal Engineer for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and Communications and Intelligence Officer for the United States Marine Corps.

He holds an M.S. in Information Technology, an M.S. in Telecommunications, and a B.S. in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington.

Scott Case

Advisory Board

Scott Case is the co-founder and current advisory board chair of Ada Developers Academy. Ada is a Seattle-based nonprofit, intensive software development school for women with a mission of increasing gender diversity in software engineering. In addition, he is the COO of EnergySavvy, a leader in cloud-based software for utility demand-side management.  Prior to EnergySavvy, Scott was a Director of Product Management at Microsoft. He holds a BA from Williams College, and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Seth Thomson

Technical Advisory Board

Seth Thomson is the Chief Information Officer at DRW, a technology-driven principal trading firm headquartered in Chicago. Before joining DRW, he served as Director of IT Services for a leading risk management services firm. 

Passionate about developing technical education opportunities for everyone, Seth has been involved in the greater Chicago non-profit community for more than two decades. He provided the initial IT infrastructure for Literature for All of Us in Evanston and served as a founding board member and advisor for Become in Chicago.  Seth also initiated DRW’s partnership with Code Platoon and has seen its success firsthand.

Seth holds a BA in Computers and Management from DePaul University. When he’s not at work, he enjoys time with family and friends, writing and cooking.

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