On April 30, Code Platoon welcomed 11 new students to our Foxtrot cohort. Our first day of class resembles any first day of school, with the requisite school supplies laid out neatly on the desk and bundles of nervous energy among our students. Polite conversation takes place over coffee, where our students learn more about each other and what brought them to downtown Chicago to learn software development skills.
Foxtrot, like most of our cohorts, is comprised of officers and enlisted service members, representing four of the five branches of the armed forces. We are still waiting for our first Coast Guard student! Rod Levy, executive director and founder of Code Platoon, reminds the class that, “Each of you, as a veteran, brings a wealth of real-life experience that can only be learned in the military. This experience is critical to your success with Code Platoon.”
Some of our students served three years in the service, some fourteen. Some have completed college degrees since separating from the military, while others opted to enlist before high school graduation. Their domestic lives run the gamut from being married with children to living with parents, relatives, or friends. Despite their varying circumstances and experience, they are now comrades and team members who are embarking on a 14-week journey together that they will never forget.
As with learning any new concept, Foxtrot students will continue to grow in their understanding of software development throughout the course. The next few months will blur into each other — a mix of content, concepts, and programs once foreign (to most of them), but slowly becoming a new normal. Students will forge deeper bonds as they solve increasingly more complex problems, culminating in a well-earned demo day and graduation celebration in August.
Code Platoon requires grit, tenacity and a willingness to learn a new skill. We know veterans have these attributes, which will help them succeed in starting a new career in software development. Check back as we give a glimpse into life as a Code Platoon student via this summer’s Foxtrot cohort.