How to Pay VET TEC

How to Pay for Code Platoon – VET TEC

Preparing for a new career field can be an exciting process, but finding the right training program can be daunting. One of the main factors in choosing the right fit is cost. It’s not easy managing a career change while balancing everyday expenses. As a mission-driven nonprofit, Code Platoon’s goal is to provide viable financial options to our Veterans and military spouses, creating one less barrier between our students and their next profession.

In this four-part series, you will learn a bit more about potential funding options and how you can apply them to your training at Code Platoon! In this post, we cover VET TEC.

VET TEC

Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) is a government program to fund veteran job training in the technology field. The program, which is run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is intended to give Veterans opportunities to learn highly sought after tech skills that will land them in today’s top industries and career fields. VET TEC will pay for veterans to get training in technology jobs without consuming their GI Bill® benefits.

VET TEC is specifically designed to not only incentivize the successful completion of a program but to ensure those who participate in the program apply the skills they have learned by how VET TEC has set up their “pay-for-performance” model.

The VA will pay the Training Provider:

  • 25% of tuition and fees upon the Veterans enrollment and arrival to the program.
  • 25% of tuition and fees when the Veteran completes their training.
  • The remaining 50% will be provided to the Training Provider once the Veteran has secured meaningful employment based on the field they studied for.

Code Platoon is a VET TEC Training Provider and the VET TEC option is offered with every one of our training cycles.

The Code Platoon training you’ll receive through VET TEC is the same experience you’d get when attending via GI Bill, scholarship, or self-funding. Students will be in the same classrooms, learning the same things with the rest of our Coding Bootcamp students; the only difference is how the VA pays for your attendance.

When you apply to Code Platoon please note your interest in VET TEC on your application. You will also need to complete the VET TEC application process.

If you have any questions about VET TEC, please email Greg, our student outreach coordinator, at greg@codeplatoon.org

Alicia Boddy is Code Platoon’s Chief Operations and Development Officer. Alicia oversees Code Platoon’s day to day activities including fundraising, grant writing, board development, and strategic planning. Alicia also serves as our VA certifying official, helping students navigate their benefits with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Alicia loves living in Chicago with her husband, Jeff, and three kids. You can often find them exploring the city, eating Lou Malnati’s pizza, and cheering on the Cubs, Blackhawks, and Buckeyes!

2020 Best Paying & Most In Demand

The Best Paying and Most In-Demand Programming Languages in 2020

At Code Platoon, we track national demand for programming languages so that our Veterans and military spouses are trained with the best tools for a career in software development. When you’re deciding which programming language to learn, the following demand-based insights complement a much broader strategy.

We first wrote a version of this article in 2018, which can be found here.

This article attempts to answer which programming languages command the highest salaries and are most frequently targeted in job postings.

We updated the statistics for 2020, and here are our primary findings:

Python and Javascript developers continue to be in demand, commanding the highest salaries. Python in particular commands the top spot in both salary and number of open jobs. SQL developers are also widely sought after, although they get paid quite a bit less than other developers. Java saw a large drop in open jobs, and both Ruby and iOS developers have seen a similar trend.

How we identified the current top programming languages

To answer our questions, we conducted simple searches on Indeed.com, one of the largest job listing sites.

For the question of compensation, we started by searching for the top 15 most popular languages in a recent Stack Overflow survey and mapped the average salary for job listings with those languages. For demand, we tracked the number of total job postings targeting those same languages. 

Ranking programming languages by pay and number of openings

Top Coding Jobs

Python: This coding language holds the #1 position in both surveys. Python is an interpreted, multi-purpose programming language. It is often used to build web applications and seeing exploding growth due to its use in data science, machine learning, cybersecurity, and dev ops.

Javascript: Often called ‘the language of the web,’ Javascript took #4 in Job Postings and #2 in Average Salary. Javascript is an indispensable language to know for writing web applications, as it works in the browser and on the server-side.

C++: Once a premier top-level programming language and now used primarily in gaming and high-performance applications, C++ stands at #5 in Average Salary and #5 in Job Postings.  The common and useful language C++ was designed for application and systems programming. Since its creation, it’s often been used for office applications, games, and advanced graphics. C++ is very fast and stable, but difficult to learn relative to the other languages in this list (except possibly C).

Java: Integral to large-scale legacy business applications and gaining new relevance through its adoption by Google for Android, Java drops to #3 in Job Postings and #3 in Average Salary. Originally developed by Oracle, Java is extremely popular because it can be used for mobile, web, and desktop app development, and more. Reasonably stable and fast, it is very popular at the enterprise level.

C#:  Similar to Java with Android, C# maintains a solid user base through its adoption in the Unity gaming engine, standing at #6 in Job Postings, and #6 in Average Salary. C# was specifically designed by Microsoft as a competitor to Java. Often used to build desktop apps and video games, as well as web apps, C# remains very popular in the enterprise. It runs on Microsoft’s .NET platform.

PHP: The language that powers WordPress, PHP is #8 in Job Postings and #8 in Average Salary. PHP is a general-purpose scripting language used for the development of web applications. One of the earliest languages for web development (released in 1995), it remains widely popular today.

C: C is one of the oldest and most widely used programming languages in the world, and holds #4 in Average Salary, and #9 in Job Postings. It is used to program everything from operating systems to hardware. What makes this language so difficult to learn is in part why it is so powerful: a lot of concepts that are hidden to users in scripting languages like Python, Ruby, and even Java are exposed in C, so that the programmer has more flexibility and complexity available.

SQL: SQL (or Structured Query Language) is the standard language for relational database management systems. It ranks #8 in Average Salary and #2 in Job Postings. SQL is not exactly a programming language, but rather it is a query language, which allows users to draw information from databases.

What will be the most popular programming language in 2020?

It’s difficult to speculate how these programming languages will fare in the future because the supply of qualified applicants affects the number of open positions. However, Python’s growth will probably continue as companies increase their adoption of data analytics tools and infrastructure software development, two areas where Python shines. Typescript, a statically typed version of Javascript continues to grow in popularity, and Go and Kotlin continues to gain fans.

If you’re looking for more information on the usefulness of various programming languages, the TIOBE Index and Stack Overflow provide two of the most authoritative reports. Both reports consider industry demand as well as additional perspectives and incorporate different approaches in determining the usefulness of programming languages.

If you’re a military Veteran or military spouse interested in learning to code, you can apply for one of our cohorts now.

Rod Levy is the Founder and Executive Director of 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) and was one of the founders of Cerrio, an internal software start-up. 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.

How to Pay GI Bill

How to Pay for Code Platoon – GI Bill

Preparing for a new career field can be an exciting process, but finding the right training program can be daunting. One of the main factors in choosing the right fit is cost. It’s not easy managing a career change while balancing everyday expenses. As a mission-driven nonprofit, Code Platoon’s goal is to provide viable financial options to our Veterans and military spouses, creating one less barrier between our students and their next profession.

In this four-part series, you will learn a bit more about potential funding options and how you can apply them to your training at Code Platoon! In this post, we cover the GI Bill.

GI Bill   GI Bill

The GI Bill is one of the best benefits of being a military member. GI Bill® programs help service members, veterans, and families reach their education goals. Most people think of the GI Bill® only as a way to pay for traditional college programs but the Bill has expanded greatly and can be applied to other education programs. The VA realized that traditional colleges may not provide the desired skill sets everyone is looking for and they have developed plans that pay for many alternative types of training including Code Platoon.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first version of the GI Bill® into law in 1944, it had a major impact on the U.S economy, with many historians citing that this measure contributed to the rise, if not creation, of the middle class. Soldiers returning home from World War II to purchase homes, take up loans to start their own businesses, collect unemployment for up to one year, and pursue higher education. This historic and important document has undergone several changes over the decades, most for bettering educational and career opportunities for qualifying Veterans, Servicemembers, and their dependents.

Who is eligible: Military Servicemembers, and spouses of Servicemembers, who have served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001, those still on active duty or individuals who were honorably discharged from active duty. This benefit is also extended to Servicemembers who received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and was honorably discharged after any amount of service, and those who served for at least 30 continuous days, without a break in service, on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability.

Benefits received: Depending on the Servicemembers’ time in service, the complete or a percentage of Code Platoon’s tuition costs will be paid for. Students may also be entitled to receive a stipend for books and supplies up to $1,000.

Students who are using the GI Bill® to attend Code Platoon’s In-person program may be entitled to receive a monthly stipend equal to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) based on a E-5 paygrade with dependents in the same zip code as the Code Platoon classroom. Those enrolled within distance learning like our Live Remote and Evening and Weekend programs may be eligible to receive a monthly housing allowance equal to half of the national average BAH rate.

Code Platoon is approved by the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs to accept GI Bill® benefits for students who attend in-person through our Chicago classroom. Any questions? Email Greg, our prospective student outreach coordinator, at greg@codeplatoon.org

Alicia Boddy is Code Platoon’s Chief Operations and Development Officer. Alicia oversees Code Platoon’s day to day activities including fundraising, grant writing, board development, and strategic planning. Alicia also serves as our VA certifying official, helping students navigate their benefits with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Alicia loves living in Chicago with her husband, Jeff, and three kids. You can often find them exploring the city, eating Lou Malnati’s pizza, and cheering on the Cubs, Blackhawks, and Buckeyes!

Providing Feedback Blog

Thoughts on Giving and Receiving Feedback in Programming

As Code Platoon’s summer intern, I’ve been lucky to listen as my platoon-mates talk about their experiences inside and outside of the military. Learning how they stepped up as leaders and completed missions that often make my university projects look like coloring pages.

One of the things I’ve been struck by is how often their stories include recounting the criticism they received from a superior or teammate on their work. The story isn’t told with a tone of embarrassment or bitterness but in the context of what they learned and how they corrected their mistakes. This positive response to feedback is not what I’ve come to expect in a world full of griping about bossy bosses and nit-picky teachers. I believe it is part of what has made my platoon members so strong and adaptable.

But now they face a new challenge – how to take their ability to receive feedback and adapt it to a team environment in software engineering.

To thrive in tech, programmers must not only receive but also offer difficult constructive criticism. For most people, this doesn’t come naturally. While our ability to work in teams is often considered an innate characteristic, something a person either has or doesn’t, collaboration is a skill every programmer can and should develop.

Like almost everything in programming (and in life), the best way to improve is to practice over and over again. Students at Code Platoon work in pairs or small groups on many of their coding challenges and projects during the 14-week program. In the tech world, this is referred to as pair programming. Often “lone-wolves” like myself come to enjoy having a programming partner, but unlike shooting hoops or solving math equations, while we may enjoy pair-programming, it’s hard to know if we’re getting better. Code Platoon Feedback

After we engage in collaboration, receiving feedback from our teammates is key to understanding our areas of strength and what we can do to improve. The opportunity to learn and grow into a better team member is a privilege. I am grateful for anyone who has given me feedback, negative or positive, preventing me from making a much bigger mistake somewhere down-the-line and many of Code Platoon’s students feel the same way.

Unfortunately, not all critiques are helpful, and some are just hurtful. To avoid the “hurt” Code Platoon teaches that feedback in a programming team environment should focus on three things – being specific, being actionable, and being kind.

During a weekly meeting, a few students recently commented, while they were happy to receive feedback, they didn’t know what to look for or how to critique their partners. They didn’t want to critique their peers unless they really felt their feedback would help them.

For those students and members of the collaboration heavy tech world, I put together a checklist. I’ve included points to consider for giving productive feedback, drawing on insights from Code Platoon’s instructors, and a wonderful presentation by Kelly Cronin of ThoughtWorks.

When your team or pairing is in an appropriate mindset for offering and receiving feedback, try implementing some of the suggestions. As someone’s collaborator, you are the best judge of what went well or where there are opportunities for improvement. , Creating this open dialogue of feedback allows all team members to improve, ultimately creating a more successful coding challenge or project!

 

Merrill O’Shaughnessy is one of Code Platoon’s summer interns and a T.A. for the full-stack web development course. She is currently studying computer science and mechanical engineering at Duke University and is interested in UX /UI design. Follow Merrill on LinkedIn or find her on Dribbble.

Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers: A Glimpse into Lima Platoon

As Lima Platoon approaches midpoint of their 14-week Bootcamp, we wanted to take some time and  highlight some of the amazing students making up the current cohort! Lima has veterans from across the country representing the four different military branches.

Chase Thorpe is participating in Code Platoon through the Department of Defense’s Skillbridge Program. As Chase finishes his last few months of service in the Navy doing Network Security, Skillbridge allows him to pursue educational opportunities to ease his transition into civilian life. “I hope to round out my skill-set,” Chase said. “I want to further prepare myself for a software career in the civilian sector.”

Carole Ouedraogo is a veteran from the US Army where she trained in Quartermaster Logistics and Supply school. She went on to join the Ohio National Guard for three years. Upon completion of her service, Carole wanted to transition into a more IT-related field. Carole said once she found Code Platoon “The timing could not have been better!”

Mackey White split his six years in the US Marine Corp between serving as an infantryman and in a Marine Security Guard unit. Mackey joined Code Platoon to learn the skills necessary for a career as a software engineer. “There isn’t a place better to do that than Code Platoon,” he said.

After 21 years of serving in the United States Air Force as a weather forecaster, Aaron Wood was wondering what to do after he retires this Fall. The Master Sergeant also found Code Platoon through the DoD Skillbridge program and decided to pursue software development.

“I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dive into the world of development and see where my career can take me,” Aaron said.

Keep up the great work Lima! We are looking forward to seeing the great things you will accomplish by the end of the program!

Brenna Koss is Code Platoon’s Development and Operations Coordinator. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Greensboro in Political Science and French. In her free time, Brenna loves to travel and spend time with friends and family. Follow Brenna on LinkedIn.

Brief History of Coding

A Brief and Fun History of Coding: the Beginnings

Wrens operating the 'Colossus' computer, 1943.Have you ever looked at pictures of the first computers and wondered how we got from that to the super-sweet, high-speed device on which you are now reading this article?

No? Well, you should—because it’s pretty cool and important.

When writing about the development of anything from a historical perspective, it’s tough to pick a starting point without getting overly-philosophical pretty quickly (how did we get here??). While it’s tempting to dig deep into a brain-twisting inquiry of information theory, for now, we’ll just stick with the basics, which of course begins with…

Hollywood.

Remember when Doctor Strange played the part of Alan Turing in the movie The Imitation Game? If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend it, as it is a fascinating story, albeit a tragic one, given the treatment such a brilliant mind received. But relevant to this narrative is the part he played in the development of coding.

During World War II, the British were intent on breaking coded messages being sent by the Germans. Assembling most of their efforts at a place called Bletchley Park, an English country estate, they set to work on determining the best way to crack the case, so to speak.

Having your city bombed repeatedly is apparently a tremendous motivator, as the team there made rapid advancements in the area of automated assistance, which led to the creation of a machine named “Colossus”—arguably the world’s first programmable, electronic, digital computer (see picture above). Turing was a key member of the team there and his work was directly responsible for breaking several German codes which, according to some historians, shortened the war by at least a couple years.

From there, Turing went on to develop what was known as the ACE (Automatic Computing Engine), which stood apart from its predecessors as the first machine to employ “abbreviated computer instructions”—a programming language.

Coded messages inspired code-breaking, which needed speed and efficiency; these qualities required machines, which required more speed and efficiency, which required they run on an abbreviated language that would operate a program, which meant they needed…code.

Modern computing was born.

Coming full-circle in developmental needs and advancements in a very short time, computer technology took off from there. No small part of this was due to one of the smartest individuals who ever lived—mathematician, physicist, and general polymath John von Neumann, whose work on the Manhattan Project prompted several ideas that he carried forward into algorithmic development, problem-solving with pseudorandom number generators, and a designing of computer architecture that is still used today, and that heavily influenced the development of the famed ENIAC machine and the IBM 704.

I could spend the next 50,000 words writing about von Neumann and still barely scratch the surface of his genius. Suffice to say that he was wicked-smart, highly important, and is worth reading more about on a number of levels, but especially the issue of computational development.

NNeumanneumann’s theories and practical applications spurred tremendous growth in the area of computer programming, specifically in the area of how it works within the architecture of a machine. How memory is both stored and accessed is directly attributed to von Neumann, and has enabled numerous directions of development to be followed since his explanation in 1945.

From there we can make some interesting connections in a six-degrees-of-separation type method. Neumann also consulted on the EDVAC project, the chief designers of which were J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. The Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in 1949 hired a mathematician named Grace Hopper as a senior developer on the UNIVAC I project, the woman most responsible for the programming language known as COBOL—Common Business-Oriented Language.

Grace HopperCode Platoon offers a Women in Technology Scholarship to a female veteran in honor of Hopper.  The scholarship overs the full $15,500 tuition for one female Veteran during each cohort.

Her belief was that programming should be mostly English language-based, as that was much easier for most people to understand and work with. Although it took her a full three years of being rejected at Eckert-Mauchly, she eventually won everyone over and launched what would be one of the most influential programming languages in software development.

What is perhaps most fascinating about Grace, however, is that she did all of this while serving in the Naval Reserves, which she joined during WWII (she wanted to be an active duty but was too small by Navy standards) and retired from as a Rear Admiral, thus enabling her to implement many of her ideas into Defense Department standards of practice. Her insistence on testing of computer systems led to a convergence of programming languages such as COBOL and FORTRAN, developed by John Backus, and the methods for implementing these tests eventually formed the foundation of the National Bureau of Standards, which eventually was renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Some programmers argue that FORTRAN is the foundation of nearly every programming language used today and that everything else is descended from it. Although it was more mathematical than the English-based method Hopper had advocated for with COBOL, the intent Backus had with FORTRAN was to craft something decidedly more human in its input methodology than previous languages, thus enabling users to develop their own with more ease (a crucial component to code development).

Backus, a designer at IBM, is the author of the BNF—the Backus Normal Form—which was implemented to define coding language syntax and how they are expressed. So when you see a textbook or a manual explaining what type of programming language is being used and how to differentiate them, you can thank John Backus (or be mad at him, depending on how frustrated you get with that style of notation).

What is interesting to note here is that most of what you’ve just read (aside from the creation of the NIST) had happened by 1959.

In other words, the foundations for modern programming had been firmly established before color TV was a common thing.

Next time we’ll look at developments since then, what they mean, and how those Bill Gates and Steve Jobs fellas work into this mix.

Greg Drobny is a former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political consultant, professional mil blogger, and is Code Platoon’s Student Outreach Coordinator. He holds a BA in history, a Masters of Science in organizational psychology, and is currently pursuing an MA in history. He is married with four children who keep him more than slightly busy and is passionate about helping veterans find their paths in life and develop the skills needed to pursue their goals.

CP Announces Upcoming Cohort Dates and Application Deadlines

Code Platoon, the Coding Bootcamp that transforms Veterans, military spouses, and transitioning service members into software developers through an immersive, hands­-on, educational process, and paid internship program, has announced the dates for their upcoming cohorts and application deadlines.

Code Platoon’s flagship full-time program: a 14 week, high-intensity, full-stack immersive Bootcamp is offered both in-person and remotely.

The upcoming cohort dates are:

  • November Platoon: February 1 – May 14, 2021.
  • Oscar Platoon: May 24 – September 3, 2021
  • Papa Platoon: October 4, 2021 – January 21, 2022

Applications for students wishing to participate in November Platoon are due November 8, 2020. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and class space is limited.

In addition to the 14-week Full-time Bootcamp, Code Platoon offers a 28 week Evening and Weekend program, for students with family commitments, current jobs or studies, and other considerations that can prevent some them from attending a full-time immersive coding Bootcamp.

The next Evening and Weekend class, Bravo Platoon, will be conducted April 5 – October 15, 2021. Applications for this class are due January 10, 2021.

“Code Platoon is honored to be recognized as a leader in helping our nation’s Veterans and military families learn software development and find careers in technology,” said Rodrigo Levy, founder, and Executive Director,  Code Platoon. “Our team is inspired to grow our program to serve more Veterans and military spouses, providing access to career opportunities in software development.”.

Code Platoon’s full-stack curriculum is built on immersive learning techniques and includes Python, Django, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. No previous programming skills are required. After completing the program the veteran or military spouse will be hireable as a junior full-stack web developer.

“Code Platoon works closely with our employer partners to ensure our curriculum remains cutting edge,” said Jon Young, Director of Education, Code Platoon. “Our students learn in-demand software languages and best practices, often based on what we know companies will need in the future. Our curriculum is dynamic and directly impacts the hirability of our graduates.”

As a nonprofit, Code Platoon is proud to work with corporate sponsors, foundations, and individual donors to provide general scholarships to many of our students. Scholarship awards are typically $12,500, ensuring no student will ever pay more than $3,000 to attend Code Platoon. Code Platoon also offers full scholarships, valued at $15,500, for transgender veterans, women veterans, and people of color. Transitioning service members may be eligible to participate in Code Platoon through the Department of Defense Skillbridge program. Veterans and military spouses with VA educational benefits, including GI Bill, VET TEC, and Vocational Rehabilitation may use those to pay for their training with Code Platoon.

For more information about Code Platoon or to begin the application process, visit codeplatoon.org.

ABOUT CODE PLATOON:

Code Platoon teaches Veterans and military spouses marketable skills, transforming them into full-stack web developers through an immersive, hands­-on, educational process, and paid internship program. We seek to:

  • Lower barriers to entry: Traditional boot camps cost $12,000-$20,000 or more. Code Platoon’s donors, sponsors, and corporate partners help to make this an affordable option for Veterans and military spouses through scholarships and funding.
  • Challenge Assumptions: A veteran or military spouse has what it takes to become a developer. We encourage all Veterans and military spouses to apply. Participation doesn’t require a math background or a four-year degree.
  • Raise Awareness: The Veteran community brings tremendous value to the workplace, as well as many benefits to their employer. We partner with companies who are committed to hiring veterans and military spouses, ensuring our graduates achieve success in their first technology roles.

Code Platoon is a U.S. tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 47-2499578). Code Platoon is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (1 N. Old State Capital Plaza, Suite 333, Springfield, IL 62701, www.ibhe.org). Code Platoon is a member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (www.cirr.org) and is a platinum-level participant with Guidestar (www.guidestar.org).

Vetereans, Covid19, Software development

Veterans, COVID-19, and Software Development

At this point, I think we can safely say that COVID-19 is a major event in our history and, at the very least, one of the biggest things to happen in our lifetime. Where you fall on the question of response to this event is beside the point for this present topic—we can all agree that it is a really big deal.

The most obvious line of questions on everyone’s mind these days take the tone of where do we go from here? Given the current state of things, now what?

This is especially important in the realm of economic development and, specifically, employment therein. What is job-hunting going to be like in a post-COVID world? What kind of jobs are going to be in high demand and what type of skills will be more valued?

For the military veteran, this is all the more important. We raised our hand in response to crises in the past, and the desire to jump into them typically doesn’t go away in people who have already done it—so how do we put ourselves on the line now?

There are, of course, obvious and straightforward answers. Health care professionals, law enforcement, and food chain supply personnel probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and are all noble professions, to be sure. But what if none of those appeal to you or seem like they fall within your skill set—or maybe you were disabled in your time in service and cannot physically do certain jobs—then what?

Well, if you haven’t considered the world of software development and how it relates to our current reality, read on, my friends.

First, it’s important to get something out of the way on behalf of honest people everywhere: if anyone is telling you with certainty what is coming in the future—probably in general, but specifically related to the economy for the purposes here—there is a high degree of likelihood that they have no idea what they’re talking about and you should probably steer clear of any advice they give. Nobody has a firm grasp on what is going to happen now, so it’s worth being upfront about our lack of knowledge rather than making bold proclamations about the unknown.

That being said, there are a few things we can point towards that help us evaluate some possibilities. For starters, it’s worth noting where we are right now in order to understand what could be ahead.

For one thing, when a large percentage of our society went into quarantine, software developers did quite well with the transition due to the nature of their jobs. Speaking from our experience, Code Platoon was able to shift all of its classes to remote access with relative ease, especially given the suddenness of the whole situation. And speaking from a personal, anecdotal perspective, I have at least two family members who kept doing exactly what they were doing before, as they were already working from home in this very industry. They barely batted an eye at the changes occurring outside their home.

This is not the case with everyone in the tech industry, of course, as the massive reduction in travel and increase in social distancing had a decided impact on the trade shows that are used for networking and gaining an understanding of what’s “new” in the tech world. Like most areas of life, the COVID-19 reaction has thrown us a bit of a curveball.

That being said, however, there are areas in which it appears the tech industry may actually come out better than it was before. The push for technology is not slowing down, and it is, if anything, increasing in certain economic sectors.

For example, telehealth—visits, and correspondence with health care professionals—access has seen a monumental increase along with quarantine protocols. With this need comes the necessity for the technology to support the efforts, to include the platforms through which people are accessing these services and the ways doctors and nurses are sharing information.

Connected to these efforts of medical professionals to increase access is the desire for better tracking of the data they acquire. Augmented analytics and data management were already seen as increasing needs last year—all the more so in a world where the tracking of an infectious disease becomes paramount to public safety.

With increased needs that are primarily related to healthcare, there will inevitably be secondary and tertiary necessities that arise as a direct result of those very same demands. Low-code platforms designed to increase efficiency and speed of a program or service are likely to see a rise in popularity as service providers desire faster and cleaner access to their product.

Although there are far more developments going on right now that are worth investigating, the point is clear: technological development will continue, and those with the right skills will be at the forefront of those advancements.

To paraphrase a semi-famous quote, shallow thinkers only consider how an event or series of events affects a small group of people in the short-term; deep thinkers consider how they affect multiple people groups over larger expanses of time, and how they personally fit into that mix.

We are currently seeing a revolution in how we view our interconnectedness with other individuals, both on a personal and professional level. Where do you fit into that ever-changing dynamic? Do you want to gain the skills necessary to take advantage of these changes and answer the call to lead us into the future?

No matter what happens moving forward, there will be a continued and increasing need for technological development that helps answer questions, aid in research, and connect human beings one to another. If you are a veteran who sees themselves as one who can help make that happen, check out Code Platoon as a great place to start that journey.

 

Greg Drobny is a former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political consultant, professional mil blogger, and is Code Platoon’s Student Outreach Coordinator. He holds a BA in history, a Masters of Science in organizational psychology, and is currently pursuing an MA in history. He is married with four children who keep him more than slightly busy and is passionate about helping veterans find their paths in life and develop the skills needed to pursue their goals.

Donor Advised Funds

Do you have one?  If so, please remember Code Platoon in your giving!  If you don’t know what a donor advised fund is, read on.  You may be interested in this incredibly popular method of giving that allows you to realize an immediate tax benefit, and then distribute funds at your leisure.

A donor advised fund account is a form of philanthropic giving in which an individual creates a “personal charitable savings account” and deposits their contributions of cash, stock, or other assets without choosing a specific recipient right away.  When the donor decides on a recipient, they can send the money from the DAF account to the nonprofit organization as a grant, (all while benefiting from an immediate tax deduction upon creation of the fund!).

Donor advised funds are created by the donor but are managed by other parties, such as a foundation or another sponsoring organization, who actively invest and manage the funds. A huge portion of these sponsoring organizations are charitable arms of financial-services firms, such as Vanguard and Schwab.  The donor can then continue to deposit assets into the DAF. While the sponsoring organization manages and oversees the fund, the donor advises them on when and where to make gifts. You can also request funds be granted towards Code Platoon through your DAF.

If you prefer to stay local rather than open a DAF through a national chain like Vanguard, Fidelity or Schwab here are some Chicago region community foundations that can help you set up your DAF and provide ongoing advice:

Chicago Community Trust

Evanston Community Foundation

Lake County Community Foundation

Oak Park River Forest Foundation

DuPage Foundation

Fox River Valley

Community Foundation of Will County

Starved Rock Country Community Foundation

Community Foundation of Kankankee River

Dekalb County Community Foundation

Community Foundation for McHenry County

We are excited to build relationships with Starved Rock Country, DuPage, Oak Park River Forest and Evanston community foundations in 2020!

DAFs have been an attractive choice for charitable giving for a while now because they offer a hefty deduction benefit and a flexible but relatively hands-off approach to giving.  You may decide that this philanthropic vehicle is perfect for you, just be sure to remember Code Platoon!

 Lang Waters is a grant writer for Code Platoon.  Lang had a career in IT before dedicating himself to nonprofit work.  He’s now a vice chair of a county commission, sits on the board of a local nonprofit, and volunteers as he can.  He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and is raising a family in the foothills of the Sierras.

Lima Platoon

Lima Platoon Begins Their Coding Journey

On May 4, Code Platoon welcomed Lima Platoon – its 12th Full-time cohort. Seventeen students are part of the cohort.

During the first week of class, Lima students tackled the fundamentals of Python and Javascript. They also covered pair-programming, unit testing, and a workshop on giving and receiving feedback. They also completed several coding challenges.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, Lima is starting off as an all-remote class. The first in Code Platoon history. Lead Instructor Tom Prete, a Marine Veteran and Instructor Noa Heinrich, an AmeriCorp graduate, are leading the group of Veterans, Military Spouses, and transitioning servicemen.

“We are looking forward to this cohort becoming part of the wonderful Code Platoon community,” said Noa. “I can’t wait to see just how far the students will go as they learn more about software development and find careers in the growing technology sector.”

Over the course of the 14-week, high-intensity Bootcamp, students will spend 60-80 hours per week in lectures, coding challenges, and career-development programs. Career-development and job placement are key components of the Code Platoon program.

Students will also develop and present a personal project and a group programming project prior to graduation in August.

Join us in welcoming Lima platoon and wishing them well on their coding journey!

Brenna Koss is Code Platoon’s Development and Operations Coordinator. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Greensboro in Political Science and French. In her free time, Brenna loves to travel and spend time with friends and family. Follow Brenna on LinkedIn.