The Best Paying and Most In-Demand Programming Languages in 2021

The Best Paying and Most In-Demand Programming Languages in 2021

At Code Platoon, we track national demand for programming languages so that our Veterans and military spouses get the best tools for a career in software development. 

This article highlights the programming languages that command the highest salaries and are most frequently targeted in job postings.

We wrote on this subject in 2020 and have since updated the statistics for 2021. Here are our primary findings:

Javascript and Python developers continue to get paid well, landing #2 and #3 in salary, while C++ makes a jump this year to #1 in salary. But there are relatively fewer job posting for C++, with Java and Javascript leading in jobs posted (C# and Python finished close behind).

How we identified the current top programming languages

We began by searching, one of the largest job listing sites. For compensation, we examined the top 15 most popular languages in a 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

AverageSalariesPython: Python is an interpreted, multi-purpose programming language. It holds the #3 position in Average Salary and #4 in the number of Job Postings. Python is seeing exploding growth due to its use in data science, machine learning, cybersecurity, and dev ops. 

 Javascript: Javascript took #2 in Job Postings and #2 in Average Salary. Javascript is an indispensable language to know for writing web applications.

 C++: Now used primarily in gaming and high-performance applications, C++ stands at #1 in Average Salary and #6 in Job Postings.  C++ is very fast and stable, but difficult to learn relative to the other languages in this list. 

 Java: Integral to large-scale legacy business applications and gaining new relevance through its adoption by Google for Android, Java climbs to #1 in Job Postings and #4 in Average Salary

C#:   C# maintains a solid user base through its adoption in the Unity gaming engine, standing at #3 in Job Postings and #6 in Average Salary. 

Number of JobsPHP: The language that powers WordPress, PHP is #7 in Job Postings and #7 in Average Salary. PHP is a general-purpose scripting language used for the development of web applications. 

 C: C is one of the oldest and most widely used programming languages, holding #5 in Average Salary and #5 in Job Postings. What makes this language so tough to learn is partly why it’s so powerful: concepts that are hidden to users in scripting languages like Python and Java are exposed in C, offering more flexibility and complexity.

SQL: SQL (or Structured Query Language) is the standard language for relational database management systems; it is a query language that allows users to draw information from databases. It ranks #8 in Average Salary and #8 in Job Postings. 

What will be the most popular programming language in 2022?

It’s difficult to speculate how these programming languages will fare 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, infrastructure software development, and AI tools (areas where Python shines). Javascript will continue to be the ‘language of the web.’

If you’re looking for more information on the usefulness of various programming languages, the TIOBE Index and Stack Overflow provide authoritative reports. Both consider industry demand 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.

Oscar Platoon Final Projects

The final step for Code Platoon students before they officially graduate from the Full-stack Software Engineering Bootcamp is the showcasing of their final group projects. This is where the students really get to shine and demonstrate all that they learned in fun, innovative, and creative ways by creating software applications as a team. 

On Friday, September 3, 2021, 18 students graduated from Code Platoon’s 16th Full-time cohort, Oscar Platoon. Here are the three final projects from the recently graduated class. 

First is “There Can Only Be One”, a fun new way to answer life’s toughest questions such as; ‘What should we watch on Netflix?” ‘What should we name the baby?’ and the classic ‘Where are we eating tonight?’

Check out “There Can Only Be One”, presented by Andrew Whitford a Veteran of the Air Force, Sarah Dellheim another Air Force Veteran, Marine Veteran Jeremiah Mauga, and Shawn Kiernan who served with the Navy for 20 years. 

Next up was “The Trendy Investor” a platform designed for the savvy investor in all of us. With Trendy Investor, users can stay up to date on market trends, including crypto currencies, and make the best investment possible.

See the application that Alexander Saunders and Reno Averill, both Veterans of the United States Army, and Navy Veteran Vincent Brunstad brought to life as their capstone project!

The final project in the line up really speaks to the nature of Veterans wanting to give back. Oscar Platoon graduates Jack Shuff and James White who are Veterans of the Army, Stephen Sun and Marc Stanley, both Veterans of the Air Force, and Navy Veteran Jonas Paulikas all wanted to create an application that would provide value for future Code Platoon students and instructors.

Their project,“Slacker” is a resource finding web app which allows users to find the reference material they need with a simple search rather than scrolling through pages of information. This app integrates with Slack and has the potential of making the breakneck pace of learning code more bearable. 

Check out how the “Slacker” team put together this app!


Vetted into the Nonprofit World

The Intern Experience: Vetted into the Nonprofit World

Each Summer, Code Platoon has the pleasure of gaining an intern through New Sector’s Summer Fellowship program. For three months the selected intern gains firsthand experience in the work we do at Code Platoon, and this year we had not one but two incredibly talented folks join our team. Jewel Hale and Chip Lauterbach, both of whom are Marine Veterans.

“During my summer working with the amazing people at Code Platoon, I was able to get a firsthand glimpse at how a non-profit worked,” Chip says. “I was fascinated by the level of commitment that each member of the team had and even more impressed by the skills of the students that were on display in the class sessions that I observed. Overall, the team with Code Platoon made me feel right at home. The fact that many of my coworkers were also Veterans and that our students all share that connection to the U.S. military made me feel that I could contribute back to my fellow Servicemembers.”

“Working with Code Platoon has been an incredible experience,” says Jewel. “As a Veteran myself, I was very excited to partner with an organization that focuses on improving the lives of Veterans and military spouses.” 

While serving in different departments, Chip rocking the Marketing side of the house with his hit piece Rapid Fire Questions, and Jewel stepping up to plate for the Development submitting a sizable grant for the organization, both experience the same feeling of welcoming to the team and endured the odd challenges that come with the remote work experience. 

“I received such a warm greeting from the leadership and staff, including the department I worked with, the Development team. Alicia and Brenna have been fantastic supervisors and teammates,” says Jewel. “In our weekly meetings, I felt included, like I was a part of the team. Everyone was so encouraging and always offered assistance if I needed it. I was extremely nervous because I had minimal experience working with development, and I was not yet used to working from home. It was really nice to know I had that support.”

“I worked directly with the social media marketing team and seeing all of the hard work that went into making Code Platoon’s online presence take shape gave me the type of experiences that I practiced and studied while in college working on my degree in broadcast journalism,” says Chip. “Journalism and Social Media Marketing are definitely different, but both utilize many of the same tools and online presence. Working remotely from my home in Richmond, Virginia, also presented a challenge, although by now most people have adjusted to work/life during this age of social distancing and my coworkers at Code Platoon made me feel welcomed and were ready to hit the ground running when it came to working on tasks.” 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from those at Code Platoon,” Jewel says. “I have learned so much that I know will contribute tremendously toward my career in the nonprofit sector.” Chip agrees with that same sentiment.

“My experiences here have helped me prepare for the next steps in my life, and I am very grateful to everyone at Code Platoon for this opportunity,” says Chip. “I think more Veterans would benefit from knowing about Code Platoon.”

We are beyond impressed with the hard work and dedication they provided in such a short span of time. While their daily presence in the organization will be sorely missed, we are confident that they will continue to do great things with their careers and we hope that they will remain in contact as members of the Code Platoon family. 

Jewel Hale is Code Platoon’s Summer Development Intern. She served in the United States Marine Corps and is attending Norfolk State University with a major of Sociology. 

Chip Lauterbach is Code Platoon’s Summer Social Media and Marketing Intern. He served in the United States Marine Corps and just recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys running around playing games with his daughter and thinks of the great outdoors as his second home.

Rapid Fire Questions with Chip The Intern

Rapid Fire Questions with Chip The Intern

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and whenever you are watching this I hope that all is well. My name is Chip the Intern and today I will be chatting with Code Platoon’s very own Greg Drobny. Greg is Code Platoon’s Student Outreach and Recruitment Manager, meaning he is one of the first people that you will talk to if you are a Veteran or Veteran spouse looking to join one of our cohorts right here at Code Platoon.

While we are going to be answering some of the most commonly asked questions, so if you are starting the Code Platoon journey and you see this video, hopefully, this can help guide you along the way.

Chip: Greg.

Greg: Chip!

Chip: Are you ready for some rapid fire questions?

Greg: As a matter of fact, yes I am!

Chip: Do I need to have any experience in coding to apply?

Greg: Short answer; no. Longer answer; we do provide all the materials necessary to get you up to speed in order to pass the assessment to get into Code Platoon and bring you straight from complete beginner all the way up to the level of entering Code Platoon. 

Chip: Does Code Platoon accept the G.I. Bill?

Greg: Yes! However, strong caveat: One must be present in the classroom in Chicago to take full advantage of the G.I. Bill. For those outside of Chicago who want to attend remotely, VET TEC is certainly an option.

Chip: What if I’m a spouse of a Veteran who does not have access to the G.I. Bill?

Greg: Not only are you accepted into Code Platoon as a spouse, we also have a scholarship just for you.

Chip: Do you offer career services and job placement?

Greg: Yes we do. We have a robust job placement effort that takes place after one graduates from Code Platoon, to include paid apprenticeships for our graduates in the city of Chicago with some major organizations.

Chip:  I’m currently working a boring day job and won’t be able to do classes in the daytime. Is there any kind of option for me?

Greg: Yes indeed there are. For people in your situation, a boring day job, we actually have an Evenings and Weekends Program that enables you to go through our program in a little bit extended period of time but still keep your day job. 

Chip: What’s the graduation and success rate for each class? 

Greg: Code Platoon currently boasts a 91% graduation rate with an 85% success rate of placing our graduates in roles in software development within six months of graduation making a median salary of $65,000 a year.

Chip: I can’t attend in-person classes. Is there a remote option? 

Greg: Yes, as a matter of fact, during the COVID crisis we went 100% remote with a lot of success with our students. Our remote students attend virtually, so they will be attending the same class as the in-person students, just doing so from a virtual platform. 

Chip: Will I be working in a group setting?

Greg: Yes, and I know that this strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who’s ever been to a college class and done 90% of the work while taking 10% of the credit. However, this is why our application process is what it is, which ensures everyone who is at Code Platoon truly wants to be there and everyone will be putting in solid effort.

Chip: Is there anything else to learn other than coding stuff?  

Greg: No.

Chip: Okay, I have a chance to get a job. What sort of certifications will I be earning beforehand?

Greg: Graduates of Code Platoon will walk out of the program with three certificates. One, the Code Platoon Graduation Certificate, two, the AWS, the Amazon Web Services Devops, and three, a SAFe agile framework certificate.

Chip: How big are the classes and will I be able to receive all of the proper attention I may need from an instructor?

Greg: As a matter of fact this is one of the areas where we can say that Code Platoon is a true nonprofit. We would rather have smaller classes where people can receive the immediate attention of instructors than have big classes just to make a lot more money. We want to ensure the best possible learning environment and we believe that smaller classes is ideal for exactly that. 

Chip: Well thanks Greg for doing this. 

Greg: Always a pleasure.

Chip: And that was Rapid Fire Questions with me, Chip the Intern and Code Platoon’s Student Outreach and Recruitment Manager, Greg Drobny.

If you’re interested in joining one of our cohorts and becoming part of the growing pool of Veterans and Veteran spouses that are entering into the world of software development then check out our website, That website is again,

Take a look around and maybe fill out an application. Our link will be down in the description. My name is Chip the Intern, thanks so much for watching, leave a like and a comment below and have a lovely day.

Chip Lauterbach is Code Platoon’s Summer Social Media and Marketing Intern. He served in the United States Marine Corps and just recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys running around playing games with his daughter and thinks of the great outdoors as his second home.

Tips from a TA

How to Start a Career in Software Development

Being a Teaching Assistant for Code Platoon’s Coding Bootcamp, I often hear questions from each new cohort concerning the pathway to becoming full-stack software developers. It can be nerve-wracking to undergo a training program of any sort, even more so when career prospects come into consideration. As someone who has had some success in the field thus far, I’d like to share my two cents on the going from the classroom to the workforce.

“Should I go for a Computer Science Degree or train with a Coding Bootcamp?”

Attending a Coding Bootcamp or obtaining a CS degree is forever debatable. 

In my personal experience, I have been selected over peers with the CS degrees for certain tasks, but that is not to say that CS degrees don’t have value. Traditionally, computer science degrees provide folks with the basic fundamentals of computer engineering. Additionally, those who hold CS degrees tend to end up in managerial roles. With Coding Bootcamps, you’ll be learning valuable skills that aren’t typically taught in the college classroom, and the hands-on approach to coding cannot be understated. The skills that you learn in a bootcamp are comparable to the workforce. Once in a job, you’ll likely see things done many different ways than you were taught, and the code base itself will be larger than your projects. However, the concepts and basic functionality will still apply.

Each of the education approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses and I will not value nor devalue either approach but rather say instead that both compliment each other well within a team! Regardless of what decision you come to, don’t stress on it. There will always be some companies that just stick to the degree out of principle for certain requirements but it’s fewer than you would think. Even some roles that claim to only be applicable for those with a traditional degree will take on Coding Bootcamp grads. On that note, if you do decide to go the Full-Stack Bootcamp route, as long as it is a reputable program and an in-demand coding language is taught, you’ll have a place in the workforce. 

“How do I know what Coding Bootcamp is right for me?”

Unfortunately, this is a question that only you can answer as there are a lot of different variables for different people. Cost, time spent in the classroom, length of the program and school networks such as alumni or internships are all factors that should be taken into consideration. Again, as long as the educator is reputable and provides training in valuable languages you should be able to land a job that offers great pay, benefits and opportunities especially as the world becomes even more embedded in tech.

Just do some research on the best Coding Bootcamps out there and line up what works best for you.

“Am I stuck in the language I learned or a certain position?” 

Starting out in the language you first learned how to code with would be ideal, but from my own experience… logic is logic and sometimes flexibility is needed. It is entirely likely that you may end up having to pick up an additional language while on the job to complete taskings, but if you’ve gone through a Coding Bootcamp you’ve already been armed with the tools to work through the challenge.

When it comes to applying for positions, “Full-Stack, Front-End, Back-End” are usually in the highest demand but you will learn that there are so many roles within this field and when it comes time to applying, the position doesn’t matter ‘right now’. Just be prepared to do any side of the stack as you will still be on a journey of learning throughout your career and may not know which end you actually prefer until later. Besides, your first job doesn’t have to be your forever job, but it could be if you like it enough. Just keep progressing at your pace and know that you are never truly locked into anything.

“I’m enrolled in a Coding Bootcamp but I’m not the most technologically literate person. Is it possible for me to make it as a software developer?”

My first interaction with coding was through a billboard on the road a few years back. It was an ad to work for USAA that asked a simple question, “DO YOU EVEN CODE?” At the time, I didn’t even know what it meant. I had worked in mostly ‘grunt’ jobs but over time I became more exposed to the world of programming and software engineering in part to friends in the field and a growing interest in the tech world.

What really got my gears started was signing up for some free workshops through General Assembly. I took some UX Design classes and coding courses but knew I had to commit to one or the other. While I enjoyed the creativity of UX more, I figured that coding would grant me more career opportunities and I don’t have any regrets so far with that decision. 

Anytime you learn a new skill, anxiety can creep in, and it is no different in a Coding Bootcamp. You’ll be challenged by some ‘basic’ tech stuff and that’s okay! It can be exciting to be pushed to new limits as well as a bit frustrating at times where it seems like most of your peers ‘get it’ and you’re still trying to wrap your head around ‘Hello World’ but I’ll let you in on a little secret when it comes to learning the trade. Working with the tech and tools is important, but understanding and using logic along with some critical thinking is ultimately the foundation of progressing in the field. The basics that you’ll be introduced to within your Coding Bootcamp or CS program are paramount to the success of your career, so don’t take them for granted.

Good luck out there and happy coding!

Jerry Rogers served as a Ranger in the US Army, is a graduate of UAF, and is a Teaching Assistant for Code Platoon. He learned software development through Skill Distillery and is currently working as a Full-Stack Developer II for Brinks Home. He doesn’t have a middle name but he does enjoy the outdoors. You can find him on LinkedIn. 

Teaching Assistants and Mentors

Oscar Platoon TAs and Mentors

As part of the many resources Code Platoon provides, teaching assistants (TAs) and mentors play a vital role for our students’ education. Serving as TAs and mentors, tech professionals support new cohorts, providing guidance and clarity to each student’s coding journey. This month we’d like to highlight a few of our outstanding TAs and mentors.

Charles is a 2019 Code Platoon graduate who started in an apprenticeship at 8th light and is now holding a full-time position there as a software crafter. In his free time, Charles volunteers as a mentor. 

“I feel very strongly about Code Platoon’s mission in helping Veterans and spouses transition into the tech industry,” says Charles. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to give back to other Veterans and spouses that attend Code Platoon and offer guidance during a transition in their lives.”

Shawn is a 2018 Code Platoon graduate who, like Charles, wants to give back. He is a full-stack developer at AVB Marketing and dedicates time each week as a TA, assisting our newest cohorts. 

“I enjoy filling in the knowledge gaps for students that missed any fundamentals from the lecture so they can become self-sufficient coders,” says Shawn. 

Chase participated in Code Platoon through Skillbridge in 2020, and he now works as a software engineer at Defense Software Corporation. In addition to volunteering with Code Platoon, Chase participated with NYC Coders to help support the Black Lives Matter movement where he and his team developed an application that allows users to efficiently organize around common goals or shared interests to enact change at the local level through peaceful means. 

“So far, the most enjoyable part for me is when the person I’ve been mentoring graduates. I know I doubted myself regularly when I was a student and wasn’t sure if I would make it through the program. So, seeing someone cross the finish line kind of lets me relive that moment of joy,” says Chase.

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.

Instructor Perspective

Breaking Barriers: The Instructor’s Perspective

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, once said, “If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity, there will be no passion and intensity within the organization.”  Here at Code Platoon, the heart and soul of that sentiment is found with our instructors, who give the necessary passion and intensity to guide our Veteran students through the 14-week course, getting them ready for the next steps in their careers.

Several of our instructors, Tom Prete, Ankur Shah, and Chad Mowbray, took the time to answer a few questions about what brought them to Code Platoon and how they view their roles in helping Veterans gain a foothold in the world of software engineering. For Tom and Chad, both Veterans themselves, they also see a great value in helping fellow Veterans succeed.

What drew you to coding? How did you end up here at Code Platoon?

Tom Prete: I first was interested in programming while I was getting my Finance degree, I realized I was more interested in building things in addition to being super curious in technology. So I told myself, “I will try this banking thing for a few years and if I really don’t like it I can always attend a Coding Bootcamp.” After working three years as a Treasury Analyst and determining that corporate banking was not for me, I attended Fullstack Academy (Coding Bootcamp) in the summer of 2017. I first learned about Code Platoon while preparing to go to Fullstack Academy and always followed Code Platoon’s growth. A position opened up at Code Platoon and as a Marine Corps Veteran myself I jumped at the opportunity to contribute to Code Platoon’s mission.

Ankur Shah: “I took my first programming class in 11th grade and really took a liking to it, but never really considered it to be my calling. However, I felt I had somewhat of a knack for it and decided to pursue a computer science degree when I got to college, in lieu of not knowing what else I wanted to pursue. I was looking for a new experience and teaching software seemed like a good mix of channeling my past skills and experience with software, while also pushing myself to learn how to teach the subject matter, which is how I landed at Code Platoon.

Chad Mowbray: “Right now I’m a PhD student studying Arabic poetry and I initially got into software engineering because I started getting interested in statistical analysis of poetry and digital humanities research methods, where you take a large Corpus and you look for patterns, and in order to do that effectively, you really need coding or an understanding of it. I started getting drawn into the more technical things, but I didn’t have the skillset and I never thought I would be able to do coding. It was very intimidating, I thought you had to be a genius at something like math and all those other stereotypes about coding. What actually pushed me into software development was having a kid and needing to find a career change. I found Code Platoon and things have gone pretty well since then.

What about Code Platoon sets it apart from other coding schools?

Tom: Code Platoon sets itself apart in that it truly provides a plethora of resources to best help our Veterans and Veteran family members land jobs in tech, beyond just teaching them to program. From our Beyond Tech series, after hour volunteer TA’s from professional developers, mentors, resume coaches, designated career prep time, and internships that lead to full-time roles most of the time from our apprenticeship partners. The amount of resources that our students receive is a magnitude more than any other coding bootcamp out there that I’ve heard of.  

Ankur: I don’t have any experience with coding bootcamps, so I can’t offer a good answer as to what sets Code Platoon apart. But from feedback from students, a lot of them say the career preparation included in our program is a nice plus. Aside from the instructional staff at Code Platoon who offer some behavioral and technical interview guidance, we also set students up with mentors and resume coaches, and mock interview sessions towards the end of the program, to prepare students for job interviews after graduating.

Chad: I actually didn’t even look into other coding schools, I heard about Code Platoon because a friend mentioned it to me. What I will say is that the main thing that sets Code Platoon apart from other programs is the support network. There is a real coherent and integrated experience, they don’t just sit you down and say, “ok this is how you code.” There is an emphasis on building a network that will help you in the future.

Are there any challenges to teaching Veterans? What are the benefits that counter any challenges you might have faced?

Chad: To be honest, I really enjoy teaching adults, people who have some life experiences and who are accustomed to being disciplined and hardworking and are motivated to tackle the challenges of coding and software development. In something like a high school setting you can always count on someone or even a few students who don’t want to be there, but with Code Platoon, everyone has that drive and it is a very supportive environment.

Tom: To be candid, the biggest challenge in teaching Veterans isn’t directly related to them being Veterans. Most have family responsibilities outside the classroom that require time and Code Platoon is an intensive full-time program, having to work 10-12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. But that’s a challenge any mature working professional with a family will encounter. What’s great about teaching Veterans specifically is that they’re no stranger to hard work and working on a team. 

Ankur: While there might be some overlap between military training and learning how to become a software developer, software development offers many situations where there may be many ways to get to the desired solution instead of just following one path. There is a lot of decision-making involved, and as with learning anything new, it can be a challenge at first, but the high level of determination to succeed that our students come in with is key to their collective success.

Beginning, middle, or end. Which part of the training schedule do you enjoy the most and why?

Tom: The part of the training schedule I enjoy the most is when they’re working on their personal projects and their final group project. Seeing the culmination of learnings executed by creating these amazing projects in a matter of weeks just reinforces how far they’ve come and learned in 15 weeks. It really brings me joy.

Ankur: I definitely enjoy the end of our training program the most, where students get to use all of their newly learned skills and technologies to create real world applications. I think the beginning of the curriculum is definitely the most challenging and most important part of our program, as we teach a lot of basics and theory to our students, which is vital. The middle portion of the curriculum offers students a chance to start, “connecting the lego blocks,” and learning more about full-stack development, but the end is really where we get to see our students excel professionally.

Chad: I prefer the beginning, just because it’s a little more general, focusing on programming, teaching basic patterns and how to think like a programmer and not to just go along with the program. Things like how to think about an algorithm, and what data structures you can use. Just more general patterns that would be applicable to any language or task.

The instructors at Code Platoon are just one part of the greater team that helps the Veteran students, and the family members who attend our program, succeed. If you would like to know more info about building your future as a student at Code Platoon, please visit our website at and look more into our application process here.

Chip Lauterbach is Code Platoon’s Summer Social Media and Marketing Intern. He served in the United States Marine Corps and just recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science. In his free time he spends time with his daughter and enjoys being outdoors. 

Return to Classrom

Code Platoon returns to Classroom, October 4th

Code Platoon, the coding Bootcamp for Veterans, active duty Servicemembers, and military spouses, will return to in-person learning at its Chicago campus on October 4, 2021. Code Platoon’s Full-stack Software Engineering Immersive program suspended in-person instruction in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Code Platoon is  happy to be returning to the classroom in October for our in-person program,” said Rod Levy, Executive Director and Founder, Code Platoon. “Students enrolled in our Papa Platoon cohort, which begins October 4th, can choose to attend classes in person at our Chicago campus.”

The Chicago campus will follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and City of Chicago guidelines for in-person learning. 

Code Platoon will continue to offer its programs to students remotely, but the return of in-person learning brings value to those students able to attend the Chicago classroom. 

“In addition to in-person access to our instructors, lecturers, and teaching assistants, our in-person program students typically vie for opportunities in our apprenticeship program with top Chicago-area employers,” Levy said. 

Code Platoon’s apprenticeship program places graduates from the Immersive in-person program in paid three to six month apprenticeships with companies including JPMorgan Chase, DRW, Grainger, among others. More than 80% of graduates that participate in the apprenticeship program are hired full-time by the sponsoring company. 

Code Platoon’s Full-stack Software Engineering programs are designed specifically for Veterans, active duty Servicemembers, and military spouses to help transition to the civilian workforce via careers in tech. Code Platoon offers an immersive 14-week Bootcamp program and a 28-week Evening and Weekend Program. The Immersive program is offered three times per year at the Chicago campus or remotely online. The Evening and Weekend program is offered online only. 

Students attending Code Platoon may use their VA educational benefits, including GI Bill or VET TEC, to help cover program costs. Code Platoon also offers full scholarships for enrolled students.

Applications are currently being accepted for the next Full-stack Immersive program, Quebec Platoon. Quebec Platoon begins on January 31, 2022. The application deadline for Quebec Platoon is October 31, 2021. Applications are also being accepted for the next Evening and Weekend program, which begins on January 3, 2022. The application deadline for the Evening and Weekend program is September 26, 2021. 

Jim Hennessey is Code Platoon’s Director of Marketing. Jim brings a strong background in non-profit marketing and start-up enterprises to the mission of Code Platoon. Jim is a graduate of Clemson University and currently lives in Chicago. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.

Transitioning Career Fields Julius Bautista

Painting with a New Brush
Transitioning Careers: Julius Bautista

Servicemembers are notorious for their adaptability. Being flexible to stressful circumstances and wearing multiple hats for a particular career field is not just expected but necessary to serve in every MOS, AFSC, or NEC. With that said, however, it can still be daunting to shift gears from one industry to the next, but some challenges are worth pursuing. 

Julius Bautista, a Veteran and recent Code platoon graduate, is well versed in transitioning having been in several seemingly unrelated career fields. We interviewed him to get a feel for the shift in work experience.   

2017 Bucktown Steve Jobs Backdrop

Tell  us about your military career?

During my senior year of high school, I enlisted in 2005 with an open contract and was assigned an electrical engineering position. The official title is Engineer Equipment Electrical Systems Technician, which can be a mouthful. I worked on diagnosing, maintaining, and repairing power generators under Combat Logistics Battalion 2, training for what should have been my first deployment. 

Unfortunately, my military career was cut short by worsening medical conditions halfway through my contract.  If there were a silver lining, those experiences shaped who I am today, but I do sometimes wonder what my life would have been like had I been given the proper care and treatment.

Getting out of the military, what was that like?

It was an experience. My world was turned upside down. I felt as if I let my unit down, but I also felt let down by them, which haunted me for many years. However, it also motivated me to push harder, and it gave me drive. After moving back to my hometown, I got a job with a trucking company doing third shift data entry. It was rough but it allowed me to save up. I made it my priority to get out of the burbs, so I saved up for my first apartment, filled out a college application with the University of Illinois, Chicago, and found a part-time job selling electronics at a Target store.

What is your approach to change?

My approach to life is generally free-spirited. Sometimes, I dread change, and sometimes, I seek it out. 

I decided to enlist in the military on a whim, but I was only 17 at the time, so I needed parental consent. My mom hadn’t been in the picture since I was an infant, so my father’s approval was the only option. Not wanting to risk rejection, I waited until midnight when he was asleep, and woke him up, knowing he wouldn’t be interested in reading whatever paper I had in hand. I asked him to sign it, just vaguely saying, “Hey, I need this for school,” so he’d sign it quickly and go back to sleep. I can’t say he was too pleased with my approach, but we just laugh it off these days, and he is quite proud of me now.

What was your college career path?

I went to college undeclared, with no real plan. I just wanted to explore a bunch of different subjects. It was hard to decide because I pretty much enjoyed every subject taught in school and most of the extracurricular activities I participated in during high school.  I tried gymnastics, journalism, cross country, A/V club, yearbook. The problem was, I enjoyed so many subjects, but I didn’t excel in any one area and was quite terrible in some. What made a difference was one professor, Dianna Frid, who said to me after class one day that I really should consider a career in the arts because, in her words, “you think like an artist, you speak like an artist, and you move like an artist.” It was flattering but undeniably also a great way to recruit students into the arts program.


How did you get interested in coding?

I got involved with a group called Packback Inc. The couple that started Packback started another organization in 2019 Play Together, to unite artists, musicians, and social impact groups under various projects. Now, that in itself doesn’t involve coding, but being engaged with Play Together and attending Packback’s Makespace events drew me into tech culture.

As for actual coding, I’ve dabbled since my teens, writing simple game modification scripts in C# and Java. In grade school, I had a photoblog, so that was my introduction to HTML and CSS.  After college, I joined an artist collective, learning event production and marketing shows for clients, which led to more proficiency with HTML and CSS. My first run-in with Python was through hobby projects, some of which influenced my professional work. A few of my shows utilized RFID tags and NFC-enabled phones to make paintings interactive. I took that concept one step further whenever I wanted to help friends and colleagues promote their shows.

If you’re not familiar with Nintendo’s “Amiibo” product line, they’re little figurines that interact with Nintendo games. For example, in Super Smash Brothers, scanning a Pikachu Amiibo loads up a computer-controlled Pikachu that you can train, team up with, and fight against. Usually, these digital sparring partners have power limits, but if you know what data to tweak, you can hack an Amiibo to give your Pikachu super fast speed and unprecedented levels of power. It can provide your game with new levels of challenge that didn’t exist before.

NFC tags can be purchased in bulk online. They don’t hold much data, so they’re easy and quick to program and modify. They fit nicely in coin capsules and can be safely covered with custom art.  I could crank out 20-30 of these in a day, and we would give them away as promotions for shows and events. It was a different way to advertise and that kind of stuff can be really appealing. It’s innovative, it’s different and it draws people in.


It is clear that art still plays a big role in your life, and you don’t want to separate the world of programming from art, but are there any similarities between the two for you? 

Have you ever tried attaching a succinct definition to ‘art’? It’s probably not as easy for most to conceptualize the meaning of art to conceptualize the essence of programming because coding comes with an objective purpose and tangible real-world goals.

It’s not that contemporary art lacks that tangibility, but its form of truth is more elusive, ethereal, and formless than logic. It comes from a place of emotional intelligence.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in life was picked up during my sophomore year of college, writing an essay on French theorist Roland Barthes’ piece “The Death of the Author”. My takeaway – art is not created by the artist but by the artist and the environment that surrounds them. A user’s interpretation of a work of art is equally as real as the artist’s intent because the world of art is subjective and interpretive.

In programming, the same relationship exists, except whereas the arts are concerned with the expression and interpretation of subjective truths, the logical world of programming is concerned with objective facts.  Both are equal forms of creation that have the power to transport you into other worlds, and as a creator, it feels natural to walk the line between these two fields.

What led you to enroll with Code Platoon?

The VA announced that it had a program for military folks to get into tech careers. VET TEC covered tuition for approved organizations. Code Platoon was one of the options available in Chicago, and after researching and comparing different programs, Code Platoon was the one that I felt was most earnest and authentic. Meeting with a few alumni and staff strengthened and reinforced the feeling that Code Platoon was invested in the future of their students, as opposed to simply pocketing tuition payments, which was very important to me. Committing to a second field can be frightening and anxiety-inducing, so it meant a lot to me to have a network that I felt I could trust and count on. 

You mentioned that you had experience with tech before Code Platoon. Did you encounter any learning curves?

Oh, for sure! I had been dabbling in tech on my own as a hobby, but in knowing that it was just and only that, dabbling, there was a lot of insecurity. It was imposter syndrome, and that’s a topic that came up a lot during the course. There’s so much value to assigning a name to that particular kind of doubt and knowing that you’re not alone in experiencing it. 

The other big learning curve is the linearity of software engineering. I noticed this, especially when pairing up with some of my fellow grads. My mind is so accustomed to jumping from idea to idea because that sense of liberty and play is crucial to developing a knack for subjective expression.

From Infinity To Innovation

In regards to more logical expression, I sometimes felt a few steps behind, if not in an entirely different place in my mind at times, and I had to be proactive in working past that. The funny thing is, being more proficient with coding also benefits artistic practice. I feel more grounded, and I have a newfound sense of clarity and confidence. 

What would you say to somebody who is like looking into programming but doesn’t feel that they have the skillsets for the field? 

One thing that can make computer programming intimidating is the rapid pace at which it evolves. That can stoke fears of being inadequately prepared or, worse, becoming obsolete. There is a positive side to this, though because you’re not alone in picking up new technologies.

Everyone in the software engineering field shares the same responsibility of being prepared to continue learning and picking up new things. The world of programming may seem vast and daunting, but the same can be said of virtually any other field. In the end, it’s a matter of perspective. 

Veterans, in particular, develop a feel for the deep bonds and camaraderie that comes with enlisting in some of our nation’s longest-standing organizations. It’s incredible to me how Code Platoon emulates that. Not only do they support you through 15 weeks of intensive education, but they also provide a very active and engaging alumni network. That’s arguably more valuable than the course itself, but it’s part of the package and there’s no expiration to it.  

For any Veteran, active Servicemember, or military spouse looking for a career shift, Code Platoon may be the place to train. Apply today to be a part of the next cohort.

Amanda Michelle Gordon is Code Platoon’s Content Marketing Coordinator. She is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a student of SUNY New Paltz for Journalism and Sociology. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, the outdoors, and turning coffee into copy. You can find Amanda on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Day in the Life

Day in the Life: Augie Karisch, Code Platoon Apprentice at Kin + Carta

Kin + Carta is a digital transformation firm organized around three services: a tech-centric management consultancy, a next-gen software engineering studio, and a digital marketing agency. This year, Kin + Carta joined the Code Platoon family as an Apprenticeship Partner.

Apprenticeship Partners employ the top graduates from each In-Person cohort for a three to six-month paid apprenticeship in a developer-orientated role. As part of the program, Kin + Carta welcomed Mike Platoon graduate Augie Karisch to their team earlier this year.

Recently, the company sat down with Augie to learn more about his experience and shared that in a post on the company’s blog, Inside Kin + Carta. This blog post is presented with permission from Kin + Carta. Thank you to Amy Parker and Kin + Carta for being part of Code Platoon’s mission to help Veterans and military spouses transition to careers in tech.


This year Kin + Carta was proud to sponsor our first Code Platoon cohort.

Code Platoon is an organization that helps veterans and military spouses acquire the skills to be software engineers. They do this by providing technical training and career placement over a 14-week immersive, hands-on, educational process. In addition, the program digs into specialized full-stack development training and “beyond tech” training like team building, mental toughness, diversity & inclusion, personal finance, negotiation & job searching.

Through the sponsorship, we could virtually meet many of the students from Code Platoon’s cohort, share insights into technology consulting, and hire an intern!

We are proud to introduce you to Augie Karisch, the engineer from Code Platoon who’s been a team member within our Digital Products & Services Capability since March. We’ve appreciated the experience and insight he’s brought to our teams, and we have been so impressed by how he dove headfirst into all that Kin + Carta (& our clients!) have to offer.

Hear from Augie as he shares more insight into Code Platoon, Kin + Carta, & the veteran experience. You’ll love what he has to say!

How did you decide to transition into Software Engineering?

In my previous role, I was a manager on a team building a website for use by my company’s customer-facing employees. During this project, I discovered two primary reasons that I wanted to learn more about software engineering.

First, while I enjoyed working on the business side of that project, I often found myself constrained by my limited understanding of the technical work our engineers were doing. I felt like I could be a more effective part of the product team by improving my technical knowledge.

Second, I was inspired by those engineers’ ability to read a user story or hear an idea for a new feature or design element and then make that vision a reality. I wanted to be able to do that!

Besides this specific professional experience, I’ve always loved building things, and I have tons of my own ideas for businesses and products. So I wanted to develop the skills necessary to put those interests and ideas into action.

What was it about Code Platoon’s program that stood out to you?

Code Platoon is designed for military veterans by professional software engineers at top tech companies. That was why I initially looked into the program.

One thing that jumped out to me about Code Platoon was that they work hard to develop strong relationships with companies like Kin + Carta, where graduates have the opportunity to intern. The availability of internships–even though they weren’t guaranteed–made the endeavor feel less risky. The internship program is just one of many forms of career support that Code Platoon provides to its students during and after the program.

I also appreciated that Code Platoon is a nonprofit organization. It felt like our motivations were closely aligned–as a mission-driven organization, they simply wanted to help me get the skills to succeed as a software engineer.

Since its founding several years ago, I had been following Code Platoon, always telling myself that one day I’d apply. It was a tough decision to leave the great job I had at the time. Still, a combination of my desire to learn to code and the availability of a fantastic VA program that sponsors technical education for veterans (VET TEC) pushed me to take the leap. It’s been a great decision so far.

Tell us about the coolest project you’ve worked on as a software engineer thus far.

I worked on a couple of really exciting projects during Code Platoon. One was an audio journaling app that I had been thinking about for a long time, and I finally found myself with the skills necessary to build it. Another group project was where we designed and built a website that would suggest potential travel destinations and let users book flights based on their budget, desired temperature, and other criteria. Again, I was lucky to be on a very talented and collaborative team who made the process fun, along with outstanding Code Platoon guidance and mentorship.

But, I think the coolest project I’ve worked on so far is my current project at Kin + Carta. I am working alongside incredibly talented and supportive teammates to build a brand new customer-facing product for an exciting and impactful client. There is nothing like a real-world project for learning and professional growth, and I feel like I’m making leaps and bounds every day. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from this team.

When deciding where to intern, what stood out the most to you about Kin + Carta?

Kin + Carta was my top choice for an internship for several reasons. First, I wanted the opportunity to work on customer-facing products, and I knew that Kin + Carta leads high-profile projects for its clients, many of which directly impact their customers. Second, in thinking about the first step towards a long-term career in tech, I was especially interested in the consulting model. Third, I saw an opportunity for exposure to a variety of clients, products, and technologies. The breadth of technical and industry exposure available at Kin + Carta sounded exciting to me. Finally, as someone with a diverse background that includes operations leadership, product management, and general strategy work, I was excited to be in a dynamic environment where there were several different business models, client relationships, products, and lines of business all running simultaneously, constantly changing and impacting the firm in different ways. I saw this all happening at Kin + Carta, and it seemed like an exciting and energetic place to grow my career in tech.

I spoke with a handful of people from the firm before I interviewed, and I found them all to be extremely smart, welcoming, encouraging, and happy with their jobs. This seemed like a good indicator of the culture and environment that I was seeking. The same positivity and optimism have proven to be the typical attitude among my coworkers.

Finally, Kin + Carta was growing quickly when I was interviewing, which is another sign of a healthy company with lots of career opportunities. The growth has continued since I’ve been here, and the list of brand-name clients is incredible (and even getting longer). I was fortunate enough to be invited to intern at Kin + Carta, and it’s been a fantastic experience so far.

You’ve completed the Bootcamp & internship programs totally virtually—what’s that been like?

At first, I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be learning in person–I’ve been through a lot of schooling, and this was my first remote experience. But, I felt like Code Platoon did a good job ensuring that we got the same high-quality education that we would have had in person. The instructors, TA’s, and administrators were very hands-on and supportive. They also leverage various tools and services to ensure students can communicate easily with instructors and one another. This allowed us to access and quickly absorb the material. In addition, during the cohort, I met a handful of classmates for an outdoor, socially distanced happy hour. I made close personal connections with several classmates, both in Chicago and elsewhere.

The remote internship has been a similarly new experience for me. It is strange to have worked with my team for several weeks now and never met them in person. I’m pretty sociable, so I like the spontaneity and energy of an in-person workplace. Through this experience, I have learned to appreciate the convenience and flexibility of a home office. Kin + Carta provides the tools we need to stay connected and collaborate digitally. Most importantly, my teammates and the other people I’ve met across the firm are incredibly generous with their time and have been willing to meet for [virtual] coffee or help with technical questions whenever I have asked.

Augie Team names covered

Augie and the team of developers who he’s been working with for the last several weeks. This is one of several tech teams that supports an AgTech client of Kin + Carta.

How has your experience as a veteran translated to working at Kin + Carta?

As an officer in the military, you learn to enter a new environment, get up to speed very quickly, and then support a mission in whatever way you are needed, whether or not you were trained for that exact scenario. That resourcefulness and flexibility have served me well so far at Kin + Carta. I expect it to continue to be valuable as I eventually move to new clients, new teams, and new roles within the firm.

Another aspect of the military that translates well is the experience of working with lots of different kinds of people. One of my favorite parts of the military was that I had coworkers from every corner of the country and even the world, from many different backgrounds. I learned something every day just by being open to new perspectives. The same is true of Kin + Carta (and Code Platoon), where I have teammates in several states and across Latin America. I learned early in the military that great ideas and excellent work can come from anyone. I have also seen that borne out at Kin + Carta, where title and years of experience are secondary to ideas and results.

augie dry dock

Augie at the bottom of a dry dock as USS Chung-Hoon completes a maintenance overhaul.

What advice do you have for transitioning service members and veterans thinking about a career in technology?

People don’t always realize that there are many non-technical and semi-technical roles in the tech industry. You don’t just have to be a software engineer (although that is a great choice!), and you don’t have to do the same thing you did in the military. I would encourage transitioning service members to make a list of their personal and professional strengths and take the time to match those skills and interests to jobs and companies by perusing job postings, company websites, LinkedIn profiles, etc. There are jobs in tech for every strength and interest. I am not an engineer or a technician by background–I have a liberal arts degree and an MBA. I just wanted to combine my love for building things with my interest in functional and efficient digital experiences. Tech and coding have been a great way for me to pursue those interests professionally, and you need to find the field(s) that lets you follow your interests.

You should definitely be networking with people in industries and roles that interest you. Create a professional LinkedIn profile and send short, professional direct messages to veterans in jobs and industries that you like. Ask them if they have 10-15 minutes to talk on the phone about their career path and their transition out of the military. Many people will make time for you, and you will learn a lot about their company and the industry they work within, and how to network like a civilian. Many big companies have whole teams dedicated to military and veteran recruiting; follow these recruiters on LinkedIn and keep an eye on their posts. The more familiar you get with different companies and roles, the more you’ll be able to target your search for the perfect opportunity, whether that’s a job, an education, or some other path. You can start by reaching out to me!

I also recommend that you learn as much as possible about your VA benefits. You may be surprised at what they cover, and there are ways to maximize your benefits, like understanding when the VA’s fiscal year starts and how to combine benefits with those from your state or your school. I used a VA program called VET TEC to fund my education at Code Platoon. Many of my classmates were still on active duty and using a program called DoD SkillBridge. Be sure to do some of your own research and networking to ensure you’re aware of the opportunities available and relevant to you.

The transition out of the military can be challenging. The culture shock of reentering the civilian world and the balance between your strong military identity and your new civilian reality takes time to figure out. Here are a few government and nonprofit resources that I have found helpful and that I know others have used as well. Google them, join their webinars, contact them, and see what they have to offer: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Service2School, Code Platoon, Road Home Program, Hiring Our Heroes (Kin + Carta does a HoH fellowship—read more here!), American Corporate Partners, your state and city VA departments (separate from national VA), not-for-profit colleges and universities in your area, and your fellow veterans.