Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants help students learn and develop programming skills

Teaching Assistants (TAs) are an integral part of the Code Platoon learning experience. These volunteers bring their coding and professional experience to share with our students and assist in their Code Platoon education.

Code Platoon TA’s typically volunteer one evening each week to help students with their assignments and help conduct Mock Interviews to prepare them for real interviews after they graduate. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our TA’s volunteered in person, but currently, due to the virus, they are volunteering remotely.

Lorena Dela Cruz has been volunteering as a TA for the  Lima and Mike cohorts. She is a Rails and React developer who learned about Code Platoon from a co-worker at Home Chef.    

“Giving back and sharing my knowledge has been the most memorable part of my time with Code Platoon,” Lorena said. “There were a lot of people who helped me get to where I am today, and it feels good to be that for people too.”

Stephen Weiss is a former consultant, analyst, manager, and product owner who got into development by going through a Bootcamp. For the past two years, Stephen has been working as an engineer for different startups.

“I wanted to give back, and so I sought out opportunities to work with folks with non-traditional paths into tech. When I found Code Platoon, I knew it was a spot for me,” Stephen said.

“Code Platoon TAs have the extreme privilege of being able to help a new cohort of individuals develop a skill that can lead to a rewarding career while supporting our veterans, who have given so much for our country already,” Stephen said.

Brian Montana began volunteering for Code Platoon as a professional mentor and joined the TA program this past October 2020 with Mike Platoon. He also has conducted workshops for Code Platoon in the past before Covid. 

“I was in the Marines, and after that, I got a BA and MFA in new media,” Brian said. “I moved into front end development after college, organized creative coding events, gave talks, wrote posts, and contributed to the Chicago tech community.”

“I enjoy helping other Marines with coding solutions,” Brian said. “It is great seeing the sparks when a student understands something. It becomes fulfilling to see people learn and develop their skills as a programmer.”

Lorena added, “I enjoy helping people get to the answers without giving them the answer. I don’t know a lot of Python either, so I feel like I’m learning at the same time.”

“For me, it has helped me in my career by improving the way I pair and reinforce things I already know,” Lorena said.

TA volunteers have several options to choose between: 

  • Evening Volunteers: 2-hour time slot, same day, every week, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm CST, for the 14-week session
  • Daytime Volunteers: Anytime that they are free! Perhaps your employer allows for volunteer hours or ‘open-source’ days – come hang out with us!

For more information on volunteering as a Code Platoon Teaching Assistant, please visit https://www.codeplatoon.org/volunteer/.

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.

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