StartFast Code aims to create a sustainable coding bootcamp tailored to the Syracuse market
The growth of our development community is essential to the success of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is a real need for more coding resources in Syracuse. Individuals need education and mentorship opportunities, while employers need help finding talent. I can relate from the perspective of both an employer and a student. Last year I started studying web development to enhance my career with software startups, which I believe is important for all entrepreneurs.
Through my experience I realized:
- There are no consistent, employment-relevant coding classes to continue learning and advancing.
- Groups have come and gone because we need community driven support and partnerships
- Through events and market research, we have proven traction for students, teachers and job opportunities.
The founders of our local venture accelerator, StartFast, have a solution to this problem. They aim to create a sustainable bootcamp called StartFast Code, which is specifically tailored to the Syracuse market. This is a startup and they are openly asking for help. We can support this venture by offering feedback, registering, or sharing with others. You can register and learn more at startfastcode.com.
How does this complement your other ventures (The Tech Garden, Upstate Venture Connect, Startfast)?
Nasir: There is a direct connection with the current initiatives. The StartFast Venture Accelerator has successfully attracted amazing teams from around the country. The one thing that each team could never get enough of was development talent. The shortage is not specific to Syracuse, but nation-wide. We have met with thousands of people with great ideas, but they need money to have someone build it for them. If only some of those people would take a course like this. They could build whatever idea they want to build on their own. Even if that idea didn’t work, they could still have the skills to start a lucrative career. So, by having more developers in our community, we are certainly going to make more startups possible.
People think things can’t be done in Syracuse. Why do you think this is going to be successful?
Nasir: Anytime you try something new, there is no guarantee that it is going to be successful, and just because something failed once doesn’t mean that it will fail forever. The kind of work that we do as entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and community builders, is all about trying different things and seeing what works. We learn from the past experiences and try implementing in a different way, funding in a different way, or scaling in a different way. The way you succeed is to try and try again, but try again differently. So, the goal is to try it and then find a way to make it work.
What is the program’s structure and how is it different?
Chuck: Starfast Code trains professional developers to be able to contribute and earn in a short amount of time. A person has to have not just a programming language but a whole set of skills that make them able to solve a problem from start to finish.
The structure is called the flipped classroom. You interact with an online curriculum to go through a set of problems at your own pace. When you come to class, teachers aren’t lecturing; they’re coaching and responding to your needs. Syracuse is not technology dense and people are at all different levels. They need to start where they are and go on from there. In one flipped classroom, people can take different courses with the same instructor at the same time. The efficiency of this model is how we’re trying to make this a sustainable business, so that it can be a fixture in the community and a resource long term.
How does “starting fast” work for coding?
Chuck: By the intensity of the bootcamp, you might make one year’s worth of progress in three months. It is a jumpstart to get you into where you can earn, but it doesn’t mean you’re ever done learning. We will be teaching values and behaviors and access to information to make you a lifelong learner because otherwise in the world of coding, your relevance is going to fade very quickly.