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Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp Prepares Students for Jobs of the Future

Visit the Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp website. Next session is scheduled to begin October 2016. The current students’ capstone projects will be demonstrated on September 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the FatPipe ABQ, 200 Broadway NE. Public is invited!

Monica, a recent UNM graduate in International Studies, threw herself a going-away party with family and friends before starting the 10-weeks Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp in Albuquerque. The program’s Student Success Specialist advised her to inform her family and friends that she would be out of touch throughout those 10 weeks!

The Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp, part of the STEMulus Center is located at the First Plaza Galeria. It is now training its 13th class of students since October 2013. This hands-on web developer bootcamp was initially a start-up business. Dylan McDonald and John Mierzwa saw their business expand when CNM took over in 2014. CNM added support staff, additional instructors, infrastructure and an attractive new location at the Galeria. Dylan, who is also Instructor of Computer Science at the Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp, likes what CNM brought to their little start-up. He also likes that CNM leaves them the creative freedom to change, update and revise the curriculum. Once this latest group of students finishes their course, Dylan and John will be re-vamping the entire curriculum because of technical advances, new software and new ideas in the industry. They’re always looking ahead. Dylan likes to emphasize that the school teaches two main concepts: first, learn how to learn, evolve, and move with the technology and new ideas. Secondly, learn to work as a team. “IT is all about teamwork. Coding is secondary to both those principals.”

The program is offered 4 times per year, for 10 weeks. Students meet 4 days per week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Class size is usually about 12 students but no more than 18. Small class size offers more individual hands-on training. CNM provides a placement counselor who works with each student to define career goals and help them succeed in those goals. Dylan believes that there is a large need for web developers in New Mexico that remains unmet. “Our program curriculum is modeled after the Zend exam, so students are prepared for Zend certification at graduation.” Zend certification is one of the highest accreditation in web development.

The attractive and contemporary furnished school offers students a “living room” with comfortable couches and chairs; the main area of instruction with the most up-to-date hardware for each student; a kitchen and eating area filled with snacks, fresh fruit and large windows which let in plenty of sunshine.  Twice a week, midday, students go to the next-door gym to work out. One is reminded of the avant-garde workspaces at some of the large tech companies.

Monica, the recent UNM graduate, was seeking a career that would allow her to grow and be successful. She wasn’t sure about coding. But the more she learned about the industry and the opportunities for women, the more encouraged she felt about enrolling in the Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp. She was excited to find that Albuquerque offered a coding bootcamp that is close to home and is affordable, unlike similar schools in New York and San Francisco. She loves the program and the career choices have broadened. Beyond good employment opportunities, she is contemplating free lancing or becoming a small business owner. She also wants to promote STEM careers to other young women and help them learn how to code.

A new career came through for Skyler, who graduated from the bootcamp last year. Skyler, a young web developer is now an instructor for Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp.

Kevin was a biology professor at NM Tech for 23 years. After his wife made a career change, Kevin decided he was ready for one also. He took early retirement and started looking at web development as his next career choice. He was surprised to find that Albuquerque offered a coding bootcamp like those advertised in New York, San Francisco and other big cities. Kevin likes the hands-on training. He finds some of the concepts challenging, the course fast-paced and a lot of material to absorb. But it all appeals to his scientific nature and he likes that the projects are real-life projects, that students work as teams and instruction is individualized. He finds the program intense, focused and practical. This program is giving him a clear track and creates contacts for him to transition into a new career.  

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