Resilient Coders: Programming for Success
Greetings, DCD friends. As regular readers know, we normally write blogs about our services, new technologies, and helpful best practice tips for your tech company. Today, however, we would like to talk about an organization we have recently become involved with.
A few weeks ago, this blogger attended BGN.io’s monthly Board Game Night (which, incidentally, I highly recommend to any tech professionals out there who want to network in a fun and laid-back environment). It was there that I met David “Del” Delmar, the founder of an organization called Resilient Coders. Since then, we’ve learned a lot more about the group, which is dedicated to bringing in underrepresented youth from the Boston area and teaching them how to code. There is no rigid classroom structure here; Resilient Coders is a place where students (mostly local high schoolers) can become immersed in an open-ended environment that encourages experimentation, making mistakes, and furthering personal goals. The hope is that by providing an opportunity to learn in a risk-free yet challenging environment, these kids will be empowered to create and explore, which can ultimately lead to an advantage when it’s time for them to consider their careers. The current program focuses mainly on web and application development, but students are encouraged to pursue their programming passions, whatever they may be.
Resilient Coders teaches its students in a variety of settings. Throughout the year, the group forms coworking partnerships with tech companies. Engineers, developers, and programmers come from the surrounding area and sit alongside the students as they work. Rather than simply lecturing or telling them what to do, coworkers help engage with the project by letting the kids take the lead and assisting with work as the need arises. This type of mentoring encourages students to learn at their own pace, and gives them a way to push themselves farther while still receiving helpful guidance along the way.
Resilient Coders founder David Delmar speaks with his students.
In order to make the program as accessible as possible, Resilient Coders runs a series of special workshops called Popup Cohorts. These take place at schools or local community facilities and help spark the interest needed to recruit students into the coworking program. Consisting of 8 total hours of class time (usually spread over 4-8 weeks), the cohorts present a challenge to students: create a fully functional, basic webpage from scratch. From there, interested students are invited to participate in Coworking environments, and are helped along throughout a longer program.
The ultimate goal for any young resilient coder is to end up at the Resilient Lab, where they move from student to paid employee. They become mentors for younger participants, and do real development work for the community and local businesses. This position can help springboard these young programmers into a variety of useful and fulfilling tech careers.
Additionally, Resilient Coders co-hosts Boston Coding Camp (see the above video), a program where participants get to solve real world problems with the help of older student mentors. If you are interested in seeing the results of this year’s work, the group will be hosting a demo night of their latest project, a snow collection app for the city of Boston, on August 27 from 6-8 PM at Eastern Bank’s new “Eastern Lab” space. Representatives from Deep Core Data will be there as well, so make sure to come and say hello to us!
To learn more about Resilient Coders and stay up to date on their events and projects, visit their website at www.resilientcoders.org.
Author’s Note: Deep Core Data was not compensated, either through payment or services, by Resilient Coders for this article. All media courtesy of Resilient Coders.