Coding | St. Louis Public Radio

Coding

Daniel Agbaji (front) and other Claim Academy students study Java at the start of an all-day boot camp class session. May 9, 2019.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Technology companies and startups in St. Louis say they struggle to fill software development jobs. A St. Louis coding boot camp is making it easier for veterans to break into the tech industry and to help close that employment gap.

St. Louis entrepreneur Ola Ayeni runs Claim Academy, a for-profit company that offers 12- and nine-week all-day training programs for popular programming languages such as Java and C#. In March, the Department of Veterans Affairs approved vets to use their GI Bill stipends to pay for the $12,500-to-$15,000 classes.

Build STL Hackathon organizer Jonathon Leek loads up a project presentation on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the 555 Building downtown.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Put coders and data experts together in a room, add in a desire to make St. Louis a better place, and hold for 48 hours. What do you get? Five altruistic apps and websites that are closer to becoming a reality.

OpenDataSTL, a tech-savvy group with a mission to make data more accessible, put on their second annual “Make St. Louis Better” hackathon this weekend at the 555 Building in downtown St. Louis.

Ferguson activist Ebony Williams (left) has been a regular at area protests calling for police reform. She says she wants to learn coding and other tech skills to bring them back to the community. Danie Banks (right) of Thoughtworks is her mentor for the
Camille Phillips | St.Louis Public Radio

For the next six weeks, 10 young people, many with ties to Ferguson demonstrations, will spend three days a week learning web coding, business technology and how to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

Activist group Hands Up United organized the program through the help of Abby Bobé with the IT consulting firm ThoughtWorks. Other ThoughtWorks employees also are involved.

Bobé said the goal of the six-week workshop is to give more people of color in the St. Louis area an opportunity to learn about technology.

‘GlobalHack III’ to be Held in Ferguson this Winter

Oct 29, 2014
Lockerdome CEO Gabe Lozano (left) and project manager Kyle Cordia at the startup's headquarters in downtown St. Louis. 10/29/2014 Durrie Bouscaren/STL Public Radio
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

Coding competitions have a way of bringing people together. And GlobalHack's next weekend hackathon will bring them to Ferguson

“Some of these people came from MIT, Wash U [Washington University], some of them came from their mom’s basement. Truth of the matter is, the only thing that matters in our world is that you can actually produce,” said local startup CEO Gabe Lozano, who co-founded GlobalHack.

GlobalHack III is the company's third quarterly competition and promises $50,000 in prize money.