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How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers 147

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the water-twice-a-day-plant-in-full-sunlight dept.
itwbennett writes "The MOOC (massive open online course) failure rate is notoriously high — only 1% of people who take the beginning computer science programming class, CS50, that Harvard offers over the EdX online platform complete it. A new effort in St. Louis called LaunchCode is changing that — and solving the city's programmer shortage. For the past several weeks, about 300 hardy souls have been gathering in a downtown St. Louis library to listen to the CS50 lectures and work together on the various programming problem sets. But the support offered by the all-volunteer run LaunchCode doesn't end with meet space. They're also doing an end-around on the traditional coder hiring process by pairing the students who complete the course with experienced programmers in one of more than a 100 tech companies who are looking for talent."
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How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:19AM (#46464255)

    I took Jennifer Widom's SQL course out of Stanford a couple years ago, just as a refresher (and to see if I could "hang" in a world class instutition). I found the class rewarding.

    At its peak we had 120k students. Now consider 1% of 120,000 is still 1200 students; far more than she could teach in a year at a school like Stanford.

    Yeah with MOOCs, like everything else accedemic, you get out of it what you put in. At least in these cases, they let us, the prospective student decide if we should be there, instead of weeding out students through the admissions process or with heavy prerequisites and other selective measures.

    Just like real college, many will fail and few will succeed. At least this way, my outcome is all up to me.

  • by greyparrot (895758) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:07PM (#46467779)
    I am gratified to hear you are willing to hire midlife people who are tired of the rat race. There is something to be said for programmers who understand how to understand your problem, figure out a solution in the language of your choice (and learn it if necessary), then explain what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. You will seldom get programmer/analysts from a quickie course in CS, and generally people need about 10 years in practice to have any idea what I am talking about. You should not be trying to compete with Silicon Valley for the cream of the young programmers. Even if you could afford them, and you can't, they would not be happy with you. The country is full of unemployed middle-aged and older programmers. You have to be willing to pay them a bit more than entry level, but of course there is value in these people.

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome