Photo Credit: Trailhead Boise

Code School Takes Shape at Trailhead

Getting a degree in computer science may sound daunting, though today it’s getting easier to learn technical skills through up-skilling programs that are taking shape in the Boise Valley.

Starting on June 13th, a cohort of students will be embarking on a 12-week intensive software programming education at Trailhead. A partnership between Boise Code Works (BCW) and Trailhead Boise, the goal is to launch a permanent code school in the basement of the Trailhead building.

Nic Miller, economic development director for the City of Boise and Trailhead board member explains that Boise is committed to making it easy for people to get a skilled education at any phase of their career. The code school at Trailhead sets students up for the opportunity to go to work immediately, or transition to Boise State where they can earn a 4-year degree. He explains, “It’s important to have a code school in the community that’s connected to entrepreneurs and supplies a workforce for their companies.”

Miller continues, “We have a lot of different things taking place relating to coding education in general. We’re working to create a corridor where anyone can learn how to code. Starting with the Boise Library offering code classes at one end of 8th Street, BCW and Trailhead providing a code school two blocks from there, and the Boise State Computer Science program only two blocks from Trailhead.”

Trailhead opened in downtown Boise in March 2015 as a co-working space and a hub for entrepreneurs to connect. Its success has been remarkable with over 250 members, and more than 50 companies working out of the space. Three of those companies have already expanded enough to be leasing their own space.

Raino Zoller, executive director of Trailhead explains, “The objective of Trailhead is to create more successful startups in the Treasure Valley. With the launch of the code school, the intent is to create a larger supply of software programmers that will help startups and the broader business community find more of the talent they need locally.”

By working out of Trailhead, companies are finding the talent they need because of the connections being made. Miller explains, “The new code school helps Trailhead move to the next level of not just growing companies, but growing talent. For Boise and the Valley, growing, retaining, and attracting talent is a top priority. The code school helps us do all three.”

In 2015, FastCompany wrote an article that listed Boise as one of the ‘Top 10 Cities for Tech Growth’ noting, “Boise has cemented itself as an affordable launch pad for tech careers, attracting major industry employers like Hewlett Packard and Microsoft along with a burgeoning startup ecosystem.” 

The same article explains, “The country’s hottest up-and-coming tech scenes in 2015 are typically found in mid-sized cities eager to make a name for themselves, offering big-city resources like universities, access to talent, and satellite offices of tech industry titans along with lower costs of living and a greater work/life balance.”

The Boise Valley has a high concentration of growing tech companies located directly in Downtown Boise including Whitecloud Analytics, MetaGeek, Cradlepoint, Clearwater Analytics, and many others. Growing resources to train talent in close proximity to those tech companies helps students and companies stay and work in the Boise Valley.

For more information on the new code school, you can learn more and register here:

Photo Credits: Trailhead Boise