From this article at ReadWriteWeb on the Ladies Learning Code team come the story of them starting HackerYou and pursing other opportunities for women to learn to code and not in a University setting. Read the article, it is an interesting team of women tackling a difficult problem.
A university alternative
As to the need of a private alternative to the university system, Payne points to a survey finding high demand for software developers from startups. A paper presented at the European Conference on Information Systems in 2009 confirms the need for information technology workers, even in a down economy.
Still, a 2008 study found that enrollment in university computer science programs in all but one Canadian region was actually down between 36% and 64% from its peak in 2002.
Computer science education has its issues in the U.S., as well. The University of Florida planned to cut its computer science department, and though the most drastic version of that plan has since been withdrawn, students and faculty are still fight to save the department.
Regardless of what you think of the merits of universal code literacy, HackerYou and similar programs in other cities – such as Code Academy in Chicago, General Assembly in New York City and Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco – have an opportunity to help close the talent gap.
About the SparkFun Education Department
SparkFun Electronics thrives by sharing ingenuity and developing a more approachable environment for everyone, regardless of their technical experience level. The Department of Education is dedicated to improving the interest and diversification in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields by encouraging kinesthetic and tangible learning with affordable, accessible and relevant technologies. By collaborating with educators and industry partners we hope to create products and curricula that provide students with the necessary skill sets to succeed in these industries. Our nascent project shows great promise in the formal learning centers of K-12 and higher education as well as nontraditional settings like museums, hackerspaces, and community events. Ultimately, we strive to create materials and tools that inspire people of all ages to play, create and invent.
SparkFun’s Department of Education and our pal Ludus are proud to welcome you to the SparkFun Education Website. Here you’ll find all sorts of goodies relating to education and electronics. The DoE (that’s Department of Education) started in February of 2011 working towards making electronics and technology a more integrated part of the education curriculum all over the world. We provide resources for educators to teach 21st century hardware and software skills. Every day we’re dedicated to rounding up people from all different walks of life and getting them interested in the world of electronics. Our goal is to create fun and hands-on ways of helping people learn skills that will last a lifetime. We love to watch people come up with innovative projects and hope our site will offer some help along the way. Welcome to learn.sparkfun.com and enjoy your journey!