Lelia King, formerly the Director of Communications at The Iron Yard, helped found Carolina Code School in Greenville, SC. Nestled in the heart of South Carolina’s Upstate tech hub, this nonprofit code school helps student master Web Development. We sat down with Lelia to find out more about Carolina Code School, what qualities make up their ideal student and what is happening in their near future.
Tell me about Carolina Code School. What does the program offer prospective students?
Carolina Code School is a local, nonprofit code school located in Greenville, SC. We offer a 12-week immersive Web Development course and a few part-time courses on our campus, and our mission is to mentor individuals into professional programmers and help them launch careers in technology.
You previous role was as Director of Communications at The Iron Yard. What inspired you to start a new bootcamp after The Iron Yard closed?
Our area - Upstate South Carolina - is home to thousands of technology companies. At last count, the Greenville area alone had hundreds of full-time job openings for tech workers. The need for a larger technology workforce - and specifically for software developers - is still very real here. When The Iron Yard closed, we knew our community would have a gap to fill. We decided to create a nonprofit school that is completely focused on the local community and we’re partnering with other local schools and institutions to make sure we train as many people as possible.
What type of students are the best fit for Carolina Code School?
The program is tailored to fit people who want to become software developers. Our students come from all backgrounds and all walks of life, but they all have a common goal. We don’t require experience in programming or any technical prerequisites, although we do encourage potential students to go through online programming tutorials or to enroll in our part-time Foundations course before enrolling in a full-time coding bootcamp so they can get a feel for what it’s like to be heads-down programming every day. We look for people who are curious, positive, and who are willing to work hard to achieve their goals.
Tell me more about Carolina Code School’s Web Development Immersive. What topics will students learn?
Students are exposed to fundamentals of both front-end and back-end engineering in our course, and then we put it all together with a hands-on final project that showcases their skills to the community during an open Demo Day. We choose specific languages and topics that match with the skills local employers are looking for.
What outcomes can a student expect to achieve by completing the program?
Our goal is to help students launch careers as software developers. The course includes career support, so in addition to gaining technical programming skills, our graduates will be equipped with the skills and support they need to land their first jobs in tech.
You’ve begun a partnership with Greenville Technical College. Can you tell me more about that?
What other ways is Carolina Code School working with community partners (employers, local mentors, etc.)?
We have a fantastic group of ambassadors who are all working as professional programmers right here in the community and who give our students insight into the transition from code school to careers. We are also part of NEXT, a community that supports high-growth entrepreneurs and startups here. We’re surrounded by people who are building technologies and businesses - it’s an inspiring place to learn.
How do you plan to grow Carolina Code School over the next few years?
Growth is not our number one goal - identifying talent gaps and helping to fill those gaps is more in line with our mission. So we will be listening and learning as we move forward to better understand how we can provide education and training that fits employer needs.
How can prospective students learn more about Carolina Code School and apply?
We’ve got a bit more information on our website and on social media, and we host regular Meetups. We’re always happy to chat so we encourage anyone interested to reach out!