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There’s an app for that: College and Accelerate Okanagan partner to offer new coding program

Okanagan College Media Release

In an era of smartphones, tablets and mobile computing, applications – apps to most of us - are at the core of making it all happen, but the industry that produces them requires talented and trained developers to turn ideas into on-screen reality.

In response to the exponential growth in app popularity and sector demand, Okanagan College and Accelerate Okanagan have partnered to offer a new Mobile Coding for Android and iOS program starting this fall.

"Accelerate Okanagan received valuable feedback from industry that iOS and Android are the languages most in demand for programming training needs," says Pilar Portela, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. "The format of this specialized training is key to developing local talent which will assist in connecting companies with highly skilled workers."

With room for 16 students, the program is currently accepting applications for an October intake. Four months of part-time classes on evenings and Saturdays will be followed by a five-week practicum with one of the region’s tech companies that Accelerate Okanagan will help students connect with.

"This program answers the expressed needs of the region’s technology sector," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "With financial support from the province, we’ve developed a curriculum that will enable students to advance in their careers, and give them the job skills training necessary to excel in the field of app development."

Geared towards individuals currently working in coding, the class schedule will allow them to remain in the workforce.

Students will learn how to create an app for Android and iOS systems that includes responsive and functional technology that can be converted from one platform to another, meaning it is adaptable to be functional on a smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer on multiple operating systems.

The program took shape following a funding announcement made in April by the B.C. Government in support of the regional tech economy. During a press conference in Kelowna, Premier Christy Clark announced $250,000 to be provided to five post-secondary institutions to advance coding skills among the tech sector workforce. Okanagan College received $50,000. Working with Accelerate Okanagan and in consultation with tech leaders, the College has developed this program.

Program admission prerequisite criteria include applicants having some programming experience, a demonstrated foundation in object-oriented programming, a clear understanding of databases (such a MySQL) and libraries, and an established aptitude for math.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to pitch their app idea to Accelerate Okanagan for a chance to earn a scholarship that will help the individual build a business around the app in order get it ready for market.

"We are proud to partner with Okanagan College for this innovative new program that will give young talent the opportunity to excel in the tech industry that is quickly becoming the backbone of our region," says Portela.

For more information and to apply to the program, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/coding.