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Okanagan College is teaming up with Lighthouse Labs - one of Canada’s fastest-growing computer coding trainers - to offer an introductory course that will start students on the path to a career in coding.
The Coding Fundamentals course begins Oct. 11 in Kelowna and will provide students with some of the most in-demand skills in the high-tech marketplace. Over the course of 60 hours, students will build their coding literacy and learn the fundamentals of web development. Talented developers will mentor students as they work with templates and create apps using coding languages including Ruby, Sinatra and Swift.
“Coding is garnering a lot of interest from educators and employers,” observes Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies and Corporate Training department. “Lighthouse Labs is a recognized leader in this field. We are excited to collaborate with them on this leading edge course.”
Lighthouse Labs co-founders Jeremy Shaki and Khurram Virani are among those who see the need for more focus on coding and more educational opportunities. During last fall’s federal election, they called on all political leaders to put coding at the forefront of their policy platforms.
“We're disappointed,” they wrote in an open letter. “The tech community is disappointed. And many Canadians, from coast to coast, are disappointed with the lack of discussion on the importance of technology, technology education, and code literacy to drive prosperity and innovation across Canada. We know that technology is the beating heart to drive progress in Canada and that it is the biggest driver of growth in the industrialized world.”
Some levels of government are paying attention. The B.C. government, for instance, announced earlier this year that coding will be a component of its public school curriculum. This came just as an industry analysis revealed that Canada could face a shortage of 182,000 information and communications technology workers by 2019. The new Coding Fundamentals course has been made possible as a result of a Provincial investment in coding programs at several B.C. institutiions.
One Okanagan company with an interest in finding qualified employees and which has experience with Lighthouse Labs is FreshGrade, which has developed apps for use by teachers, parents and students that are in use in 70 countries by more than a million people.
"FreshGrade has always been invested in helping grow the Okanagan tech community, and more developer talent will only support that growth,” says Steve Wandler, Co-Founder of FreshGrade. “It's wonderful to see organizations like Lighthouse Labs come into the community and partner with the Okanagan College to train locals to fill the demand for tech talent."
"We've worked closely with Lighthouse Labs in the past, and are looking forward to seeing the positive impact on Kelowna's industry with the addition of more coding training opportunities."
The course is being offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings, beginning Oct. 11. The cost is $1,800. For more information about the course, visit Okanagan.bc.ca/coding