Beginner and expert coders, here’s where you can learn the skills you need

The COVID-19 pandemic has halted many opportunities for the working class, but it hasn’t stopped the ability for professionals to learn new skills.

Upskilling has been a popular outlet for tech professionals during this time, and new offerings have popped up to guide the way — such as College Park, Maryland-based Cybrary offering free online courses in cybersecurity and IT and even Adobe is offering some free resources.

For beginners and employed coding professionals alike, there’s never such a thing as too much practice. From weeks-long courses to monthly meetups and more, these education-focused organizations are providing resources to learn to code, even if you’ve never done it before. Here’s a few to check out:

This NYC-founded coding bootcamp teaches software engineering, computer programming, data science and UX/UI design. Located in WeWork Metropolitan Square in the District, Flatiron School normally hosts full-day workshops for beginner coders on the weekends, a 15-week software engineering course, online data science courses and more.

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The coding school has gone fully virtual indefinitely since the pandemic hit, offering its programs at a cheaper price. In its 2019 Jobs Report, Flatiron School reported that 100% graduates landed employment positions after finishing one of their programs, with an average starting salary of around $72,000 a year. The organization recently invested $100 million to support Income Share Agreements to increase accessibility.

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(Bonus: Read this Flatiron career coach’s advice for landing a job in tech, even amid the pandemic.)

Thinkful is an online coding bootcamp that focuses on teaching tech skills to students outside the main tech hubs, with an array of full-time and flexible monthly bootcamp opportunities, one-on-one mentoring and career services.

Thinkful has continued its online offerings through the pandemic, but it’s important to note that the organization has an IRL presence in D.C. normally.

Founded by Shannon Turner, a local full-stack developer, Hear Me Code offers free, beginner-friendly coding classes for women. After struggling to secure venues, Turner decided to end Hear Me Code’s monthly in-person classes in September 2019, but all course materials are still openly available online.

“Over the last six years, I think we’ve built something really special,” Turner said in a statement. “I especially want to thank the hundreds of you who have given your time as teaching assistants and teachers, passing on what you’ve learned and helping others to grow. You are the backbone of this group, and I’m so, so very grateful to you.”

Hear Me Code grew to a community of 3,500 women coders.

First launched in the District in 2013 under a partnership with 1776 DC, General Assembly is a coding school with full-time and part-time schooling options. GA has an extensive course offering that includes coding, design and digital marketing classes like software engineering, product management and visual design.

Prior to the pandemic, the coding school relocated its D.C. campus to Chinatown, where it occupies 9,500 square feet of space at 509 7th St. NW.

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The organization operates fully online now with instructors leading courses via Zoom, is offering both free classes and some that come with a price, and has plans to stay remote for a while. In its recent Student Outcomes Report, General Assembly reported that it has helped more than 12,000 students launch careers in data science, software development and user experience design. Graduates have gone on to work at top companies, including Amazon, Dell, Google, Home Depot and IBM.

Formerly known as Tech Lady Hackathon, Tech, Rebalanced offers classes on coding, civic hacking and other technical skills. Since its inception in 2013, the nonprofit has had a mission to create a noncompetitive space for beginners and advanced coders alike to learn or brush up on their skills. Tech, Rebalanced usually hosts a yearly hackathon and training day, but the organization wasn’t able to do that this year. The org recently launched a podcast to stay connected with the local tech community.

Women Who Code is an international nonprofit giving women entryways to tech with a support group of women in tech. The D.C. chapter, which launched in 2014, facilitates free technical study groups, career development and events with experts in the tech industry and investing. Women Who Code DC is hosting speaker support events online in hopes of inspiring women to improve their public speaking skills. The organization has more than 100 coding resources aspiring coders can tap into, including articles, tutorials and books.

Coding Dojo is a Tysons, Virginia-based coding bootcamp with a presence in the District. The Tysons campus teaches three different stack tracks in its curricula — Python, .NET Core and MERN — as well as an online program to introduce developers to data science. Coding Dojo’s programs run for about three and a half months each with tuition starting at $14,995. The coding bootcamp is operating virtually, and offering students two months of in-person instruction once their campuses are able to safely reopen.

Check out this firsthand experience from Coding Dojo Arlington graduate Joseph Iglecias, and also how the coding bootcamp has been revamping its work.

DC Python is a nonprofit that curates meetups and instructional events for developers to learn about Python in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. DC Python hosts frequent PythonLabs and project nights where attendees can learn specifics about Python and work on projects to foster Python software. The organization is still hosting these events virtually.

Founded in 2012, Code for DC is the Washington D.C. brigade of Code for America. The group of civic hackers hosts project nights where coders can come and contribute to different projects, or start their own. Code for DC welcomes coders of all backgrounds. In the past, the D.C. chapter has partnered with nonprofits to build a client intake system and create a comprehensive database of affordable housing data, according to its meetup site.

Code for DC has some upcoming project nights, including tonight at 7 p.m. and at the same time again on Oct. 20, both online.

Launched in 1997, this D.C.-based tech inclusion nonprofit offers computer training, IT certification and career services for adults seeking careers in tech. Byte Back teaches classes at its North Capitol Street NE campus in D.C., and also in Prince George’s County in Maryland. The nonprofit has three learning tracks: computer foundations 1, computer foundations 2 and a professional track for certifications.

Byte Back launched a new website last month, with some added features including a full online application for interested students in D.C. and Baltimore. The organization will continue operating virtually through 2020.

This group hosts monthly project nights — virtually now — for coders to come and learn and participate in projects surrounding Python web development. Django District also curates panel discussions with Python professionals.

Girls Who Code, targeted to grade-school girls, is a national nonprofit with a mission to increase the number of women in computer science careers. The D.C. chapter hosts a seven-week summer immersion program that features a computer science course that embeds classrooms in major media and tech companies. No prior coding experience is needed.

Girls Who Code launched a new initiative, Code at Home, which takes majority of its programming online for students, educators and parents.

George Washington University offers, full-time and part-time in-person or virtual coding bootcamps that cover a full stack of development concepts. Some of the coding languages include HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Java, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, MongoDB and MySQL. At the conclusion of the bootcamp, participants will receive a professional certificate to validate their coding skills.

The bootcamp is currently only offering its online programs, with part-time running 24 weeks and full-time running 12 weeks.

Did we miss anything? Let us know at dc@technical.ly and we’ll update this list accordingly.

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