Our goal is to place our students into entry level apprenticeships at our partner organizations and, ultimately, prepare them for professional careers as software engineers. In order to achieve this goal, we have to teach the skills that employers are actually seeking.

At Zip Code, our curriculum is designed by employers. Our Steering Committee, comprised of members from our partner organizations, directly influences what we teach.

Our Steering Committee includes Pete Steiner of Bank of America, Rashid Desai of Barclays, Pete Hayman of Capital One, Tim Savery of Chatham Financial, Ted Kinsler of Corporation Services Company, & Gary Moyer of JPMorgan Chase. Periodically, we invite them to review, edit and help us create our curriculum.

By working with employers, we are certain that Zip Code prepares students for entry level software development positions. We learn about the languages that are most important to employers (Java, Javascript and .Net), the frameworks that matter (AngularJS), and the importance of preparing students to work within a development team.

Through discussions with our Steering Committee, we decided to integrate projects that require students to use pieces of code that their teammates have built. Students will work in groups to build a user management module that they will use in future projects. However, they won’t be able to use the module that they built themselves. Instead, they’ll build upon a module that was created by another group and be responsible for tackling any bugs that arise.

By forcing students to build a module they know will be used by others, they are forced to write clean, understandable code that will be subject to code reviews by their peers. This helps students become better prepared to enter the dev environments at their apprenticeship sites.

We’re confident that our employer-focused approach will produce candidates with the skills needed to succeed in open software engineering jobs

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Want to learn more about the skills you need to become a software engineer? Check out more about our curriculum.