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11 Sep 2018

Becoming a Junior Developer after Fifty: Tech Talk with Scott Jansen

Three years ago, Scott broke back into the software industry after spending twenty years on a different career path. His skills in COBOL were no longer sufficient, so he attended The Tech Academy Software Developer Boot Camp to sharpen up on the most in-demand programming languages. In this talk, Scott shares the ups and downs of learning new technologies after deciding to change his career path, the struggles of finding a job, and his experience working at a new company with younger but more experienced coders. After overcoming numerous obstacles, Scott Jansen now finds himself in a great career as a software developer. We're excited to have him back sharing the lessons he's learned along the way. Lessons not only helpful for those considering a career in tech after fifty, but anyone at any age looking for a career change!

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12 Sep 2018

Coding Bootcamp vs. Computer Science Degree

We’ve all read stories about the difficulties facing millennials in today’s changing job market. Against this backdrop of news coverage, the following statistic is especially astounding: each year there are nearly nine times more open computing positions (Source 1) than their are newly graduated Computer Science majors to fill them. Jobs in the computing field are growing at pace nearly three times the national average (Source 2). This is happening at a time when 44% of millenials are chronically underemployed (Source 3). Something doesn’t add up. What is keeping people from snatching up all these well-paying jobs in a growing and exciting field? The issue at hand isn’t a lack of willing applicants. Rather, it’s a lack of feasible education options. For their part, college and university Computer Science departments are doing their best to grow with the market. Enrollment has skyrocketed (Source 4) over the last decade and the curriculum has changed to reflect the modern workplace. However two major factors put a cap on the ability of Academia alone to fill this nine-fold employment gap. Firstly, higher ed institutions can only accept so many students each year, and so naturally not every applicant will get in. Secondly, CS has one of the highest dropout rates of any major. But we can’t rely on colleges and universities alone to correct this imbalance. For those looking to change their career later in life, a career in coding or development may seem impossible because the traditional path towards them is inaccessible. After the college age-group, most people already have student debt and/or serious financial or familial obligations that make it extremely difficult if not impossible to attend a four-year degree program in Computer Science. By offering an alternative education model for an in-demand career field, coding bootcamps promise to be part of the solution. With a curriculum that is rigorous and accelerated and a tuition model that is flexible and affordable, bootcamps like The Tech Academy are making tech industry careers possible to driven, aspiring developers from all walks of life. A faster, cheaper model of career training is understandably the better fit for those who aren’t capable or willing to pursue and pay for a (possibly second) four-year-degree. In being more welcoming to differing life circumstances, bootcamps are also proving to inject the tech industry with some much needed diversity. As the above infographic from WhatsTheHost ( shows, the average coding bootcamp grad comes from a very different background than the average Computer Science major. Different life situations call for different choices. Check out some of the most noteworthy differences in the infographic above that an aspiring programmer should consider when deciding between a coding bootcamp education and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science! Sources · Source 1: · Source 2: · Source 3: · Source 4:

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17 Sep 2018

Tech Talk: Brian O'Neal

Brian O'Neal works for Atmosera, a certified Microsoft Cloud Services Provider and Cloud OS Network provider delivering managed Microsoft Azure and Azure Pack/Stack (private Microsoft Cloud Platform) to companies and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers globally. In another great Tech Academy talk, Brian speaks about what prospective employers are looking for in technical hiring. Enjoy!

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24 Sep 2018

Should I Answer That?: Tech Talk with Aaron Frichtl

In a second part to Aaron's "The Art of Questioning" Tech Talk, this talk is focused on deflecting specific interview questions and figuring out ways to answer them in a positive manner. Aaron Frichtl is our outstanding Job Placement Director at The Tech Academy.

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02 Oct 2018

Tech Talk: Julio Barros

There is a lot of excitement and hype around Machine Learning and A.I., but there are few people who have a good understanding of what the different terms and approaches mean. This presentation will give you an overview of machine learning, explain how it differs from regular programming and traditional statistics, and provides suggestions for where it's appropriate. Our speaker also shares where to go if AI and machine learning pique your interest! The Speaker: Julio Barros is a machine learning consultant in Portland, Oregon and has been developing software for over 20 years. He loves all things data, AI/ML, technology, teaching and mentoring. Julio holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Science from GMU and UVA respectively, is active in the community and runs the PDX Clojure, Deep Learning and Probabilistic Programming meetups.

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