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22 Apr 2019

TECH TALK: MAYOR TED WHEELER

We'd like to introduce you to our Tech Academy Tech Talks with this very special Tech Talk from 2017 with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler! He joined us to speak to our students, staff, and tech community about the state of the tech industry in Portland, the different opportunities available, and initiatives the city is taking to nurture and grow the industry while keeping Portland true to itself.

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23 Apr 2019

Why Aren't More People Interested In Studying Technology?

Posted By: The Tech Academy

By: Jack C. Stanley, Co-Founder of The Tech Academy




It’s our fault.


Technology professionals (AKA the nerds and geeks) aren’t always the most welcoming bunch. It’s all too common for those involved in technology to talk down to others, or attempt to impress others with [through utilization of] highly technical and esoteric terms.


I’m not saying that coders are rude – but when it comes to communicating about technical concepts with the average person (i.e. the non-coder), there’s often room for improvement.


Just listen to how hackers on tv shows and in movies talk. They spew out terms that most people don’t understand. They are speaking a different language and that different language causes a breach between them and the listener.


People tend to tease that which they don’t understand – which is probably why “nerds” were bullied so much in the past (see: Revenge of the Nerds).


Whether or not we mean to, failing to speak in an understandable fashion can actually push some people away.


Now, there are occasional cases of pure arrogance. The developers who try to make others feel stupid for not knowing about the newest technology or who put down others when they make mistakes. Such people attempt to dominate those around them through shattering their self esteem.


This “I’m better than you because I know something you don’t” attitude is as ridiculous as a master pianist criticizing a novice piano player that can’t perform Bach.


It takes months to become a beginner in coding. It takes years to become an expert. Making others feel dumb because they don’t share your level of experience is folly, and only serves to slam the door in the faces of those looking to break into this industry.


The point is that we as developers need to show more patience, tolerance, understanding and compassion.


We should be mentors and teachers for people. And an important element of being a teacher is talking to others at their level of understanding and bringing them up from there. Reverse-wise: don’t talk over people's heads. This means to define terms and explain concepts as simply as possible and in a way the “student” can understand.


Don’t assume someone else knows something just because you do.


In recent years, people that earned computer science degrees accounted for less than 4% of those graduating with bachelor degrees. With CS degree-related jobs being some of the highest paying jobs for college graduates, one would expect more interest, right?


Well, believe it or not, the required vocabulary and how we flaunt it is part of the problem with expanding the industry.


I’m not saying this is the only reason. To be honest, computer programming isn’t always presented as the sexiest profession. Whereas shows like Suits and Grey’s Anatomy glamorize law and medical degrees respectively, outside of Silicon Valley (an exaggerated view of a lifestyle that doesn’t reflect what 99% of coders experience day to day) or the geeks who slam out thousands of lines of codes in seconds and hack to prevent the world from ending, coding isn’t always presented in the most exciting light.


When you look at your career choices, money is only one element of the decision process. Other factors include: what your purpose is, doing something you enjoy, helping others, making a difference, etc.


The thing about coding that I don’t think the general public understands is how creative and artistic it is. You get to build something from scratch. Imagine creating a blueprint for a house and then constructing it. It’s like that. It’s your house. You made it.


There’s also no way around the fact that coding requires a sharp mind. You will be forced to figure things out, spend a lot of time researching for solutions – it’s definitely a “thinking” profession.


But look at several of the top companies on the planet: THEY’RE TECH COMPANIES! The richest people on the planet own tech companies. We are surrounded by technology on every hand.


There’s tremendous gain to be had in learning to code – it doesn’t just open the door to working in the top industry on Earth - who knows, you might end up creating the next big thing!


At The Tech Academy, we have attempted to make technology understandable for anyone. To that end, the first course we offer students is the Computer and Technology Basics Course. In this class, students learn nearly 1,000 technical terms defined in a clear and simple way. There are also nearly 100 videos on the course that walk students through every element of computers and how they work.


I wrote the scripts for these videos myself and the definitions. My Co-Founder (Erik Gross – who has an extensive background in technology and teaching) then edited the content to ensure complete technical accuracy. He even personally delivers the whiteboard presentations in these videos.


An important note on this is that we didn’t use any existing definitions or videos. We had to create these from scratch because the existing materials that we could find were too difficult for most beginners.


When creating the content for this course, the discipline I enforced on myself was, “I need to write this in such a way that the average teenager or elderly person could understand.” Meaning, I assumed no prior knowledge on the part of the student.


It was hard work and took over a thousand hours of my and Erik’s time, and we both sincerely hope we accomplished what we set out to do.


If you don’t know how to code: the doors to technology are open for you.


If you’re a coder: please lend a helping hand and hold the doors open for others to follow you in.




About the author: With years of executive and managerial experience, Jack C. Stanley has overseen The Tech Academy since its inception. He owns and operates several successful companies.

His background in teaching and curriculum development contributed greatly to the creation of The Tech Academy’s boot camps. As the Co-Founder and chairman of the school’s Board of Directors, he supervises the day-to-day activities and long-term planning for the school.

The Tech Academy is a technology school that trains students in computer programming and web development. They are the proud recipient of SwitchUp.Org’s and CourseReport.Com’s Best Coding Boot Camp award and were named the “World’s Greatest Code School” by How2Media.




The Tech Academy offers a wide range of services including:

  • Coding boot camps
  • Customized training classes for companies and groups
  • Advanced developer training
  • Software development
  • Staffing
And more…





Visit learncodinganywhere.com to find out more.

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25 Apr 2019

THE TECH ACADEMY PODCAST: Ep. 2 Oz du Soleil

Posted By: Lindsey Young, Marketing Director

This week host Erik Gross sat down with Oz du Soleil, excel developer, blogger, trainer, raconteur and Microsoft excel MVP. He’s known for a colorful and fierce commitment to empowering people who don’t have an IT team or the skill set to manage their own data. He’s also lead author of the book, Guerrilla Data Analysis 2nd Ed., co-written with Mr. Excel, Bill Jelen, and host of the YouTube channel Excel on Fire. In this episode Erik and Oz discuss their shared experiences in the US Navy, we hear about the transition Oz made from working at a call center to becoming a data analyst, and what makes a good analyst. To wrap things up, Jack Stanley shares an insightful tip for anyone on the job hunt.

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27 Apr 2019

Tech Talk: Intro to Crypto Currency & Blockchain

Posted By: The Tech Academy

If you've ever asked yourself "What is Crypto Currency?", then you wont want to miss this! In this Tech Talk, our guest speaker Derek Meyer gives us an introduction to Crypto Currency and Blockchain, followed by an awesome Q&A session.

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30 Apr 2019

6 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL NETWORKING

Posted By: The Tech Academy

By: Lindsey Young, Marketing Director of The Tech Academy




It’s estimated that 70-80% of junior level positions are not posted. So how do companies fill these positions? Every introverts worst dream: Networking.

Per a recent study, 85% of all jobs are filled through networking!

Networking refers to going out and meeting new people. It’s spreading the word about what you can offer. Networking can also refer to utilization of existing connections (such as friends and family) to obtain new connections – such as meeting the Hiring Manager of a company through a friend that works there. Basically, it comes down to promoting yourself to others and forming new relationships.

Networking is an important part of any career. It can present you with opportunities to learn from experts and your peers, present you with an opportunity to work on side projects that align with your interests, give you a sense of community in your field of work, and most notably networking can greatly improve your chances of landing a great job.

For many beginners, networking can be an intimidating task, so we’ve put together 6 tips to help you blossom into a networking pro:

  1. Attend meetups
  2. The hardest part of networking is often knowing where to go. One of the best places to start is finding groups with similar interests on Meetup.com or other such websites. While the idea of walking into a room with strangers can seem intimidating, most of these meetups are a casual setting of people networking and sharing ideas.

  3. Learn how to network through experience
  4. As an introvert myself, learning this skill was an uphill battle sprinkled with awkward encounters. There are countless books and resources online that can provide a great plan and starting point, such as The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide by John Sonmez, but the best way to improve your networking skills is to put yourself out there and get some practice.

    Find similar interests by asking open ended questions. Asking about projects that they’re passionate about or how they got their start in tech or at their company are good ways to get the ball rolling.

    Simply put: ask questions about them and then tell them what you’re looking for.

  5. Have a purpose and plan beforehand
  6. Are you networking to find a job? To increase sales? To learn new skills? To find an investor?

    Establish a clear goal so that you’re adequately prepared when you go out. Your reason for networking also affects what types of events you attend. For example: someone looking for a job in manufacturing wouldn’t attend a book club (though, who knows?).

    Once you’ve established the “product” you want to obtain through networking, make a plan. Your plan could be as simple as: “Talk to as many people as I can,” “If they go around asking everyone to introduce themselves, mention that I am interested in a developer position,” “Hand out 25 business cards,” etc.

    Being prepared and focused will help ensure you take full advantage of the opportunity, and could help alleviate your nerves.

  7. Have business cards
  8. What might seem like an outdated practice in the days of LinkedIn, Business cards make it easy for anyone to follow up with you, while also showing professionalism and preparation.

    If you are currently unemployed, simply put “Software Developer” or some such title on the card. At many meetups, they even have a place where attendees can leave business cards.

  9. Don’t be “bad at names”
  10. After leaving an event with multiple business cards, keeping track of who’s who can be difficult. A good practice is to write a note about your exchange with someone on their business card or in a notebook to help remember who you meet. You can even keep a spreadsheet of all the contacts made and track future follow ups. Try to do this right after leaving an event, while your memories are still fresh.

  11. Follow Up
  12. You won’t need to follow up with everyone you meet, but it’s important to know how to effectively do so when you’re interested in building a professional relationship. It’s nice to add a personal touch, so when following up (via email or LinkedIn) try to circle back to something you were discussing.

    For example: You can send them an interesting link relevant to your conversation or let them know how a piece of advice they gave you helped you out. Just mentioning what you were discussing could be helpful to jog the recipients memory, but try to contribute something to the conversation. If you’re looking for a job, send them your resume.

At The Tech Academy, we cover networking and the best job search practices in our Job Placement course (which is part of all our coding boot camps). To find out more, contact us today!




About the author: Lindsey Young is a Marketing professional who has been with The Tech Academy for over 2 years, where she has been part of a team whose goal is to help aid in the continued growth of the bootcamp and success of the students.

As The Tech Academy’s Marketing Director, she helps oversee ad and sponsorship campaigns, content creation, social media management, and all things marketing.

The Tech Academy is a technology school that trains students in computer programming and web development. They are the proud recipient of SwitchUp.Org’s and CourseReport.Com’s Best Coding Boot Camp award and were named the “World’s Greatest Code School” by How2Media.




The Tech Academy offers a wide range of services including:

  • Coding boot camps
  • Customized training classes for companies and groups
  • Advanced developer training
  • Software development
  • Staffing
And more…





Visit learncodinganywhere.com to find out more.


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