Coal Miners to Craftsmen

What makes a good software developer, and how do we bring new people with the talents that we need into our industry? In 2014 Michael Bloomberg said that coal miners can’t just go learn to code, a statement that was rejected by Mark Zuckerberg, Mined Minds, and coal miners alike. In this presentation, Amanda Laucher and Jonathan Graham will share insights from the free programming training that they have been providing in rural areas of southwest Pennsylvania & West Virginia, where traditional industries (coal mining) are in decline. They will discuss the approaches they have taken to develop a diverse group of programmers from local residents with no previous coding experience, and the steps they are taking to seed a new tech industry in the area. If you think it’s important to give something back to the community, see the value of inspiring people from diverse backgrounds to code, and are interested in techniques for teaching the fundamentals of software development, then this talk will be of interest to you.