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Georgia Tech-Savannah graduates its first Coding Boot Camp

The internet is the best, and sometimes only, link to fundamental information and networks, but code is the power to unlock it all

As web design and development move to the forefront in today’s economy, Georgia-Tech Savannah this week graduated its first Coding Boot Camp. The intense six-month program teaches the fundamentals of coding and web development.

“I have never seen code before, and I definitely feel like I got a lot out of this boot camp,” graduate Laurie Zipperer said.

While other courses are a great way to get a feel for coding, the Georgia Tech program offers students more one-on-one time with instructors for mock interviews, career coaching, sample coding tests and career events; those experiences, Zipperer said, were crucial.

“Compared to a lot of the other boot camps that the surrounding area offers, this is the best one. … The amount of support that Georgia Tech offers is just unbelievable,” Zipperer said.

Graduate Kandace Sweat participated in a coding-based certificate program before graduating from the University of Georgia in 2013 with a degree in communications. It was that program that exposed her to coding, mobile apps and building websites, cementing her path in web development.

“That steered me away from public relations, and I knew once I graduated that coding is what I wanted to do and it’s what I’m passionate about,” said Sweat, who now works at Daniel Defense as a web application developer.

Sweat came to realize that she needed to further her coding and technical background. She found the Georgia Tech program through an email sent by her company.

“I needed that technical background, and I needed an academic way of learning coding and needed someone to go to if I ran into problems,” she said.

The students said time management was one of the biggest challenges of the 24-week course, but the support from instructors and staff was unmatched.

“It was a struggle, especially when we came to difficult concepts, which there were a lot of, but the teaching assistants and everyone else is extremely helpful, and if you had an issue with a problem you could always go to them and we always came to a solution,” Sweat said.

“I don’t think I ever had a problem that we didn’t come to a solution on.”

Sweat said she’s been able to apply her knew skills at her job and has created a Learning Management System that will serve as a hub where training directors can upload material for new employees.

“It’s helped a lot. There are so many projects and possibilities. I’m really excited about it,” she said.

Zipperer, who currently serves as community manager at The Creative Coast, plans to use what she learned to build on her professional career and contribute to the local technology scene in Savannah.

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