An intensive coding bootcamp—CS50x Miami—is expanding to Homestead and North Campuses this fall semester.
The program was first offered at Miami Dade College last spring semester at Wolfson Campus and most recently this summer at Kendall and Wolfson Campuses. It is sponsored by the Idea Center at Wolfson Campus, which partnered with LaunchCode, a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri, that works with hundreds of companies to set up paid apprenticeships in technology.
“LaunchCode creates opportunities for people who want to code in Miami but otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity available to them,” said Matt Mawhinney, LaunchCode’s South Florida community manager. “It is an awesome way of honing digital literacy skills.”
The 20-week course teaches computer programming as well as critical thinking. The intense curriculum is derived from a course at Harvard and their on-line extension school. Coursework includes topics in mobile and web app development. It aims to give students a strong foundation so they can pursue a career in computer programming.
Mawhinney said the class is appropriate for computer masters and novices. With a deadline on Aug. 30, the course begins the week of Aug. 31, and meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Courses will be taught at the Wolfson and Homestead campuses this fall semester. Sections meet Saturday mornings at Wolfson, Homestead and North Campuses.
“The first group of students for CS50x Miami was very successful, however; some students underestimated time,” said Leandro Finol, executive director of the Wolfson Campus-based Idea Center. “We require 15 hours a week of dedication. Anybody can do this but you’ll need to have the time.”
Instructors create a fun, exciting and interactive environment for students. Starting off at a foundation level, instructors introduce material to the students to prepare them for the road ahead.
The CS50x program has successfully placed more than 220 people into apprenticeships since its inception 18 months ago.Mawhinney said the program is “still hitting their stride.”
Organizers and participants say the key to true success in the program lies in the ability to commit, portray dedication and possess superb time management skills.
“The program gives you all the tools that you need,” said Nilson Nascimento, an MDC graduate who was in the first CS50x Miami class and is now a junior software engineer at Life Wallet. “Once you get that, they throw you out into the wilderness and it’s up to you to work hard for yourself.”