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New Course In Connecticut Targets Dearth Of Job-Ready Software Developers

Leo Leung
Creative Commons

A Milford-based entrepreneur is launching a training course designed to help with a shortage of web and mobile software developers -- an issue that’s only expected to get worse in coming years. It's estimated that nationwide, employers will need 1.4 million software developers over the next 10 years. The nation’s universities are only projected to produce 400,000 computer science graduates in that time.

"So we're going to have a deficit of about a million people who have the digital skills to work in web, mobile, marketing, and advertising -- even TV, as TV becomes increasingly application oriented," said Mark Lassoff. Those developers are going to have to come from somewhere.

Lassoff has been an evangelist for some time now on making coding and software skills accessible. He runs a Connecticut-based company called Learn To Program, an online learning experience.

Now he's designed an classroom course which he's calling Framework; he describes it as a bootcamp for would-be developers.

"We’ve worked with and talked to specific employers, designed a program around what they want in their junior developers - the exact skills they want them to have," said Lassoff. "Coding skills and the particular syntaxes, languages, frameworks and libraries that are used seem to change every 18 months or so."

The course will consist of four modules spread over 15 to 20 weeks, and will be taught to small cohorts of between five and eight students, each of whom will get plenty of personal attention.

And the emphasis is on accessibility. No specific prior experience is needed. The course cost is already low by industry standards, but Lassoff said he’s also looking for community partners to sponsor students, some of whom he expects to be career changers and veterans.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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