In an environment where skilled programmers are hard to come by, LivingSocial decided to train their own. Earlier this year, the company launched the Hungry Academy. Twenty-four budding programmers were recruited and paid a living wage to train with them and learn how to program. To everyone’s surprise—the company as well as students—no one dropped out over the 5 months. In fact, all 24 participants were offered jobs with LivingSocial.
The Hungry Academy is interesting for a few reasons. First of all, it once again highlights how badly skilled programmers are needed in the current economy. Frankly, it’s ridiculous that for all the talk of college and career readiness, there is little to no emphasis in learning even the fundamentals of software engineering. Secondly, it shows that if you find people who are interested and dedicated, these are skills that can be taught in a short period of time.
But apparently, it’s more important that we teach her students how to fill in bubbles on a standardized state exam. That participate in the modern economy.