Twin Engine Labs is a mobile app development and strategy agency that is creating a way to expand the workforce in the Shreveport area. The agency has announced the next phase of programming for HackerForge.io, an intensive technology bootcamp that will teach qualified students to code in sessions of 2-day workshops, 5-week and 10 week boot camps.
In addition to the existing 10 week boot camp, beginning in November, two new courses will be offered in Unity 3D and Growth Hacking/Digital Marketing, to be followed with an expanded curriculum at the start of next year. HackerForge.io is focused on teaching how to use modern programming languages and tools in a practical environment, with a focus on increasing a skilled workforce.
“Our growth has always been hindered by recruiting challenges,” said Keith Hanson, CEO at Twin Engine Labs. “We could could say ‘yes’ to many more entrepreneurs if we could bring in more qualified applicants, but modern programming skills aren’t being taught in the area. We came to the conclusion that the best way to find qualified candidates who are immediately available would be to train them ourselves, and continue to grow our senior talent internally through apprenticeships. That was the start of HackerForge.io.”
The program aims to be beneficial for the entire Shreveport community, including students, instructors, businesses and the city:
- For students, HackerForge.io is often the start to a brand new career path. Twenty percent of HackerForge.io’s initial graduates have been hired by employers in the area, based on the work they completed in the course.
- For instructors, HackerForge.io provides an avenue to sharpen training skills earn supplementary income. Instructors are paid twice the going rate for adjunct instructors in the area, and are provided with qualified teaching assistants for each class.
- For companies in the Shreveport area, HackerForge.io offers a practical way to find qualified candidates. HackerForge.io hosts an “inverted job fair” toward the end of the course, in which students have the opportunity to display their projects. Potential employers are invited to meet the students, ask questions, look at programs and code, and find their next batch of interns and employees.
- For the Shreveport area, programs like HackerForge.io provide economic opportunities. HackerForge.io helps local people need to develop necessary job skills, so that they can find better jobs and companies don’t have to look elsewhere in order to fill open positions.
“The key difference at HackerForge.io is the schedule — they offer intense night courses twice a week, which allowed me to continue supporting myself with my existing job while gaining the entry level skills I needed in order to change careers,” said Kenneth Beers, recent HackerForge.io graduate. “By the time the course was finished, I understood the core fundamentals of programming, and had two projects to show potential employers. I ended up being offered a position for a software company based on the qualifications I gained through HackerForge.io.”
Twin Engine Labs says all of the program’s graduates have emerged with a solid technical understanding of how to code in Rails, as well as two major portfolio pieces — one “demo” app and one “real-world” project. So far, 20 percent of graduates have been hired by employers in the Shreveport area.