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Jobs in computer science are a key contributor to a successful workforce. By 2020, computer occupations are projected to add 3.4 million new jobs across the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To meet this growing demand, the City of Boise, the Boise Public Library and Trailhead have partnered together on BoiseCodes – an innovative program that provides easily accessible opportunities to learn to code and keep skills sharp.

Goals include:

  • Provide coding education for all ages and skillsets
  • Make Boise a competitive tech town
  • Build a digitally-literate workforce to fulfill current and future industry needs
  • Attract and retain new business and a skilled workforce
  • Support collaboration, growth and innovation between industry and community

Partners have already achieved the following outcomes, in the form of class offerings:

Beginning Coders
From take-home Kano computer kits and Dash & Dot robots, to hands-on instruction and STEM activities at the Library, there are numerous opportunities to introduce markup and programming languages to aspiring coders.

Coding Enthusiasts
Enthusiasts can access online coding education through and, as well as take hands-on instruction and coding classes taught by both Library and outside experts.

Advanced Coders
Starting Summer 2016, Trailhead, Boise’s startup hub, will launch Trailhead Code School. These immersive, 12-week courses will offer students an opportunity to take deeper dives into specific areas of computer science, including CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap and more.

Child and father use a tablet computer to control small robots while library staff assist.

The friendly faces and voices of Dash and Dot robots get all ages excited about coding (and xylophones!). © Otto Kitsinger

Additional opportunities include:

  • Hackfort – Born from Treefort Music Fest, Hackfort convenes the brightest from the Boise tech community with world-class innovators through panel discussions, workshops and TED-style talks that explore the intersection of technology with education, civic life and the arts.
  • Boise State University – Boise’s metropolitan research university of distinction is launching the Summer of Technology program, a collaboration between the College of Innovation & Design and the Computer Science Department. Classes will be open to degree seeking students and community members with core classes held evenings at Trailhead in downtown Boise. In the fall of 2016, the Computer Science Department will be moving downtown—just a few blocks up 8th Street from the Library! and Trailhead.
  • Boise Public Library – In addition to the free early coding resources, the Boise Library offers opportunities for those with higher skill level. These opportunities include: dedicated computers for coding, meeting rooms available for meet-up groups, and opportunities to demonstrate and test your games and other programs in a library system that sees approximately 4,000 people each day.
  • Summer of Code Idaho – The J.A. and Kathryn Albertsons Family Foundation has partnered with Khan Academy to sponsor Summer of Code Idaho. This free program teams K-12 students with adult coaches to work through an introductory course in JavaScript over a six-week period.




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