Posts about Grand Circus News

Decoding Diversity in Tech: A Practical Guide

August 8, 2016

Grand Circus shares insights on diversity in tech and how to make it a company priority

Diversity gets talked about a lot in tech circles.  It’s not a new issue but one that has become especially topical since Google’s famous (and damning) 2014 employee survey.  The survey results laid bare Google’s record on diversity; only 30% of Google’s workforce are women, 3% Hispanic and 2% Black.  Not good.

So why does this matter?

At Grand Circus, we think that the tech industry should reflect the diversity of our broader community.  We’ve baked this idea into our core values and it guides how we hire team members, recruit students and design programs.  I’m proud of our record but in city where 90% of the population is Black or Latino we have more work to do.

(more…)

The Grand Circus Apprenticeship Program: Building a Pipeline of Detroit Tech Talent

August 1, 2016

students enjoying their tech apprenticeship at Grand Circus

Grand Circus is excited to announce the upcoming Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Detroit residents, a partnership with the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Detroit’s workforce agency. The program model is simple: After a free pre-apprenticeship bootcamp, apprentices interview for a paid apprenticeship position at a local company. For 10 to 12 months, apprentices work as a developer, gaining more skills and experience until receiving their apprenticeship credentials.

Why is this training model so important? How does a tech apprenticeship program benefit both the city and her residents?

Well let’s go back to March 2015. President Obama and the White House announced the launch of TechHire, an initiative to get more Americans trained for an exponentially growing technology sector. It’s projected that the number of jobs for software developers alone will grow by 27% by 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (more…)

DEVELOP(her), A Free Coding Bootcamp for Women

May 31, 2016

Update: This blog post was written about our 2016 program. Applications are now closed. 

On July 18, we’ll kick off DEVELOP(her), a coding bootcamp for women in the Detroit and Flint communities. DEVELOP(her) is an innovative program that will allow us to find, train and unleash 20 female developers into the world. So why a bootcamp just for women?

Let’s take a look at some stats to explain. Women dominate the workforce and universities in the U.S. (57% for both), but when we look at representation in tech, women aren’t equally represented. Women are just 25% of the computing workforce. For those of us who decide to pursue a career in tech, less than 50% stay in those tech roles.   

Free Coding Bootcamp for Women

There’s clearly a missing link. In elementary and middle school, women have just as much interest in science, math and tech as their male counterparts. I’m sure you’ve heard this narrative. Somewhere between high school and college, a large number of us pursue a different path whether it’s because of a lack of exposure, misinformed beliefs or not seeing any STEM sheroes.

(more…)

7 Reasons to Attend Grand Circus’ Next Demo Day

May 18, 2016

Whether you’re a prospective student, a company looking for a developer or a community member just interested in cool things happening in Detroit, you won’t want to miss this!

Here are 7 reasons why this is an event you wouldn’t want to miss!

(more…)

Kim: A Profile in Power Pants

May 12, 2016

I’ve been at Grand Circus for just over a year now. Since I started last February, GC has run 16 bootcamps, hired 7 new full-time team members and hosted a slew of amazing events I felt so lucky to get to attend. We have developed an incredibly talented Learning Team (shout out to every single one of those rockstars), refined curriculum, unveiled an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Google For Entrepreneurs, and kicked off a Department of Labor sponsored apprenticeship program. A year at a startup can be a lifetime to many, so I thought I’d share a few of my lessons learned from the last several months.

Director of Learning at Grand Circus Detroit Kim Driscoll

5 Lessons Learned in my First Year at Grand Circus:

(more…)

5 Reasons We Love Having Our Business in Detroit

April 1, 2016

The city of Detroit has gotten a lot of publicity in recent years about opportunities for companies, particularly those in the tech space. Downtown Detroit has become increasingly attractive for entrepreneurs, business owners and startups. In Part 5 of our Detroit blogging series, we’re exploring reasons why having a business in Detroit just makes sense. This guest blog post was written by Gabe Kwakyi, a coworker at Grand Circus and Co-Founder & CEO of Incipia

Incipia enjoys having a business in detroit

When it came time to start our brand new app development and marketing business, the initial thought that my co-founder, Gregory Klein, and I admittedly had was to move to California and join the tech rush. Yet, after we took some time to think more rationally about it, we decided instead to move back to Detroit to start our business. Both my partner and I were born and raised in the metro Detroit area, giving us a slightly biased viewpoint on staying in the area. That being said, there are five key reasons, besides being from the area, as to why we love having our business in Detroit.

5 Reasons We Love Having Our Business in Detroit

(more…)

6 Reasons You Should Rent a Coworking Space in Detroit

February 25, 2016

The basic principles of coworking go way back. Centuries ago artists and writers participated in collectives that likely looked a lot like what we now call coworking. For the uninitiated, coworking is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, yet independent activity. Unlike the typical office environment, a coworking space is generally shared by individuals from different organizations and professions.

Detroit coworking space at Grand Circus

A recent study estimates that by 2020, more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers. With this growing freelancer economy, a rise in dedicated coworking spaces makes sense. But what are the benefits and why should you consider renting a desk in a Detroit coworking space?

(more…)

What I Learned About Grand Circus in my First Month

February 18, 2016

Did you know… Did you know, in 2018, 89.1% of full-time bootcamp graduates were employed within 180 days of graduation?

It’s one of many things I’ve learned about Grand Circus since starting a month ago. This tech hub in the heart of Detroit is a busy space with a lot going on. Even if you get our monthly email newsletter and follow us on social, it can be easy to miss some of the fantastic projects happening here. For someone who is just starting with the company, it can be a lot to take in. But the more I get to know about Grand Circus, the prouder I am to be a part of it.

photo of the Grand Circus team in Detroit Michigan

(I’m the one on the bottom right)

(more…)

Code Retreat: A Day to Practice Clean Code

October 14, 2015

One of the ideals we strive for and try to impart to our students at Grand Circus is clean code. Clean code is a broad topic deserving it’s own series of posts, but in brief, code is clean if it exhibits all of the following characteristics:

  • Passes all tests (you are writing tests right?)
  • Is as simple as it can be (KISS)
  • Does not repeat itself (It’s DRY)
  • Focused (functions and classes do one thing only)

Our Front-End Bootcamp practicing clean code at our coderetreat

That’s a lot, I know. As I said, clean code is a big topic. That’s why we spend a lot of time talking about refactoring code to a cleaner solution. Often your first pass at a solution is ‘sub-optimal’ which is a polite way of saying it smells. But that’s okay, writing code is like writing an essay. You make a first pass then you start editing (or refactoring in our case). Labs and projects are not always the best places to practice refactoring in a focused way because the stated goal is to get something working and having something that works is not always the same as having a solution that is clean. (more…)