Since the beginning of 2016, we’ve exposed over 1,800 individuals to coding through our free Intro to Coding Workshops. The Intro to Coding Workshops are part of a much longer history and much deeper effort. While many of us are doing our best, the tech industry remains no stranger to recurring patterns of discrimination and inequitable practices. We’ve known for a long time that if you’re going to be in tech, “you have to want to” (thanks for the empowering words Michelle Obama!) break those narratives. Inspired by our beloved Detroiters, we began the hustle.
In 2014 we opened the doors to our first, full-time bootcamp in an effort to close the accessibility gap in tech. We pulled community organizations together to develop fully funded programs specifically for residents of Detroit, to better serve Detroit. It takes a village to raise a child, or an inclusive coding academy. This initiative was supported by the community, and embraced the truth (or core value) that the tech industry should reflect the diversity of our community.
Another core value at Grand Circus is that feedback is a gift. Coinciding with this core value, we often ask our community “how can we be better?”and “what do you need?”. Back in 2014, the feedback we heard was that “coding is too intimidating”. We heard the concerns of individuals who wanted to upscale through coding knowledge but, felt that they weren’t really a techie, or weren’t confident that they could be “good” with technology. We were left with a challenge – how can we make a tech career more accessible to individuals who would love to change their careers, but are weighed down by the popular narrative around the intimidating aspects of learning coding languages?
We put our thinking hats on and found a solution: expose community members to coding by creating a dynamic workshop that is absolutely free, and pops-up in locations throughout the state of Michigan. We started a mission to amplify a new message into the social conscious: anyone can be a developer. With this solution, Intro to Coding Workshops were born!
Grand Circus designed these workshops for folks who are curious about coding, but who have little to no experience. This workshop is the perfect class to learn the programming foundations needed to eventually build a website or mobile app. The workshop focuses on slowly introducing attendees to the waters of coding. Attendees leave with enough coding knowledge to help them more easily adapt to any languages, should they decide to delve into one. All you need to attend is a laptop and a growth mindset – get ready to learn!
These workshops have proven to inspire and empower, throughout the state of Michigan. With such an overwhelming demand for these workshops, we’re launching the Detroit Codes Harder initiative. Detroit Codes Harder brings seven Intro to Coding Workshops to locations throughout the city of Detroit. The goal of Detroit Codes Harder is to make it possible for anyone to attend an Intro to Coding Workshop, regardless of mobility or availability constraints. We’re hoping to expose over 400 people in Detroit to code in two months! Are you one of the 400?
To make the workshops even more alluring – and maybe encourage any fearful coding hopefuls – we’ll be raffling off scholarships, discount codes, swag and more!
If you’re reading this, you’ve been connected to Grand Circus in one way or another. Maybe you follow us on social media, or a friend sent you this blog post, or maybe you stumbled onto this corner of the internet while browsing for new career opportunities while at your current job! Whatever brought you here, we know you’re up for the challenge.
This is your first step to a new skill, and maybe even a new career. First steps (no matter how small) are almost always scary – we know you have the courage to take one
Sign up by visiting our Intro to Coding Workshops page.