Hack Reactor, a collective of programming schools, is set to open a new school through its Austin-based partner MakerSquare on June 29th. This push for education will be an attempt to boost the amount of skilled programmers specifically in the Los Angeles area, where there is a shortage of software engineers at technology, entertainment, and media companies.
Harsh Patel, who is the co-founder of MakerSquare, elaborated on why Los Angeles was chosen in particular and why software engineers are so important:
“Coding isn’t just a niche field — it’s the core skill of the new economy and there is a need for coding schools to expand beyond traditional tech centers and into big population centers,” he said. “Los Angeles is one of the regions hit by the shortage of highly trained software engineers. Currently, Southern California still lacks in number of advanced coding schools to sustain the workforce demand of the region. We are aiming to help fix that problem by graduating exceptional software engineers in the area.”
The Los Angeles Council is also partnering up with MakerSquare to help encourage the increase to a tech-skilled local workforce:
“Expansion of the tech industry into Los Angeles and my district are pivotal to our economic development,” said Los Angeles’ 15th district city councilman Joe Buscaino in a statement. “We are answering President Obama’s call to train a highly skilled workforce and are proud to partner with MakerSquare.”
Jeff Louie, a graduate of MakerSquare and now a current employee at NASA JPL as a software engineer, cites attending a course from MakerSquare as a pivotal part of his educational process. He also highlights the importance of a location right in Los Angeles:
“People don’t have to travel all the way to Silicon Valley, or in the case of MakerSquare, to San Francisco or Austin to learn the best in tech. Now they’ll be able to both go through the program in LA and immediately find a job here.”
Hack Reactor’s main goals as an educational collective are both to empower people and to transform education through rapid-iteration teaching. They are involved with building educational programs that aim to train students up to 11 hours per day, 6 days a week, over 12 weeks in total. They also educate a higher amount of software engineers per year than Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and California Institute of Technology combined, and pride themselves on a median salary of $110,000 for recent graduates. For more information on Hack Reactor, visit www.hackreactor.com.