Suncoast Developers Guild
A few months ago I joined the advisory board of the Suncoast Developers Guild, a code school and developer community here in St. Pete. Our company has been involved with this group since back when they first launched the Iron Yard campus back in 2014.
We’ve had a successful experience connecting with the local community through this channel, supporting students looking to shift careers into work on software and recruiting them into our team. Currently 5 people from our dev and product teams came out of those cohorts of front-end or full stack development grads.
Through my role as an advisor there, we’re working on a few things that we’re hoping expand the footprint of the Guild and bring more companies into the fold. I’ve long been an advocate for “non-traditional” education paths and hands-on experience over formal education, but many companies are still stuck in the world of looking for those 4-year degrees — they don’t know how to recruit, vet, and measure skillsets without a GPA and letters alongside it (BS / MS).
I wrote this post a number of years ago targeted at people new to or thinking about jobs in the programming world. I’m not a developer myself, but work with them everyday and have spent plenty of time in the community to know how to identify and hire the right skills I look for in creators. Going back and reading this this morning, I still would agree with everything I wrote. Supporting the SDG is part of my effort to have skin in the game on this perspective. Helping match the right core passions and mental tools to the companies than need them is what it’s about, regardless of the path one takes to get there.