Gather Omaha podcast gathers crowd for code schools

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Derek Munyon
Arts & Entertainment Editor

It was a rare break in an otherwise rainy day as I walked to Aroma’s Coffeehouse in downtown Benson on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

The shop was packed and the podcast, Gather Nebraska, which is hosted by Aroma’s, was underway. This was the taping of the fourth episode of Gather Nebraska and featured two code and design school creators, Sumeet Jain of Omaha Code School and Shonna Dorsey of Interface Web School.

The two schools share their overall mission of making the best web based training available to people from all over Omaha, however, what the schools focus on differ. Omaha Code School offers one class to teach coding and design. Interface offers a number of classes that focus on different things like front end, back end and full stack development.

Schools like these offer an invaluable service to the community and especially a community like Omaha, who is in need for talented developers. Dorsey said that coding is important because it allows talented people to become even more marketable. For example, if someone had graphic design skill, adding the ability to code would make that person more attractive to an employer.

“We’re going from zero to hirable,” Jain said.

Jain worked for start-ups and corporations in San Francisco before coming to Omaha and starting the Code School. When he started the school, he had no hard experience teaching and has grown with the school.

“I’m a completely different educator now than I was when I started,” Jain said.
Coding ability is important other than just making an employee more desirable. We’re in a world that is becoming more and more digitized. The people who do coding and design create this new world. Jain referenced

“The Matrix” when describing the digital world we are in and will continue to live in.
“Technology, code specifically, is different than any other innovation,” Jain said.

He said that the creators should learn more than just coding skill, they should know what’s important to society and know compassion and that’s another aspect of learning at the Omaha Code School. This is one of the benefits of holding a physical class over an online course as well, which both programs do. Dorsey said that being in a real class helps to guide students more effectively and make sure they’re getting what is being taught.

Jain added that having classes in person could allow instructors to teach virtues and community leadership much better than an online course could.

Some of the biggest issues facing these schools are the student’s ability to pay. There are different programs to assist prospective students with payment. The state will assist paying for the Omaha Code School, especially for the unemployed and veterans. Jain said that Nebraska has $10 million for job training that people can use to up their skill set. If prospective students have any questions about the programs, they should just reach out and ask people who have gone through the program before.

“Omaha’s not that big,” Jain said, adding that finding someone who has been a part of the schools shouldn’t be too hard to find.

One way that Omaha can do more to support these schools is by employers becoming more involved. Local employers should do more to mentor and get training for their employees and reach out to new developers according to Jain.

“Interface is always interested in mentors,” Dorsey added.

It’s hard to tell where anyone will be five years from now. These two instructors had a hard time answering where their schools will be in five years. Jain said that it’s difficult to say where anything important will be in five years, but he hopes that his school is the best code school they can be.

“Grow wisely. That’s my goal for five years,” Dorsey answered.
After about an hour of interview and reluctant audience questions, the podcast ended. Back out into the deluge we went.

If you are interested in getting signed up in either of these programs, you can check out their sites at omahacodeschool.com and interfaceschool.com.

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COURTESY OF SHONNA DORSEY
COURTESY OF SHONNA DORSEY

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