Idaho Technology

Tim Andersen: Boise Code Camp is by, for the community

Associate professor and department chair, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, Boise State UniversityMarch 19, 2014 

One of the identifiers of a healthy economy is a community focus on infrastructure. Technology infrastructure is one of the key pieces to sustaining growth.

Building the local tech population and keeping technical knowledge current are a couple of ways that Idaho continues to enhance its technology ecosystem. The Boise Code Camp, supported by many members of the Idaho Technology Council and the Boise State Computer Science Department, is a prime example of this vision.

Boise Code Camp, in its eighth year, is a free community event that allows attendees to expand and enhance their technological knowledge and skills. Annually drawing more than 500 attendees, the affair encompasses a variety of workshops covering a wide array of technology disciplines.

Camp Director Scott Nichols emphasizes, "Sessions are representative of technologies that are trending in the community today. Topics are always based on community interest and never determined by anyone other than the community." The Boise Code Camp is produced and staffed by volunteers and is funded entirely through sponsors and donors.

After seeing many participants bring their kids to the event and adding a few workshops here and there for them to attend, camp planners identified a need for a deeper devotion to this budding new group of techie youths. This year, for the first time, the organization is launching a Kid Camp dedicated to the experienced and novice programmer between the ages of 6 and 18.

Kid Camp workshops will range from "How to build a website" to "Becoming a professional programmer" and will be taught by kids as young as 6 years old.

The passion for technology advancements is evident to anyone attending the event. Oftentimes camp classrooms are spilling over with passionate developers and programmers - some finding the only available seats on the floor.

As a result, over the past couple of years, camp planners have seen a substantial increase in their number of sponsors. Sponsors see this event as an excellent recruiting opportunity and seize the moment when it's given to them. Boise Code Camp arranges for its Platinum sponsors to have booths where they can gather resumes and applications and post their open positions. At last count, each of the Platinum sponsors had a least one vacancy. Some had up to a dozen job openings.

Originated with the mission of providing the highest quality content built around the topic of software development and creating an environment where knowledge is easily and freely shared, Boise Code Camp has become Boise's premier software development technical event over the past eight years. Technology executives in the Treasure Valley look forward to seeing events like this continue to evolve and draw an even wider audience.

Attendees can register for the 2014 Boise Code Camp by going to http://boisecodecamp.com/register-for-code-camp.

tandersen@boisestate.edu; 426-5768

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