Today I met with a person from Mt. Hood Community College to talk about a potential program they've been exploring in the area of web development. The idea is to provide students with the skills they'd need to go out and be employable web developer-types, but through something closer to a vocational program.
This person reached out to me in late 2012 as part of an effort to talk to local, web-centric professionals about what the most sought-after skills and jobs are in the industry and to explore the possibility of outsider engagement, whether as a teacher, guest lecturer, advisor or some such thing. Coming from a family of educators the idea intrigued me. It also reminded me a lot of Anil Dash's The Blue Collar Coder piece, also from 2012, which talks about creating opportunities for middle-class tech jobs.
It's an interesting dilemma and something I'll probably write about more. The conclusion I keep coming to is that the most valuable skill set in this industry has less to do with specific languages and frameworks and more to do with grasping larger concepts and finding clever ways to string them altogether.
What do you call that course? And where do you begin?