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web school cincy

The Windup…

The number of “paid apprenticeship” schools has experienced a bit of a surge recently, especially in web development, and specifically those teaching Ruby on Rails. This phenomenon is due largely to the realignment in the work force from material workers to information workers.

We’ve seen the demand for tech talent grow steadily and we’re beginning to feel the pinch ourselves. Recruiters are becoming a more frequent “guest” at Cincy RB which is kind of a new thing for Rubyists, at least locally, and it’s not only recruiters but companies sponsoring meetings in order to pitch to attendees. We see this as a good problem to have but a problem nonetheless and one we feel capable of helping to address.

Gaslighters have established a tradition of teaching, from the inaugural Cincinnati Day of Ruby, to mentorship of students at several local high schools. We’ve spoken at regional and national software developer conferences and host the Cincinnati iOS, Javascript and Ruby user group meetings each month. From a training perspective, our current focus is the formation and guidance of the Cincinnati Web Tech study group which aims to introduce Web development to those who have an interest in the subject and provide support for their desire to explore the subject in greater depth.

About a year ago, we began kicking around the idea of a gSchool-like program here in Cincinnati but we were busy doing many things and really had no desire to own the program. So we asked if anyone else was interested in partnering with us to launch a program and Scott Barron from Neo’s local office said to count him in. Erin Kidwell, then of Girl Develop It said to count her in. Mike Bott of The Brandery said he was interested too. So we all got together and started talking but despite our best intentions little else happened. Then we talked to Jeff Casimir, co-creator of Hungry Academy and gSchool and it became evident that if anything were going to be done we simply had to stop talking and start doing.

The Pitch…

So, in the spirit of “good artists borrow, great artists steal,” we are actively working to launch a full-time six month training program here in Cincinnati with the aim of graduating 24 competent Web developers twice a year. Our desire is to welcome the first class before the end of this year, 2013. The program will operate in and around a vibrant Rails consultancy, Gaslight’s new (and hopefully soon to be announced) location in downtown Cincinnati. This may seem like a bold plan but we have little doubt there is an urgent need for it and have faith that our community will respond to this announcement.

Our goal is to create a program that will meet the needs of our community and not simply our own. To be frank, there was a point when we didn’t understand that but Erin and Mike drove that point home. We hope to produce young developers with fire in their bellies and a desire to build something awesome who will team up with entrepreneurs at The Brandery, Cintrifuse or NKU’s INKUBATOR. We also want to attract career change minded 30 and 40 somethings seeking the stability of product work with one of the many companies in our region clamoring for Rails talent. We especially hope to reach veterans looking to transition to a civilian career in a growth industry that is as rewarding as serving their country. Perhaps most importantly, we want to attract students in under-represented socio-economic groups. Who knows, maybe we’ll even find a hippy or two wanting to join us at Gaslight.

So we’re seeking sponsors and students for Web School Cincy. Don’t worry, that’s just a working name. You can sign up today and we’ll keep you in the loop with all the latest developments. Just visit signup.webschoolcincy.comand leave us your email address or email us at info@webschoolcincy.com and tell us how you’d like to be involved.