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Ever tried to get hold of a professional who can write computer code?

Such is the shortage, that a recent would-be returning ex-pat Kiwi, who knew how to program, put out a general inquiry through WellRailed if anyone in Wellington or wider NZ would be interested in meeting once he got here.

Apparently he immediately had 26 replies, and half a dozen offers of employment, sight unseen, with no interview whatsoever.

So; it would seem there’s a definite shortage of people who understand and can manipulate the workings of computers, mobile devices and apps.

It is this developer (another name for coder and programmer) shortage that’s driven Enspiral (a digital collective cum incubator cum clever people autonomously working together) to offer a type of ‘coding for dummies’ course, specifically around Ruby programming. (sticK’s had a couple of stories on Enspiral’s different type of business model before; see here and here.)

It is called Code Yoga, and its intent is to expose people who have never coded before to what it is about, and, reasonably quickly, help them get a level where could be employed at a junior coding level. From there – well, the world’s your oyster if that’s your bent.

This is very much an Enspiral kinda thing to do.

The collective’s co-creator, Joshua Vial, and the rest of its current eco-system of 105 people based mainly in Wellington but linked to Hong Kong, Berlin, New York and Phnom Penh, share a philosophy of helping people to help themselves.

It is part of the social enterprise model that drives most of the 12 companies that reside (the wrong word but it will have to do) under its umbrella.

Enspiral itself is programmer short-handed at times, so at the very least it is feeding its own needs.

But, in identifying a patently obvious shortage, and doing something about it in a ‘just do it, just learn it’ manner, Enspiral’s demonstrating an attitude that’s bigger than itself.

According to Vial, many of the dozen or so people who have done the course since it kicked off in recently (advertised through the interesting ‘teaching/learning’ platform Chalkle), have graduated to real, paying jobs in IT.

These include writers, teachers, other types of professionals, as well as students.

As a crash course compared to university or polytech based one to three year courses, it is obviously quite different.

However, as a way of introducing newbies to the hidden world of code, and whether it is a gig they’d like to have a go at for a while, these Enspiral guys deserve some credit.

Heck, some of them might even enjoy it as a challenge!

P.S. Enspiral's kicking off a dev boot camp in the next month or two too - keep an eye out if you'd like to be part of t

One way to crack a coder shortage

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