Queens group offers free coding program

The Long Island City based non-profit Coalition for Queens offers coding classes.
Coalition for Queens

A Queens-based organization is preparing New Yorkers to enter the city’s growing technology industry with its free coding program — Access Code. Long Island City’s Coalition for Queens, better known as C4Q — is an organization providing training in computer coding and software creation. As a philanthropic group mostly catering to low-income residents and communities of color, their goal is to increase the number minority groups in the tech field and create more opportunities of accessibility. One of the ways they go about it is working with established technology companies, and performing community outreach, said the community engagement manager.

“We engage with stakeholders and form relationships with them by making sure they’re aware of our programs, and understand if they need something from us or if we need something from them,” said Depak Borhara. “We also ask them to reach out to their networks to have people apply, and we communicate with community organizations in making sure that people are aware that our program is in the community.”

Founded in 2011 by Jukay Hsu — a Taiwanese-American who wants to help the disadvantaged access the tech world — C4Q is forming a clear direction in closing the existing gaps. The organization offers all types of coding classes, preparing students on even helping some of its students see 370 percent increase in annual income, according to Borhara.

Currently, they strongly advocate their program for people with no prior coding experience or background each web development for iOS and Android

“Most of our students have zero coding experience, but no matter where they are currently, we can teach them coding,” he added.

Access Code includes everything for beginners to those who are familiar with coding teaching them web development and And even though coding may sound like an arduous area of study to learn, Borhara says the courses are designed to welcome those who are new, and even those with just a little knowledge yh

“We’re very intensive and what we expect is 80 hours a week, depending on the class,” he said.

The a weekday classes from 10 am to 6 pm, and weekend classes from 7-10 pm. For 10 months students are given a full-on training from instructors and teaching assistants, where they learn the ins and outs of coding, and are even provided with laptops to perform one of the most vital aspects of the course — doing assignments without the assistance of an instructor.

“It is pretty intense and homework is also large portion of the program,” said Borhara. “We expect our students do practice outside the class because where they often get a eureka or aha moment is in doing the homework.”

And when they are not in class, they are encouraged to attend events where they can potentially build relationships with the companies many will seek employment with upon graduating.

“We expect our students to also go to industry events and opportunities to network and learn about the tech companies to get a feel of the different cultures out there,” he said.

The city is a big force in the growing technology world today, added Borhara. And he says that with more and more interest in the location as a start-up destination, women and people of color need to also be part of it.

“In terms of today, technology is only going to get larger especially with New York now being the second largest tech hub in the country,” he said. “I think we need to make sure that the best way is to make sure people in these community have access skills to get the jobs at starts up.”

The next training session begins in September and will conclude next summer in July. Applicants can apply until 11:59 pm on Aug. 19.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com. Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.

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