Tonight is the very first night of class for the Advanced Software Development Program at CUNY. As someone who helped weave the program together with input from technology insiders, brilliant developers, faculty members, elected officials and our team here at Tipping Point Partners, this realization is an absolute joy for me.
Over the past year, I did a lot of asking very busy people for their time and effort. With nothing more to promise them in return than the opportunity to help create a better system and graduating class of young developer talent, the answer was almost always, astonishingly, yes. There are plenty of likely possible explanations for the motivations there – the general dearth of qualified developer talent, self-promotion and interest, curiosity, networking, marketing, etc – but it was clear that everyone that got involved was, in fact, excited about creating something that would be a new way of doing it. After all, isn’t that what we all do with our various technology pursuits, anyway?
The class itself is comprised of diverse students from across the CUNY system, but the unifying characteristic is their passion for improvement through this program, which is designed to give them not just the code literacy, but the business skills to be effective software developers today. Of the students selected, 25% are women, 25% are international, 75% are receiving an undergraduate degree in the spring, and every borough is represented. The colleges represented are: Brooklyn College (Brooklyn), City College (Manhattan), City Tech (Brooklyn), College of Staten Island (Staten Island), Hunter College (The Bronx), Lehman College (The Bronx), Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn), and Queens College (Queens).
Between the industry collaboration, the great leadership put in by the team of elected officials and their staff – far from nominal – the enthusiasm for shaking up the status quo at CUNY, and the students’ passion for being better, this has so far been a community project in the best, truly uniting sense for New York City and its Tech community. While tonight is the first night of class, the program is just getting started. Our goal of truly broadening their horizons means I want even more of you from our community to come in as guest speakers, lecturers, and more, so email, call or send up a smoke signal if you are interested!