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Friday, Sep 18, 2020

UCCI teams up to promote coding

UCCI teams up to promote coding

The University College of the Cayman Islands is the latest to join in the effort to boost the number of coders in Cayman.

UCCI is partnering with Seattle-based trade school Code Fellows and the Cayman Enterprise City to create the Cayman Code Academy. The academy will offer courses ranging from a single day to one week for students enrolled in UCCI.

“A lot of universities are adding coding to the curriculum because it trains the brain to think in a certain way,” said UCCI President Stacy McAfee.

Learning how to think that way, she said, allows students to prepare themselves to pursue work in a growing area.

“It allows someone to explore the basics of coding,” McAfee said. “It’s a highly in-demand field.”

The programme is one of several that Cayman Enterprise City has recently been involved with. Earlier this year, it helped coordinate and provided the space for two coding classes for women. It also offered a week-long coding class for secondary students during the summer.

The company is engaged in trying to foster more high-tech businesses in Cayman. Having workers on hand with coding knowledge is an important part of that plan.

The coding courses offered are not part of a certificate programme, McAfee said, but she’s expecting many students who are enrolled in the campus’ computer courses will take advantage of the chance to learn coding.

“Students who are enjoying the programming may have a strong interest in doing this as well,” she said.

Three sessions are being offered in October.

She added, “We feel like this is the rollout, where we test how much interest there is,” adding that she is hoping to expand the number and types of courses in the future.

Shorter courses are designed to expose individuals to the basics of software development while intermediate and advanced courses will help participants to become entry-level web developers and provide existing coders with access to professional development courses. In every course, learners will receive hands-on experience, working in teams to apply their training and building apps to expand on technical skills.

The classroom-based education will be coupled with internship and mentorship opportunities with global tech companies operating within Cayman Tech City, Cayman Enterprise City’s special economic zone.

“With over 175 technology-focussed companies now established within Cayman Tech City, we think now is the perfect time to launch an in-person, immersive training programme to meet our industry’s needs,” Cayman Enterprise City’s CEO Charlie Kirkconnell said in a statement. “We want to ensure that Caymanians and residents of the Cayman Islands have access to quality tech-focused education so that they may become significant players in our ever-evolving global digital economy.

“Our aim is to have 20 students graduate within our first year of operation and to match and even exceed Code Fellows’ 93% job placement rate,” he added.

UCCI is seeking sponsors to support the Cayman Code Academy scholarship programme and complementary initiatives, which aim to foster an innovative tech community.

“We want to ensure that students who may not be in a position to cover course tuition fees are able to participate and access this globally recognised curriculum taught by industry experts,” McAfee said in a statement.

“We are looking for key sponsors to help us drive this initiative and assist with complementary programmes such as alumni support groups, free courses for local educators, hackathon events, youth clubs, and media sponsors to help us to reach as many interested coders as possible,” she said.

The sessions in October are as follows: Code 101 on 19 and 26 Oct., and Code 102, 21‑25 Oct. The fee for Code 101 is $150. The fee for both courses is $478. Students must be enrolled in UCCI to take the courses.

Enrolment begins 11 Sept. Interested candidates are invited to attend a free information seminar 6pm, 10 Sept. at UCCI. RSVP to Bianca Mora at


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