ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — The Michigan Economic Development Corp., Ann Arbor Spark, Washtenaw Community College and Michigan Works are partnering together to offer a Shifting Code course focused on Java this fall.

Shifting Code is a training program designed to meet the regional demand for software developers. This program is funded by the MEDC as part of its strategy to meet the growing IT needs in Michigan.

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Ann Arbor Spark officials say several area employers are interested in interviewing the program’s participants. Three will be involved right from the start: Advaita (genetic code, data analysis tools), Systems in Motion (multi-client, enterprise-level application development) and WorkForce Software (the leader in workforce management software).

Registration ends at midnight, Monday Sept. 9.

Training will focus on Java and some related subsets such as JavaScript, JQuery and JDBC.

The program will include 40 hours of classroom instruction, projects and employer-provider use cases led by a great instructor with a passion for connecting learning to real-world application development.

While cram-it-all-in-a-week training can be done, your experience will be spread over 8 to 10 weeks so the training becomes knowledge, and knowledge becomes skills – skills that can lead to a new job.

There will also be five hours of job preparation in resume updating, interview training and other employment prep, and a 10 to 20 hour practicum where teams work on an actual coding project, specifically offered to this Java group this fall by local companies.

The course is held two evenings a week for two and a half hours.

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Applicants are not admitted automatically, but must pass an initial interview. A total of 12 to 16 trainees will be accepted.

Each Shifting Code program is unique with its own requirements. All candidates will exhibit five basic attributes software companies of all sizes have defined as critical to great coders:
* clarity … to both code and interact clearly with team members and clients
* initiative … software development is not, wait for someone to tell you what to do
* collaboration … very few employers have do-it-by-yourself people on staff
* learning … Java cannot be the last thing you expect to learn
* flexible discipline … two qualities that are completely tied together

Applicants should possess enough programming and coding experience with a language such as C, SQL or VBA, in which they developed code for projects. Familiarity with object-oriented code writing is preferred. They should also understand data and database structures. SQL design/coding experience is definitely helpful. Preferred technical skills also include test-driven development.

If you don’t have any previous coding experience of any kind, then this cohort is not for you.

What about a college degree? Not a hard requirement for every employer but is an issue for some. Employers also look for backgrounds in sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Participants should also live in the southeast Michigan area.

There’s a $150 fee to be paid at the first class.

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For more information, contact