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Stamford's Crashcode Believes Progress Starts With A Simple Line of Code

Michael McClure (standing) shares coding insights during one of Crashcode's HackNight events in Stamford.
Michael McClure (standing) shares coding insights during one of Crashcode's HackNight events in Stamford. Photo Credit: Crashcode

Creating a website is not rocket science. And it sure can make you more valuable as an employee.

“There’s a perception that it’s hard,” said Michael McClure, a New Canaan native and founder and managing director of Stamford-based Crashcode , a nonprofit coding bootcamp looking to up the digital literacy quotient of Fairfield County. “When you write your first line of code, it opens up your mind and you think, ‘I can do this.’ People shouldn’t be daunted by it.”

McClure certainly wasn’t. A political science and philosophy major in college, he taught himself coding when he decided to launch his own app years ago. That turned into a consulting business helping other clients and companies do the same.

Teaching yourself coding, however, is not necessarily easy. According to McClure, statistics show that about 90 percent of those who try to teach themselves only using online resources fail because they have neither support nor peers and instructors who can answer their questions.

Crashcode provides what McClure couldn’t find when he was starting out: coding classes, support and community. The first 10-week course begins May 22 and runs through July 31 with classes held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at Comradity at 845 Canal Street in Stamford. Educators are those living and working in the industry. HackNights, for informal instruction, collaboration and networking are Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. At the end of the session, participants should expect to be able to create a typical website for a small business. More importantly, it will leave them with the skills necessary to keep learning more.

Crashcode hopes to offer four courses a year.

At $1,950, the program is considerably less than what you'd pay for a coding boot camp held in New York City (where most Fairfield County residents previously had to travel to participate in one), and a discount (making it $1,750) is available if participants pay in full at the beginning of the course. McClure is working on bringing in corporate sponsors who could provide financial assistance, driving the cost down further.

“At this point, there are concepts in technology you will not be able to completely comprehend without at least basic understanding of how computers and computer code works,” said McClure.

“This is something that everybody should know how to do at a basic level – just like reading – it’s fundamental for any job. It opens up a world to you that you otherwise couldn’t access.”

Fairfield County is just the start for Crashcode. McClure hopes to offer courses statewide eventually.

“I want to give back to where I’m from,” said McClure. “There are lots of people who can benefit from a program like this, and it can also spur innovation in the area. It’s not just about jobs, it’s also something that helps our economy and can drive long-term growth.”

For more information, visit Crashcode .

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