All-Nighter: South LA Teens Code the Night Away With Our Engineers
Last month, as part of its continued commitment to community involvement and thought leadership, The Mobile Majority (TMM) hosted an all-night coding session for the Summer Coding Leadership Academy.
The Summer Coding Summer Academy is run by Teens Exploring Technology (TXT), a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging young people of color in underserved communities to become catalysts for change by using technology as a tool for promoting positive youth development and leadership.
TXT believes that these initiatives will ultimately pave the way for a drastic increase in the number of inner-city males pursuing higher education and careers in STEM majors (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math).
Before the all-nighter, at the Summer Coding Leadership Camp, eight groups of teenagers came up with problems in their community which they believed could be solved with technology.
Once they had selected their community problem, the teens were taught the lean startup method to code, and formulated a pathway to design their technology.
The all-nighter was the last step before competing in their Pitch Event, where the 8 teams present their technology to a panel of industry leaders for the chance to win seed money for their startup ideas.
The all-night engineering session was designed by TMM to support the teens with their final startup ideas and development, bringing together the 8 groups of teens with TMM in-house developers & QA analysts.
TXT participants leaped at the opportunity to engage with TMM professionals for one-on-one support, and learned what it’s like to work in a professional environment.
This one-on-one support enabled teens like Alex Hansen to learn previously out-of-reach skills, “I was able to get help from Enddy. He taught me how functions, arrays and parameters functioned. He sat with me and had me write code and making 4 loops from everything. I essentially learned how to pull data from a database.”
Throughout the night, with the ongoing support of professional TMM engineers, the teens became more adept at strategically incorporating Adobe illustrator, functions, arrays, parameters and application program interfaces into their startups.
10 hours after the night began, TXT’ers were more confident about their products, and more comfortable with the idea of pitching their startups to outside parties. To teens like Valentino Andrewin, the mentorship and facilities were invaluable, “It Allowed me to open up and talk to all the professionals there. I felt that I had unlimited time and it was a better environment to work in. It was very mobile and versatile to use things. And thanks to that environment I was able to come closer to accomplishing my goals.”
For more information about TXT and the Summer Coding Leadership Academy, go to http://exploringtech.org/