I’ve known about Innovate Birmingham for a few months, and have been so impressed with the work they’re doing to educate and establish IT talent in the Birmingham community. I’ve met some of the crew, toured their office at Innovation Depot, and also written about them a few times. But until attending Demo Day last week, I don’t think I truly understood the impact they are making every single day in the lives of not only their candidates but also the Birmingham tech scene as a whole.
Here are 3 things I learned at Innovate Birmingham’s Demo Day plus how you can get involved:
What is Demo Day? ✅
Innovate Birmingham is a workforce development program that offers courses free of charge in software development and data analytics to young adults in an effort to bridge the gap between tech talent and employers in Birmingham. Their programs last 12-14 weeks, and the final step in that process is Demo Day.
Demo Day is simply the time for candidates to showcase their projects to friends, family and future employers. After weeks of hard work, Demo Day allows them to demonstrate the products they’ve built as well as data they’ve collected and analyzed. At the most recent Demo Day, Innovate Birmingham’s 7th Cohort—consisting of 24 candidates—received certifications in software development and data analytics.
What I Learned 💡
Innovate Birmingham Graduates are Sought After in the Community 👩💻 👨💻
Seeing candidates employed before receiving their certificates at Demo Day was awesome. Innovate Birmingham aims to create a pipeline of talent ready to work immediately after, and sometimes before, completing the program.
From Cohort 7, eight candidates accepted jobs before Demo Day. Two candidates who were offered jobs prior to Demo Day, accepted after graduation. Some employers include:
- BBVA Compass
- Martin Advertising
- Protective Life
- And so many more
They Left With Some Super Cool Projects Under Their Belts 📱
I was blown away by the graduates’ presentations. Candidates from the ThinkData Solutions Bootcamp—instructed by Robin Hunt, Co-founder and CEO of ThinkData Solutions—presented data ranging from the commuting experience in Birmingham to sobriety.
“Innovate Birmingham has been a crucial aspect in my professional growth. Specifically, the ThinkData Analytics Course has provided me the skills and confidence to improve myself and my community workforce economy”Seth Mikell, ThinkData Analytics Graduate
Candidates from the IamBham Software Development Bootcamp showcased apps they created. They included an app to help keep communities litter-free, and an app called Niimo for developers prospecting vacant buildings around town. Pretty cool stuff happening over here.
Their Team Bond is Strong 🤝
Innovate Bham candiates are gaining much more than the tech skills needed to enter the workforce. They are gaining invaluable interpersonal relationship skills like teamwork, leadership and flexibility—not to mention connections and friendships that last far beyond graduation. It was amazing to see them present their ideas and support each other from the crowd and on stage.
“I really enjoyed coming in every day and learning something new. A big part of it was working in groups and on teams, so I had a lot of experience finding my spot in a team environment.”Michael Banks, Employed at 2B solutions, mobile software developer
How to Get Involved 👇
Have you heard of Innovate Birmingham? Let us know what you think about their impact in Birmingham on social @BhamNow!