2018-03-19 EDMONTON - Nimble Programmer, an Edmonton vocational training school, is applauding the introduction of Bill 2: The Growth and Diversification Act on March 14. The company is having an Open House in Edmonton on March 31st for its Software Boot Camp which starts in September of 2018.
The bill says that the government will add 3000 new tech training spaces over 5 years including new scholarships and programs to help Albertans transition to tech related careers.
“For us, the Bill means that the provincial government recognizes that the tech industry is a growth driver for Alberta and that there is a need for new post-secondary tech training programs- essentially because there are unfilled jobs” says Nimble Programmer founder Doug Kaweski. “The government hasn’t released the details but the bottom line is that they are going to help students participate in programs like ours.”
The company began researching the possibility of bringing a boot camp to Edmonton eighteen months ago. “We could see that comparable cities in the US, even in oil producing areas, had much big tech sectors, like three times the size per capita, and were supporting multiple boot camps similar to ours.” “But when I saw the actual growth numbers of technology companies in Alberta, it’s those numbers that convinced me to go ahead.”
Boot Camps are designed to train workers for a software career as fast as possible. Nimble Programmer offers an intensive 12 week program which is typical of the 80 to 90 boot camp organizations in North America. Kaweski points out that in addition to scholarships Bill 2 is offering programs to help Albertans transition to tech related careers. “Something like that is ideal for boot camp students who tend to be a bit older and may already have a degree or work experience in a different area.”
The provincial government is also creating a ‘Talent Advisory Council on Technology’ to advise the government on creation or expansion of specific programs. “As a new boot camp we had to go out and consult with industry to figure out what kind of training is needed and therefore how students are going to be successful” says Kaweski. “Now the government is essentially saying that really province wide, we need ongoing advice on what kinds of skills the tech industry needs today- it’s a validation of our process.”
Kaweski says “Another strongly encouraging thing was actually in a separate press release and it quotes the Minister of Economic Development of Alberta. He says there are actually about 1,000 unfilled tech jobs in Alberta right now. Not all of these are going to be software but when you look at the numbers well over half of technology companies in Alberta are in the software industry, it’s almost two-thirds. So there are actually unfilled software jobs right now because people aren’t trained for them.”