Omaha Code School

How You Can Help – Employers Jan 6, 2014 — By Sumeet Jain

The community's response to Omaha Code School has been wonderful. So many people want to know how they can help out. This is the first in a series of posts this week about how you can support Omaha Code School. We're starting here with how employers can help, but future posts will address technologists, designers, and the community at large.

If you run a business in the region, here is how you can provide support:

  1. Join our group of Supporting Employers.
  2. Send us work.
  3. Provide mentors.
  4. Donate or sell supplies.
  5. Spread the word.

1. Join our group of Supporting Employers.

When our students graduate, they'll be ready to hit the ground running as entry-level developers. The first career event we're hosting is a job fair for employers interested in hiring our graduates. Become a Supporting Employer to get your company a table at the fair.

We're teaching the full stack, proper technique, and collaboration skills. Our curriculum is project-based, so students are learning by working on real applications. Graduates of schools like ours are in demand across the country. We're counting on the community's employers to help this talent grow in our region.

The cost of becoming a Supporting Employer is $1500 — or $900 for startups. Some of the Praire's leading companies - like Swanson Russell, Flywheel, and Lyconic - have already signed on. We hope to announce your company with the full group next week!

In addition to a table at the job fair, Supporting Employers also receive sponsorship credit for the $6,000 Supporting Employers Scholarship and the end-of-course Demo Night — which will be a celebratory event open to the public. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your support for growing talent in the Prairie.

Contact if you're interested or have questions.

2. Send us work.

Working on real applications is an integral part of our curriculum. We already have multiple projects for our students to get practical experience from, but we would love to have even more. If your business handles web development work of any kind, Omaha Code School may be an inexpensive and creative avenue for completing your smaller projects or tasks.

Here's how it works: Identify potential work for our students (See the guide to identifying good tasks below.), and send it to us for review. If the project or task is a good fit, we will assign it to the class. Before delivering the work back to you, an experienced developer (either one of the mentors or someone from Big Wheel Brigade) will do a thorough code review.

The rate for this work is $30/hr during the first half of the course, and $50/hr during the second half of the course. Students keep 80% of what you pay (with the balance reserved for project management and our social good fund). This is not for Omaha Code School to make money. It's to impart real-world experience to our students and help them earn back their tuition cost.

Here are some ideas for the kind of work you can send Omaha Code School's students:

  • Application Prototyping - Products and ideas aren't doing you any good sitting on the backburner (or in the back of your mind). Have the students of Omaha Code School develop a prototype for you, which you can launch, iterate, or pitch to investors.
  • Implement PSDs - If you need one-off assistance with front-end development, our students should be able to help you out.
  • Maintenance - Our students can help you with periodic copy updates, adding features, expanding test coverage, etc.
  • And More - Try us. Let our students surprise you by how valuable they can be — even before they've graduated.

Contact if you're interested or have questions.

3. Provide mentors.

We welcome all kinds of people into our mentors group. Here are a few of the things mentors can do for our students:

  • Help students troubleshoot bugs during their work.
  • Run a mock interview to help students prepare for their job search.
  • Give a lecture on a technology, technique, job search advice, etc.
  • Walk students through their own work from past jobs, so the students can see how the pros do it.

Contact if you're interested or have questions.

4. Donate or sell supplies.


Our students are required to use Mac computers in class. (Streamlining the development environments of the students helps us spend less time on computer issues and more time learning.) But not all of our students will own Macs upon their admission. You can help by donating your old Mac — or selling it to our students for cheap.

The only requirement is that the computer have 4GB of memory and is capable of running Mac OS 10.7 or higher.

If you're interested in this, contact us at We'll coordinate with the students.

Office Supplies

If you have spare equipment or are planning to upgrade soon, we might be interested in buying. Here is a list of the things we're in the market for:

  • Projector
  • Projection screen
  • Whiteboard [material/paint]
  • Desks
  • Chairs
  • And more. Let us know what's for sale:

5. Spread the word.

Tell your friends! Whether the above ideas for supporting Omaha Code School work for you or not, sending an email to your colleagues or posting on Twitter or Facebook about us is still helpful. We're grateful for support of any kind in any form.

And of course, if you have any other ideas please drop us a line. We're eager to unite this excellent community and grow talent together.