Omaha Code School

Values Feb 17, 2014 — By Sumeet Jain

We take pride in our values. We've worked hard to earn them and cement them as genuine pursuits in our lives, so I would like to share a few of them with you.

Giving

Omaha Code School is a venture from Big Wheel Brigade - an Omaha-based software development company. When Rahul and I founded Big Wheel Brigade, we wanted social good to be at the core of the company. But so many companies say they care about social good and then forget about that value over time.

Our solution to this was to hardcode giving into our business model. So even before we pay bills or ourselves, we set aside 10% of every dollar we make and put it into a special Social Good Fund. Over the year, we dole that fund out to charities and organizations that we believe in.

Over the years, we've supported the arts in Omaha, charity: water, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and various other causes.

As such, 10% of the revenue from Omaha Code School goes to social good - serving our local community and the world at large.

Openness

We believe in sharing. It's one of the reasons we love the Internet - it empowers sharers in ways never before possible.

As our class proceeds, we will share its work and progress. We want this community to see the great value its support has helped create.

We will also encourage our students to participate in open source projects - and to open source their own work when possible.

Finally, we will continue to be open about our values. Too often, people keep their goodness hidden from others for fear of appearing immodest or causing awkwardness. Sharing our values and service creates a dialogue about our values and service. At minimum, this helps us reevaluate our ideas if necessary. At best, it sets an example that may inspire others to do and share good.

Health

In addition to learning coding, our students will also learn project management skills, appreciation of design and user-experience, and other related skills. But this alone does not make for a well-rounded education.

We encourage our students to be healthy in body and mind. Twice a week, Stefanie Monge of Welcor Yoga will lead yoga and mindfulness sessions for our class. Here are some words of wisdom from Stefanie:

The physical practice of yoga is a means to build the strength, flexibility, and endurance to be able to sit comfortably in meditation. Meditation helps us to relax and think clearly. Studies have shown over and over that practicing mindfulness makes us more productive and enhances our problem-solving abilities.

Calls to Action

If you've read this far, you might like to know how you can get involved.

  • Contribute to a student's fundraising campaign for their tuition. Your contribution helps them afford the class, and it also betters the world through our Social Good Fund. (List of fundraising campaigns.)
  • Newcomers to open source can find a project to contribute to on CodeMontage.
  • Follow our students as they blog about their experiences. (List of student blogs.)
  • Tell others about your values and service. You never know what movement the dialogue and awareness might start.