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Veteran Community Spotlight: How MilSpouseCoders is Helping Veterans Learn to Code

November 2017 - By Carrie Collier, National Talent Advocate

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The heart of Apex is our people. This week, and every week, we’re thankful for our internal employees, contracted employees, and clients. In the spirit of the season, we’ll be featuring an individual or group that embodies our Apex values. Today, we are highlighting our veteran community, in particular the MilSpouseCoders organization, and how veterans and their families can break into IT career opportunities.

As an organization, we love advocating and supporting both veterans initiatives and efforts to teach IT skills. MilSpouseCoders, established in 2015, is a virtual and in-person community which supports, empowers, and helps to educate military spouses across the world. Their mission is one Apex Systems is happy to get behind: “To teach viable computer and coding skills to military members and their families.” MilSpouseCoders has recognized free training options through organizations such as Free Code Camp, Bento.io, OSS University, Code School, and Code Academy.

We compiled some additional information below on this worthwhile organization.

Why was MilSpouseCoders launched?
ToAnh Tran, MilSpouse Coders Founder and a military spouse herself, launched MilSpouseCoders after she had been deployed to Japan with her husband. She had to quit her job which she held for 10 years and start looking for remote work in a new country. Living in a small town with limited networking and job opportunities, she was motivated to create MilSpouseCoders to help others in her same position. Her goal: to establish a safe, friendly, and supportive group to learn web development. MilSpouseCoders now has virtual groups and local chapters in bases across the world. You can search for groups near you or become a Chapter Leader by following this link.

Who should get involved in MilSpouseCoders?
Anyone who is tied to the military community should be involved in MilSpouseCoders. They currently welcome active duty service men and women, veterans, military families and spouses. 99% of their chapter leaders and Facebook moderators are military spouses with technical backgrounds. There are a number of spouses that have a B.S. in Computer Science and Masters in Information Technology. Many of their members left the workforce to raise families and now they are back as community leaders for MilSpouseCoders. If interested in joining or volunteering your time, simply express interest via https://milspousecoders.org/.

How is the community structured? What type of advice and guidance is provided?
MilSpouseCoders has five active local Chapters with three in the works for 2018. In addition to their local Chapters they have a large virtual presence on Facebook, Slack, Twitter, Instagram, GitHub, Google and YouTube. MilSpouseCoders offers free training resources that make use of free online courses for different fields of study; such as, learning Ruby, Python, or building iOS applications. Their Facebook group is by invitation only and offers video pair programming, and in 2018, they plan to launch an Intro to Computer Science Principles (CSP) course. On occasion, they invite guests like Apex to participate in live career services and training workshops.

What’s next for MilSpouseCoders?
MilSpouseCoders’ plan for next year is to apply for nonprofit status and grow their membership. Their goal: to have a MilSpouseCoders Chapter in every military base around the world!

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, or if you're a veteran, service member, or military family member, please visit https://milspousecoders.org/ for more info.

Click here for more information on how Apex supports our veterans.

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