Classes begin in March for next NewForce software training class at Mountwest

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Applications are due Friday for the next NewForce training class, the six-month, tuition-free software development training program that’s a partnership between Generation West Virginia, Mountwest Community and Technical College and employers.

“We’ve found that the people who love solving problems and love learning new things are those who would really make great software developers,” said Natalie Roper, executive director of Generation West Virginia.

NewForce launched in Cabell County just more than a year ago to prepare West Virginians for technology jobs available in the Mountain State.

No prior technology experience in coding or math is required to apply.

Natalie Roper

Of the students, “Some have graduated from college and are using this program to sort of shift careers, some are using this as sort of an alternate education pathway to access the technology field,” Roper said.

“Right now, we have students and graduates who were teachers, worked in fast food, were painting houses.”

Feb. 11 is Demo Day for the 15 students who make up the second NewForce cohort.

That is when they will be demonstrating the two capstone web applications they’ve built during their time in the program which is structured like a software development workplace.

The NewForce curriculum was developed at Nashville Software School.

Students work in teams to build software applications to address real-world business problems.

“That’s what software development is like both in this classroom and on the job,” Roper said.

“You’re constantly solving complex problems, hitting up against challenges that you can solve through technology and we’re looking for people who find that fun.”

Students in the first NewForce cohort graduated last July.

Currently, Roper said 12 of those 14 graduates are employed in software development with companies based in West Virginia like Core10, IBM, Mountain Leverage and the Green Bank Observatory.

Jan. 31 is the last day to apply for the third NewForce cohort ahead of the start of classes in March.

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