"Re:Coded equips refugees and vulnerable youth in conflict affected areas with fundamental coding skills and professional coding skills and professional experience that together create access to careers in technology." (About Re:Coded)
Cracking the Opportunity Code
Re:Coded is a program based out of the Center for Global Affairs at New York University’s School of Professional Studies and is supported by the United Nations Development Program. Re:Coded trains refugees and displaced Iraqi youth in web development to create new pathways into in-demand technology careers. Re:Coded believes that learning to code offers thought processes and technical skills that are valuable for improving the lives of refugees and displaced youth.
Working While War-torn
Re:Coded uses a fellowship model to select candidates through aptitude exams. The program provides English training that focuses on the language needed in technology professions, provides a demanding 24–week bootcamp, and finally matches fellows with private sector partner employers. Graduating fellows are placed in remote working jobs within a year of completing the program. The intensive program trains fellows with no prior experience at no cost to students. Re:Coded also provides them with non-technical part-time employment prior to completion.
The Re:Coded fellows’ abilities to work remotely as computer programmers is intended to help address international shortages of programmers and the lack of opportunities for displaced persons. However, the intensive boot camp model has faced challenges as refugees and displaced persons are often burdened with social problems that the typical camp model didn’t account for at first. Also, given the unstable nature of some countries, there could be issues regarding access to technology, steady internet signal, etc. that could impact fellows’ employment prospects regardless of how good this program becomes. Re:Coded has worked to adapt their model and reduce student dropout in response to the concerns students have expressed. Though the program has shifted with hopes of making improvements, it continues to provide an alternative employment option for the growing population of refugees and displaced persons.Image: via Unsplash