Less Talk, More Code: NYC’s Non-Coding Techsters Taking the Plunge

First, investor Charlie O’Donnell called on New York’s tech scene to add 250 developers to the work force.

“What I’d like to figure out is how we can create a much more sustainable and much more robust pipeline of developers into the NYC innovation community and I’d like to propose a lofty goal to inspire some solutions,” O’Donnell wrote on his blog.

Investor Fred Wilson took up the charge next. “Charlie O’Donnell has put forth a challenge to bring 250 new software developers this year to NYC. I think that’s a good start but I’d like to see a bolder number, like 1,000 a year, or even more,” Wilson wrote yesterday.

Now Nate Westheimer, organizer of the New York Tech Meetup, is taking the idea to the next level.

A thousand non-technical New Yorkers should learn to code, he said.

“For as long as I’ve been involved in the NY tech industry we’ve made cries for more engineers to a) move here; or, b) abandon/avoid Wall Street so they can join our silly startups that are ‘changing the world.’ What if instead of calling on others to do things we just looked to ourselves? Aren’t we the change we are waiting for?” he wrote yesterday.

Westheimer is in the perfect position to say this. Until very recently, he was a NoPE—”Non-cOding Product Executive.” But two months ago, he decided to learn Ruby on Rails and spent a week at his desk in a mental “sweat lodge,” doing nothing else.

Since then, he’s built a voting app for the New York Tech Meetup and a meeting schedule called Ohours. He also posted a guide to learning code.

Westheimer already has 51 comments on his post, “Can 1000 of us learn to code?” so far, many of them NoPEs saying “I’m in.”

Sounds like a New Year’s resolution! Sanford Dickert created a page on nextNY.org where hacker hopefuls can publicly commit to learn a programming language.

ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries

  Less Talk, More Code: NYC’s Non-Coding Techsters Taking the Plunge