September 21, 2017 Meeting 


Why Tech Talent and Tech Jobs Must Define Albuquerque’s Future


John Mierwza 

Connect with John Mierwza

Ingenuity Software Labs



John was able to present at North i25 on September 21. He grew up in Alameda and lived in Las Vegas for 22 years. He was a carpenter for over 18 years and later on, he moved up within the company to become VP of Sales and Operations. The company became the largest framing company in the entire country. Although it was a great ride he wanted to change. John learned a lot, for example, he implemented technology solutions to keep up with the growth of the company. He also learned a lot about teams, growth, and what it takes to manage it a booming company. After his success, he decided to get a bachelor in Business. John ended up coming back to Albuquerque to begin a new business himself. He’s not a software developer but is very fond of people who can do the work and respects them. Therefore he is the decided to launch the Deep Dive coding boot camp that started in 2013. His main reason was to create and build a more diverse tech community in Albuquerque. As a result, the graduates have been a great aspect of the local economy. John began to explain why Albuquerque is the best place to have a technology job. Albuquerque is able to provide to the technology companies a place to start due to low cost. It’s a trend that ABQ could really benefit on.


John began to talk about Deep Dive Coding and how it was one of the few coding camps in the country when he started it. There were less than 10 coding camps at the time, and Deep Dive Coding was also cheaper than most of them by half.  After 9 months it started, John ran into some folks in CNM. They talked about the STEMulus center and how they wanted to start a boot camp there. Turned out they had similar goals to John’s, and they acquired Deep Dive Coding. Since that point, the boot camp began to grow rapidly within the city.


Now one of the biggest questions was going to get answered, can someone really learn enough in 10 weeks, and get a job as a software developer? John stated how it is not impossible, especially in the tech industry. Deep Dive Coding focuses on these aspects to make their students successful: they have amazing instructors, teach a curriculum that is relevant and coach. Coaching is a huge factor since it is such an intense environment. Another thing they focus on is creating safety nets for people who have low income. This help is able to fund for things like a new laptop, childcare services, or even tutoring. All of this is possible with a lot of partnerships with funders. John believed in how networking with agencies and foundations has made people get into the program and graduate successfully. One of the foundations has been the Kellogg Foundation. They have been great in providing funding for people who couldn’t afford it. Another way this boot camp has made their students successful is by fully immersing them in the program. John gave the example of learning a new language, and how you fully master it is by being immersed in it. The only way you can truly speak it fluently is if you surround yourself by it and talk it regularly. Deep Dive Coding uses this method by making the boot camps 10 or 12 weeks, 40+ hours a week. Outside of that you also have 20-30 hours worth of work for the classes. It’s intense but it works because you’re constantly in the environment of coding. There’s nothing else competing for your attention. Most people that go in the tech field range from 35 years of age, but at the camps, there are people from 17-60 years of age. Students that are even outside the state take the course because it’s much more affordable than most camps. There are a total of three coding camps so far. The first is Full stack, which is PHP, MySQL, Javascript. This camp teaches you the most popular languages to use on the web. The second is Java, Android, and SalesForce. These languages are mainly used for backend and are very useful for major software companies. The final one is the .NEt and it is only part-time for people who work. The total cost is $6500 for full stack, $9000 for Java and .Net is $3000. Deep Dive Coding has more to come but for now, those are the most useful.  John later launched Ingenuity Software Labs to help the students get a job after they graduate. This would help them gain experience from work and learn more about the software industry.







As he concluded his presentation, he expressed how coding boot camps are very different from a CS degree at a college. It’s not for everyone since there are a lot of challenges while taking the course it. It is a great alternative to get into a software career. But its fast paced environment will not be suited for people who have a full-time job. After all, it is a rapid skill career for a booming industry. The reason people take this course is to get a full-time job, but there are no guarantees that you’ll get one when you’re done. It is up to the graduate to persuade their employer to get the job. Others want to freelance and others to start their own business. Overall John hopes that Deep Dive Coding will change Albuquerque’s view on the technology industry.