With the growth in technology comes an increase in demand for computer coding skills. To serve that need, South Florida State College (SFSC) is offering its first summer Code Academy, beginning Monday, May 7 at the Highlands Campus in Avon Park. Through the academy, students can register for three college-credit computer programming courses, and in an intense learning environment, learn six programming languages in six weeks, six hours a day, and earn a total of 9 college credits. 

“There’s a growing need for computer programming, or ‘coding,’” said Dr. Cherie Stevens, professor of computer science at SFSC. “The use of computer technology is universal, not just in computers,” she said. “Home appliances and cars have electronic computer chips. All of that hardware has to be programmed and coded. Someone has to tell the chips what to do.” 

“Concerned that the number of programmers is decreasing internationally, software executives and others started ‘The Hour of Code,’ an international educational initiative to give people a little taste of what coding is like,” she said. “Throughout the country, for-profit, expensive ‘coding boot camps’ have sprung up to train people to code. To answer the need for more programmers, we decided to offer a low-cost coding boot camp at SFSC.” 

SFSC’s Code Academy schedule offers flexibility. Students can take the full six weeks of programming languages Python, SQL, C++, HTML/CSS, and JavaScript or take two weeks to focus on one or two of these coding languages. Python and SQL (course number 30680) are offered May 7-17; C++ (course number 30681) is May 21-June 1; and HTML/CSS and JavaScript (course number 30682) are June 4-14. 

According to Dr. Stevens, C++ is a general-purpose programming language used for many mathematics, science, and engineering applications and has spawned a number of other popular programming languages. Python is used in a wide variety of applications, including testing microchips, building video games, and network security. SQL was designed for database applications for microcomputers, large systems, and the internet. “For example, if you search an online retailer for a particular shoe in a specific style, size, and color, SQL is used to develop that kind of search,” Dr. Stevens said. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are used in website design and development. 

To register for the SFSC Code Academy, visit the Welcome Center at SFSC’s Highlands Campus in Avon Park, the DeSoto Campus in Arcadia, Hardee Campus in Bowling Green, or the Lake Placid Center. For more information about SFSC’s Code Academy, contact Dr. Cherie Stevens at cherie.stevens@southflorida.edu.