Coding School Opens in Mission

Valley Technical Academy. L-to-R: Art Alcantar, Kurt Mutz, Alex Silva, Emma Perez, Jim Smith, and Joshua Garza. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez. Texas Border Business.
L-to-R: Art Alcantar, Kurt Mutz, Alex Silva, Emma Perez, Jim Smith, and Joshua Garza. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez.

As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition January 2018

Valley Technical Academy opened its doors at the CEED building in Mission. It was a matter of time, for an institution to begin in the Valley. Joshua Garza, the Chief Marketing Officer of Valley Technical Academy, told Texas Border Business that they offer a 12-week course of coding or design of mobile apps, unique in the area.

He pointed out that, that there are three routes students can go and do. You’ll learn to create designs with a better experience for users in mind. From research and ideation to prototyping and testing, their digital design training will help you solve real-world issues using proven skills and methods.

Also, students will learn everything to create iOS apps from scratch. “We cover programming, third-party services and iterative design for development sprints — all adapted for the platform,” he said.

Third, kick start a student career as a programmer. From development fundamentals to launching web apps, students learn to solve problems with code while applying best practices in a collaborative environment.

Yes, it’s all packed in a 12-week course, which runs Monday through Friday, nine to five. During this time, the students will be going like it’s a real job.

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Joshua added, “This model is very different and unique; 70% of the time students work on real projects with a real team for a real company, and that real company is going to be the company that’s guaranteeing a job placement when students have finished the 12-week course,” he said.

He emphasized that this model of teaching gives students an idea of how it is to work in the real world. “They’re gaining experience, they’re building a portfolio, and they’re seeing how it is to work with a real company, interacting with another developer, with a designer and with a product manager.”

How many hours of teaching? “It’s almost two credit hours lumped into three months because you’re going nine to five like you would in a real job.”

Also, he said, “At the end, students get a certification, but more importantly they get a job.” Who’s your target audience? “Right now, we’re looking at high school students who are graduating and interested in coding. But we also want to reach career-changers, people that are in the middle of the road right now, not happy with what they’re experiencing in their current jobs and they want to go in a different direction.”

Joshua said that this job field is continuously growing and that there are two million jobs in the United States available, and only taken about 200,000. Only 6% of Latinos in the United States are in the tech industry. For us, it’s important to push that diversity here at Valley Tech.”

Whose idea was it to start a coding Tech School? “It was Jim Smith, our CEO, and founder.”

Jim, as an experienced executive with Fortune 500 companies and successful startups, helped executives, product managers, and aspiring entrepreneurs to develop proven processes and practices that solve complex business problems and increase the likelihood of success.

If you are ready to sign up, classes start January 15, 2018, and the 12-week course is $10,500. Valley Tech School has a capacity of 200 students per each 12-week session.