26 Graduate SPARK’s Shifting Code Program

Ann Arbor's First Software Development Class


ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor SPARK's first Shifting Code cohort will graduate from the program on Wednesday, May 16, in a ceremony at SPARK Central.  The 26 graduates successfully completed the Shifting Code program, a program designed and administered by Ann Arbor SPARK and funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to meet regional demand for software developers. 

65 percent of the graduates have already found employment using their new software skills. Shifting Code graduates were hired by a range of companies including start-up company Commerce Guys, second stage firm SRT Solutions, and global automotive manufacturer Ford Motor Company.

"The response to Shifting Code, both in terms of interest from job-seekers and employers, affirmed that this type of high tech skills development is an important economic development asset for our region," said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. Shifting Code is a concrete example of Ann Arbor SPARK’s mission to drive economic opportunity in the region. They are working with employers to identify a need and are creating a program to address it, which eliminates a barrier to business growth.

Shifting Code's curriculum was based on the input of a core group of employers, and consisted of learning modules of specific coding languages developed for team-based learning over a 12-week period. These modules were delivered via hybrid instructional model that included face-to-face instruction and online support.

Twenty companies participated in Shifting Code, which had support from regional colleges and universities, MEDC, and Washtenaw County Michigan Works.

With continued funding from the MEDC, the next Ann Arbor Shifting Code cohort will start September 2012 and focus on .NET, a software framework developed by Microsoft.

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