Happy Veterans Day, 2023.
As we commemorate this day, we extend our deepest gratitude for your unwavering support of Vets Who Code. Your belief in our mission has led to tangible results. In 2022 alone, our veterans secured $1.2 million in jobs within the tech industry.
Our Continued Commitment
Our commitment to you remains the same - 'winning' the war for veteran retraining on the web. Here's what we have been up to since we last touched base.
Embracing Community Wisdom
We embrace the wisdom of Simon Wardley, who once said during our monthly Drills, "If you want to make money, look at the government. If you want to solve problems, look at the community." This resonates with us; our goal isn't wealth accumulation or leveraging government funding. Our path was charted out of a personal struggle transitioning back to civilian life during a challenging time in our country. Coding enabled me to regain control of my life trajectory, and we are determined to provide similar opportunities for fellow veterans.
Innovating for Flexibility
Scott Hanselman aptly says, "The reason for content is to scale yourself." Despite our successes, we recognized the need to evolve our methodology. We are reshaping our approach to fit the flexible needs of our veterans, many of whom juggle jobs while striving to enhance their coding skills.
Self-Paced Learning Environment
We leveraged a decade's worth of notes and curricula to launch a self-paced, accessible learning environment on GitHub. Our troops now research independently and submit their work to be approved via PR, emulating real-world team dynamics.
One-on-One Developer Interaction
We've also implemented mandatory weekly one-on-ones with developers, an invaluable opportunity for troops to discuss their work and gain insights into life as a developer. Over time, they'll also benefit from interacting with Jodie, an AI designed to aid resume building, interview preparation, and other administrative tasks within the Vets Who Code's stack.
So, who's Jodie? Initially conceived as a modest bot for our Slack channels, Jodie has evolved into a sophisticated AI with the help of OpenAI. Trained on a trove of notes and the collective experiences of our most successful students, Jodie has become an integral part of our operations.
- Administrative Support: Managing calendars, scheduling meetings, and sending reminders.
- Communication: Drafting newsletters, responding to routine emails, and flagging urgent messages.
- Resource Management: Keeping educational materials, coding resources, and mentorship programs readily accessible.
- Data Handling: Analyzing feedback, compiling success reports, and suggesting improvements.
- Technical Support: Providing troubleshooting assistance for common software issues.
- Security and Compliance: Adherence to strict data privacy regulations.
- Learning and Reporting: Continuous improvement based on interactions and human feedback while providing regular activity updates.
While Jodie is a powerful tool, it does have limitations. Our human team members better handle tasks requiring personal advice or discretionary decisions.
We are committed to refining Jodie's capabilities. Ayumi and I are actively utilizing and testing Jodie, ensuring its effectiveness in supporting Vets Who Code operations. We plan to introduce Jodie to our troops in 2024 on a case-by-case basis, allowing us to customize Jodie's assistance based on individual needs.
Support Our Mission
Your support is vital to our mission. If you're inspired by our work and want to contribute to the empowerment of veterans in the tech industry, consider making a donation. Every contribution, big or small, makes a difference. Donate now at Vets Who Code Donation Page.
Your faith in Vets Who Code enables us to provide high-quality resources to our veterans continually. Thank you once again for being the backbone of our community as we forge ahead in our mission to make the tech industry accessible to veterans.