Hudson Valley Can Code

Why Python?


The 5 Biggest Reasons You Should Learn The Programming Language of Tomorrow… Today!
Python’s star continues to be on the rise. The powerful and popular programming language seems to grow more influential each day. Whether you’re a beginner learning to program for the first time, or an experienced programmer thinking about making the switch, there’s never been a better time to learn Python. Read on for the 5 biggest reasons you should learn to program with Python today!

5) It’s quick and easy to learn
For an experienced programmer, it’s very easy to make the switch to Python from any other language. But it’s also quick and easy for beginners to pick up, as well! With its simplified syntax and clean design philosophy, Python is one of the most accessible programming languages available. It’s designed to be easy to read and write. That readability makes it especially efficient to maintain and update.

4) It has versatile applications
Beyond being easy to learn and use, Python is also universal.
It’s designed to be a “general purpose” language, and its cross-platform compatibility makes it very powerful. Python supports many operating systems and, as an interpreted language, it enables you to run code on different platforms without recompiling. Learning Python makes you a versatile employee, too; you’ll be able to hop to a different industry without missing a beat.

3) It’s widely-used
Python is useful for almost any industry. Finance, healthcare, insurance. Aerospace, entertainment, web development. Python is even used in academia. Google started using Python for many applications in 2006, and even created a dedicated Python portal. Spotify and Netflix use Python for certain applications. And the Dropbox desktop client is entirely written in Python. And it won’t be going away anytime soon. Top computer science programs, such as at MIT and Berkely, are teaching students Python right now. So it really is the language of tomorrow!

2) It’s the language of data science and analytics
Python isn’t the only language used for data science and analytics, but it is among the most popular. Many data processing workloads, and most R&D all take place in Python. It also has amazing libraries that are often used for machine learning, and other applications. Demand for data science continues to rise, which puts anyone who knows Python in a great position for success.

Which brings us to the #1 reason you should learn Python today…

1) The Supportive Community
The Python community is over 30 years old, and they remain very active. That means there are plenty of tutorials and video guides, and lots of documentation. What’s more, there will always be somebody there to help you with any problem, any time. When it comes to learning an important new skill, help and support from a great community is always invaluable.
Honorable Mention: Inspired by Monty Python
Why is Python called Python? Because creator Guido van Rossum was watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus while developing the language. The Monty Python influence is still part of the Python culture today… keeping the language fun to use is always a priority.

As you can see, there are lots of great reasons to learn Python today. But where do you begin? By signing up for our OpenHub Data Analytics Bootcamp! Click here to learn more: https://openhubproject.com/bootcamps/data-analytics-bootcamp

Meet Your New Mentor

Join OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp

Computer science professor. Data Scientist. Researcher. Software applications developer. Business owner. All-around nerd.

Meet your new mentor.

Students of OpenHub System’s Data Analytics Bootcamp will spend six months learning from Cynthia V. Marcello, DM.

The Hudson Valley’s only Data Analytics Boot Camp is an intensive, hand’s-on learning experience. Fortunately, Cynthia has the experience and know-how to get you job-ready in six months. As an experienced professor of computer science for the past 14 years, she has a demonstrated history of working in higher education. And after 25 years of experience working with a diverse range of businesses, corporations, and government and educational agencies, she has the knowledge you need to succeed.

Cynthia V. Marcello, DM is a tech solopreneur, software applications developer, data scientist, and business management consultant.

She has developed data-driven applications for the Department of Defense. She has created custom software applications for corporations, and order-entry and production systems for online retailers. She also provides custom training in technology using her own curriculum. Cynthia is the founder and host of Data-Driven Divas, an online community designed to support women small business owners and managers seeking to enhance their data-driven decision-making skills. She’s skilled in Computer Science Data Analytics, Database Design and Development, Systems Analysis, and Project Management.

A classic systems thinker, Cynthia strives to empower others with understanding.

Human and systems behaviors impact the daily experience of life for us all. Cynthia seeks to align and implement technology with these systems.

Her education includes a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Information Systems and Technology. She also holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in E-Business, and a Master of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

Want to be a part of OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp, and spend six months learning from Cynthia? Don’t miss your chance!

Click here to join today: https://openhubproject.com/bootcamps/data-analytics-bootcamp

Is data analytics right for you?

“Is data analytics right for me?”

OpenHub has the answers to your questions.

If you’re an adult looking for a career change, a high schooler looking to learn practical skills, or someone who already works in the basic technology space, the answer to that question may be yes!

Going into data analytics offers plenty of benefits. It’s a growing job market that offers lucrative career tracks. And, with OpenHub ‘s Data Analytics Bootcamp, you could be job-ready in just six months!

If you lean more towards analytical thinking when it comes to work and problem solving, you enjoy connecting the dots based on the facts and you’re a naturally curious person, you are a great fit to become an amazing and successful Data Analyst!

To learn more about what data analytics is, why it matters, and why OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp may be right for you, read on!

What is data analytics?

Knowledge is power. But how do we approach examining the largest datasets to uncover hidden patterns and meaningful insights? That’s where data analytics comes in. In simple terms, data analytics involves using specialized systems to understand what large amounts of raw data can tell us.

Data analytics can help companies make better, more effective and efficient decisions. It can reduce costs, gauge customer needs, predict and improve business performance, and more.

As you can imagine, data analytics skill sets are in high demand. And demand is only getting higher!

Will I be able to find a good job?

The short answer? Probably! Data analytics is one of the most popular and fast-growing job markets available, and skills in this field are needed in a wide range of industries.

According to the World Economic Forum, 85% of companies will have adopted big data and analytics technologies by 2022. And 96% of companies will be seeking to hire new permanent staff.

The career tracks are lucrative, too. According to Indeed.com, the average data scientist will earn over $123,000 in 2021. Salaries for data scientists with less than a year of experience start at over $104,000 on average.

How do I begin?

OpenHub’s Data Analytics Bootcamp is an intensive, hands-on learning experience. Bootcamp is focused on essential, in-demand skills based on industry best practices, you’ll be job-ready in just six-months.

All our instructors are local, experienced professionals who are passionate about the growing Hudson Valley tech community. The skills you’ll learn in these courses are sought-after, and based on industry best practices.

This is the Hudson Valley’s only Data Analytics Boot Camp — and no prior experience is necessary to join.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Sign up here: https://openhubproject.com/bootcamps/data-analytics-bootcamp

How Coding Is a Way Out of Poverty

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

We are often under the impression that it is difficult to change our position in society. Those born into poverty often have only the slimmest chances of breaking the cycle. However, there are exceptions. Currently, one of the top ways kids are finding a breakthrough from poverty is through coding.

Coding Breaks the Cycle of Poverty Like Nothing Else

Most skilled careers require a formal education, which may be out of reach for many in poverty. There are many barriers to overcome, including the high fees of a university degree.

Coding is not like that. Anyone can learn to code with just a computer and internet access — although it is preferable to also have a teacher or mentor. In addition, unlike other computer-based skills (such as graphic design), the tools to learn to code are inexpensive.

In fact, once you have the hardware, most tools are free. Browsers and text editors are free and the most popular back-end languages, web servers, database engines, and other tools, libraries, and frameworks are free and open source

Finally, there’s the fact that students who decide to learn coding tend to enjoy it. They gain a sense of achievement when they finish a project and often have a feeling of control over their life, which they may never have experienced before. This is motivating and leads them to want to continue building skills, perhaps even through a career in computer science.

Starting Young Is Beneficial

Like with any skill, it’s beneficial to start learning to code young. However, coding also has some additional advantages for young students, including those who ultimately choose careers in something other than tech.

Critical thinking — To code effectively, it’s necessary to look at problems critically, breaking them down into smaller steps. Students can apply this type of thinking to all sorts of other problems.

Creativity — The best results from coding come from creative solutions. Seeing the results they are able to produce gives kids more confidence in their creative abilities.

Problem solving — One creative skill related to coding in particular is problem solving, since coding is all about finding new solutions.

Math skills — Math at school can often feel abstract and irrelevant. Through applied logic and data analysis, coding brings meaning back to math.

Resilience — Students will find that fail plenty when they code, but this can actually be one of the enjoyable aspects of the activity. The improved resilience this creates in kids is hugely useful for helping them face challenges throughout their lives.

It’s Never Too Late

There tends to be an emphasis on teaching kids to code — to give them more opportunities when they grow up. However, there’s no need for coding to be limited to youth; after all, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. In fact, learning to code as an adult can open more doors and lead to better employment.

The great thing about coding is you can learn at your own pace. In other words, there’s no need to have years of experience. If you’re able to put in the time, you will learn — although you will need to work hard to catch up with someone who has been coding regularly from a young age.

Why Coding Matters

Coding isn’t just useful on an individual level — it’s important for society, too. Plus, it’s constantly becoming more important. There’s always a demand for coders to work on problems that only technology can solve. This means there will never be too many coders. Even an influx of coders could only help: it would mean the chance to solve more problems and faster.

Furthermore, it’s important to gain more perspectives when striving to solve problems. Since the programming field is currently dominated by white men from a middle-class background, more kids from diverse backgrounds would mean fresh perspectives throughout the tech industry.

Barriers to Coding

Of course, it’s never as simple as just deciding you want to code, particularly if you’re a kid. The biggest challenge is finding opportunities. For one thing, many people in poverty lack a computer at home.

Plus, even if a student does have a home computer or the chance to use a computer at school or in a public place, it is difficult to learn alone. Whereas there are many videos to follow online, students require guidance from a teacher to know how to implement what they’re learning. Unfortunately, some areas of the country only have a few trained teachers, which means many students who would like to learn coding may be unable to do so.

Another barrier is time. It takes many hours of practice to become a proficient coder. Students need to receive regular training, which again requires plenty of opportunities to learn with a mentor.

Lastly, there’s the fact that coding is difficult. It requires dedication, practice, and a willingness to put in the effort to keep learning. To succeed, students need to be motivated and schedule time to learn for a few hours each week. There are always areas for improvement as well as new coding languages to learn — and it’s not simply a case of transferring your knowledge: there’s a huge amount of new information to take in.

Overcoming These Barriers

The good news is there are ever more nonprofits and other organizations offering additional opportunities, including courses, boot camps, and digital inclusion programs. These opportunities are often aimed at disadvantaged groups of the population to fill the gap left by schools that often cannot provide sufficient resources for everyone.

One project breaking down the barriers named above is OpenHub. It provides guidance on careers in tech, specialty boot camps for rapid reskilling / start for a tech career, engaging best mentors to share their best practices and proven frameworks and scenarios to learn and apply real-life skills. See more about OpenHub’s boot camps. By pairing young coders with experienced developers in the Hudson Valley and beyond, OpenHub gives everyone the chance to collaborate and improve their skills. Participants work together on real projects, which gives them a chance to see how their coding skills have an actual impact. In fact, OpenHub goes a step further than many other projects: it allows people to use coding as a way out of poverty for themselves and to help others in their community.

Coders can test and apply the skills they learned during HVTechFest Hackathons to experience real-life working scenarios in the tech and startup world.

The Top 8 Women Who Are Changing Tech in America

When people think of the tech industry, it’s often names of men that come to mind. This is a shame because there’s a large number of marvelous women in tech who deserve the spotlight just as much as men. In fact, there are far too many innovative and influential women in tech to fit into one list — this is just a selection of some of the most noteworthy.

  1. Reshma Saujani

    Having studied law at Harvard University and Yale Law School, Reshma Saujani intended to be a lawyer and politician. Unfortunately, she lost her primary running for Congress in 2010 — but this ended up taking her in a new and important direction.

In 2012, Saujani founded the nonprofit Girls Who Code. The organization offers support for young women who want to enter the computer science field by helping them to acquire the necessary skills. Ultimately, the goal of Girls Who Code is to close the gender achievement gap in tech and change society’s ideas about what a programmer looks like.

  1. Katie Haun

    Another lawyer turned tech pioneer is Katie Haun. She actually started her tech career after receiving an assignment from the U.S. federal attorney to investigate bitcoin — with the aim of shutting the cryptocurrency down. After realizing the impossibility of the task, Haun went in the complete opposite direction and became a cryptocurrency expert. Plus, she used the understanding of blockchain she gained to prosecute cases of extortion and white-collar crime.

Now, Haun is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and co-heads the cryptocurrency team. The firm currently has two funds invested in crypto companies and protocols, which together are valued at $865 million.

  1. Susan Wojcicki

    Today the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki has been working at Google since 1999. She was the company’s first marketing manager and only its sixteenth employee. After becoming senior vice president of advertising and commerce (which involved managing Google’s video service), Wojcicki suggested the company acquire YouTube in 2006.

YouTube was only the first of Wojcicki’s acquisitions — she also handled the purchase of DoubleClick a year later. She then transitioned to CEO of YouTube in 2014. These numerous achievements led to Wojcicki being named the most important person in advertising by AdWeek in 2013 and her appearing in Time magazine’s 2015 list of the 100 most influential people.

  1. Yulia Ovchinnikova

    With her master’s degree in computer science and applied mathematics followed by a PhD in economics, Yulia Ovchinnikova was the recognized Internet influencer and Digital Divide expert in Russia. She initiated Russian Internet Governance Forum and Internet Awareness program for the youth creating an open discussion on how to make the Internet open and affordable for all. This initiative was one of the key stepping stones toward affordable Internet in Russia – the average plan is $10/month for high-speed broadband to the home.

She discovered Digital Divide being even worse in the US. She believes Internet connectivity is essential for economic development and Digital skills / Tech skills are crucial for professional growth and economic development. Looking for her tech tribe she became a passionate tech leader and advocate for a technology-driven approach.

In 2016 she launched OpenHub for rapid workforce reskilling in technology. She believes Combining Technology with Entrepreneurship, and Education with Real Projects built through Collaboration, can elevate people’s lives and brains. OpenHub offers IT support professional certificate, Web Development and Data Analytics boot camps. These programs can be offered as an organic continuation for after school youth and continuing-education adults. The programs do not require any college degree while providing real-life skills needed for junior tech jobs encouraging people to collaborate on specific projects and challenges for professional and business growth.

In 2019 she launched the first-ever Hudson Valley Tech Festival to showcase technology, talent, and capability within the Hudson Valley region. It is proven OpenHub and HVTechFest bring people together around technology and entrepreneurship through collaboration – creating conditions for personal and regional growth. As a matchmaker in tech, she works on creating awareness about tech and equipping people with tech skills toward a better future.

  1. Angela Siefer

    Angela Siefer is the Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. Angela has been working in the field we now call digital inclusion since 1997. From physically set up computer labs in underserved areas and managing local digital inclusion programs to assisting with the Department of Commerce’s Broadband Adoption Toolkit and testifying before a U.S. Senate Sub-Committee, Angela develops national strategies and solutions from the ground up.

In 2015, Angela helped found the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, a unified voice for home broadband access, public broadband access, personal devices and local technology training and support programs. Government Technology Magazine named Angela one of their Top 25 Doers, Dreams, and Drivers of 2019.

  1. Karla Monterroso

    Another top woman in tech fighting for greater diversity is Karla Monterroso. Being both black and Latina, Monterroso has first-hand knowledge of the ethnicity opportunity gap. She is currently CEO of Code2040 — an organization committed to achieving racial equity in tech by breaking down barriers.

When Monterroso found out about Code2040, she knew almost immediately that it was something she wanted to be part of. In the seven years, she has been at the organization, Code2040 has increased from serving 25 students to 4,000 and has launched a number of new programs.

  1. Kimberly Bryant

    The Bay Area may be the go-to place for tech, but Kimberly Bryant was unable to find any computer programming courses suitable for her daughter there. The vast majority of students were boys and few courses had any black girls at all. An electrical engineer herself, Bryant didn’t want her daughter to relive her own negative experiences in a STEM field.

Bryant decided to take matters into her own hands. With only her 401(k) for investment capital, she founded the nonprofit Black Girls Code. The organization teaches African American girls basic programming to encourage them to stay in STEM. By 2040, her goal is to bring training to one million girls and increase representation for black women in the tech industry.

  1. Danah Boyd

    In addition to being a principal research at Microsoft Research, Danah Boyd is the founder of Data & Society. An independent research institute, Data & Society looks at the wider implications for a range of tech issues. Through their original research, the institute examines everything from AI and disinformation to the effects of technology on health.

Some of Boyd’s most important research to date has been on the impact of daily social media usage on young people. She has written one book by herself and co-authored two more on the topic.

With movements like Girls Who Code, Hackathons, and other programs encouraging more girls to enter tech, we can expect many more names to join the ranks of women in tech in the near future. Plus, these girls have women like those above to inspire them and to show them anything is possible.

The Women in Tech Movement: Girls Who Code

The tech sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. This is because tech offers the chance to solve real-world problems and to innovate. For those who choose a career in tech, it is also an opportunity to leave poverty behind.

However, there is currently a massive divide in tech: the field is dominated by men, and women are still not even considering a career in tech.

The digital divide between those who have access to tech and those who don’t is brutal. Throughout the country, there are people who have extremely limited access to affordable internet and even to modern computers. Girls in this situation fail to develop the digital skills that their counterparts are acquiring at a young age.

There are many other problems such as bad connection with teachers and mentors due to low internet connection and its high cost, limited public transportation, and lack of courses with modern technology frameworks.

The women in tech movement aims to change that — by putting girls and women in center stage.

Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani in 2012 – teaching girls not only to code, but what resilience, bravery, and sisterhood is.

Women in Tech is another global movement supported by Google that gathers all people, networks, and organizations that are engaged in bridging the gender gap in the technology sector by Helping Women embrace Tech.

One such remarkable initiative was started by Dr. Yulia Ovchinnikova with Open Hub in the Hudson Valley area.

Who Is Yulia Ovchinnikova & what is OpenHub?

Yulia Ovchinnikova is a Russian-born American entrepreneur who is passionate about improving girls’ participation in tech. In addition to a master’s degree in computer science and applied mathematics, she has a PhD in economics. She was also one of the internet development leaders in Russia during the first decade of the 21st century. In fact, she was the first woman elected to the Russian Internet Council, through which she launched Cyrillic TLD and, most importantly, began addressing the digital divide.

Dr. Ovchinnikova’s unique educational background and work experience puts her in the perfect position to tackle the challenges women in tech face.

In 2014, Dr. Ovchinnikova followed love and relocated to Newburgh, New York. She was surprised to find many similarities between this region and Russia. Today, she still lives in the Hudson Valley, NY. Perhaps this move was fate, as it revealed to Dr. Ovchinnikova the challenges that those who live in rural America face. In particular, it highlighted to her why women and girls are underrepresented in tech.

Noticing all these problems, Dr. Ovchinnikova strove to bring a solution to the Hudson Valley. From this desire, Open Hub was born in 2017.

As a connector and entrepreneur, Dr. Ovchinnikova knows how to use technology to create opportunities and transform business. Open Hub is a community enterprise that uses a technology-driven economic development approach. By combining tech, entrepreneurship, and education, it has launched initiatives like #HudsonValleyCanCode and #HVTechFest. In addition, it has created numerous opportunities for collaboration. By matching professionals with young coders, participants are able to see their impact on real projects.

The Girls Who Code Program – Newburgh chapter

As well as being an infectious leader, Dr. Ovchinnikova is a role model for women in tech. To tackle the issue of bringing more women to the tech world, she launched a Girls Who Code program in Newburgh in 2019. This is just one of many ed-tech programs from Open Hub.

The Girls Who Code program started in conjunction with the first Hudson Valley TechFest and Youth Hackathon. This proved to be a game-changer for the region. The Newburgh girls who participated in the Hackathon developed a can-do attitude and a sisterhood along with their tech skills. They have passed on this spirit to subsequent cohorts, which has led the whole movement to go viral.

The Hackathon demonstrated that youth in the Hudson Valley is committed to solving civic problems in their area. Not only that: they have what it takes to face the challenges around employability and professional sustainability.

This has been an exciting discovery for everyone from the organizers to the young participants. They all realized that they’re aligned in the same dream of making the Hudson Valley a better place to live and work. It has also become clear that technology will be the practical tool they need to accomplish their goals.

2021 Newburgh Girls Program opens doors on February 22nd

The Girls Who Code club continues today with the 2021 Newburgh Girls program. Once again, the program will be a partnership with the Newburgh Public Library and Rowley Family Foundation and will receive support from other stakeholders, including global organizations like Google. The initiative has the same objectives as always — to create opportunities in tech for girls, to impart leadership skills, and to help develop a sisterhood of support.

Like years past, the program will have an impact on much more than just the girls themselves. The initiative affects families, neighborhoods, and the Hudson Valley region as a whole. After all, even the largest changes have to begin locally — and then they often spread far wider than anyone would have imagined.

Open Hub hopes to use the initiative this year to send the message that dreams can come true.

OpenHub Announces Three Winter Bootcamps


It’s been a long, challenging and quite unique year unlike no other, and for many, one filled with isolation, hopelessness and uncertainty. However, one common thread has surfaced among all those who have successfully navigated the new, world terrain: a willingness to be versatile and open to new opportunities and growth.

Hudson Valley based entrepreneur, Yulia Ovchinnikova, has long been aware of the dire need of acquiring strong skill sets, possessing constant flexibility and having the support of a sense of community as they relate to the job market, specifically the technology field. Even before the Pandemic set in, Ovchinnikova envisioned a thriving technology-driven economy right here in the Hudson Valley. That exciting reality included like-minded individuals, businesses and stakeholders who fused together, promoting, training and guiding one another in mutually benefitting ways, ultimately creating a booming technology “hub.”

The OpenHub eventually evolved, and has already soared in just four years. In October, 2019 technology professionals gathered for a large, productive conference; another is scheduled for the spring of 2021. There have also been two tremendously successful Hackathons over the past two years, presenting stimulating and unforgettable opportunities for creative collaboration and even prizes. Perhaps, at the epicenter of it all is the potent education piece: Bootcamp offerings.

Over the last four years, 50+ students have taken advantage of the ONLY of their kind Bootcamp offerings in the Hudson Valley in specialty areas of: Web Development and IT Support. Each one lasting 6 months, costing less than $3,000, taught by professionals actively in the field, and carrying the promise of securing a job in that area of expertise. Options are also available to take just one course for the very reasonable price tag of $500. Regardless of which course you select, you will become empowered with current technology skills delivered by top professionals in their field and have the authentic opportunity to network with like-minded people, while developing hands-on skills that can directly translate to infinite job opportunities. 

Foundations of Information Technology

Second week of January 2021 we are launching the Foundations of Information Technology course with Orange Ulster BOCES! This course is an Introduction to Digital Skills, IT Support, and Web Development, all together – 300 Hours total (60 Sessions).

If you have no idea what tech can do for you or what you can do in tech / with tech, then the Foundations of Information Technology might be the best for you as an exploration while getting the employable skills!

This program is designed to provide students with the foundational skills necessary for various entry-level roles in IT Support and Web Development. Whether that is doing in-person or remote work, at a small company or a large enterprise organization, nearly every company whose employees use computers have a need for IT support professionals and web developers.
This course will begin by teaching students’ important prerequisite digital competencies to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the skills needed to complete the course and prepare for employment. From there students will go through both an IT Support and a Web Development module, meant to give students skills and exposure to a wide variety of career pathways in the tech field. Upon completion of the course, students will have the option to share their information with top employers hiring entry-level IT and web development professionals.

Topics covered in this course include the Google suite, digital resume building, effective IT job searching, Technical Support Fundamentals (Google certification), and Web Development fundamentals including learning how to use HTML5 and CSS.
Do you have a digital resume? Would you like to have one? 🙂

IT Support Certificate

Certified by Google, who works alongside a non-profit organization, and carrying the added plus of a professional certificate upon completion, IT Support Courses are slated to start in the second week of January, 2021. Produced by Google and taught by OpenHub, this Bootcamp requires no background knowledge, and can result in an assortment of innovative and integral job pathways. Running 30 weeks, it costs $2,495.00, and has the potential to reap countless dividends.

Web Development 

Also run by OpenHub and in collaboration with SUNY Ulster in Kingston is the Web Development Bootcamp which is set to kick off in the third week of January, 2021. The only one of its kind in the Hudson Valley, this Bootcamp revolves around a curriculum that is laden with in-demand skills and is rooted upon best, most current and applicable business practices. There are a total of 6 course offerings, each which can be taken separately. No prior experience is needed, and all of the instructors are Hudson-Valley based and professionals in the Web Development field. Running 27 weeks, this exciting, very relevant Bootcamp’s tuition is $2,954.

Data Analysis

Finally, the Data Analytics Bootcamp is being offered. Led by esteemed professor Cynthia V.Marcello who teaches at two major universities, this learning opportunity is extremely intense and hands-on, resulting in priceless job skills employees in the field are seeking. Running 27 weeks, this popular Bootcamp includes a three hour weekly lecture and carries a cost of $2,950. In addition to the classes for individuals, there is also an option catering to small businesses, aimed at analyzing date to inform decision-making, answering such queries as how to get there and where to start. Tallying a total of 9 hours, it costs just $250.

Whatever Bootcamp you select, you are guaranteed to be equipped with an expansive, extremely applicable new skill set delivered by top-notch instructors. Further, upon completing any one of these unique learning opportunities, you will not only have a new arsenal of highly marketable, in-demand abilities, but the authentic opportunity to share ideas and visions with others in your selected field, growing both professionally and personally, while potentially being able to give back to the increasingly expanding technology economy right here in the Hudson Valley.
To sign up for one of these truly one-of-a-kind, inspiring educational opportunities inquire with selected Bootcamp Link:

Open Hub Hackathon Attracts Wide Range of Backgrounds, Talents and Visionaries, United by Shared Passion

Say the word “techie” and most are likely to quickly conjure up an image of an individual possessing elusive, innate technological skills that consume that person’s life. A further vision of one of these prototypes includes someone who has always known exactly what he or she wanted to do because of this unwavering passion, reserved to a few elite: The math and science types, those logical ones, and oh yes, the linear personalities. Think again!

Participants in October, 2020’s latest Hudson Valley’s Open Hub Hackathon showed first-hand, “Zoom style,” just how far off those antiquated, oftentimes derogatory, and confining stereotypes, are. Hailing from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, personalities, and aspirations, each of the participants carries an intriguing flair of authenticity, creativity and energy that is slowly redefining what it means to be a person involved in technology in today’s dynamic, quickly evolving world. They further exemplify how technology is drastically changing people’s lives by its enriching, empowering rewards, available to ALL people.

Meet Dana McMullen. Her journey is woven with flexibility, determination, an altruistic spirit and some recurring doses of fate. It begins in high school, where although she excelled in math and science, technological interest and aspirations were the furthest things from her desire to become a female rapper, along with entertainment icon. You can find traces of that talent on YouTube where she and some friends have a popular gig analogous to Salt-N-Pepa which had an impressive number of views; however not enough to generate a steady income. So, off to college she went, where a major in sociology was not a revenue wielding career path either. The panacea to her job future came when she decided to take a Computer Information Systems Class. While working at Syracuse University, fate entered her life when a colleague tipped her off to a job opening in her field of study. Before long, she was fully immersed in and passionate about her new love: an Adaptive Technology Instructor for the blind. Realizing the positive difference being able to use technology can make in changing lives, she thoroughly enjoyed this position, which also included modifying technology for others with disabilities, for close to 10 years. However, when a loved one became ill, she had to make caretaking her new priority. When returning almost a decade later to the technology field, she faced an unsettling reality of how fast it had evolved and just how unprepared she suddenly was. Enter fate number two: a Coding and Programming free Bootcamp through HackUpState opportunity was available. Although extremely demanding, the course resulted in her present position as a Web Developer Manager, who also educates others to learn the very technological skills that positively altered her life. Reflecting back on how far she has come since her days of wanting to be a singing sensation, Dana cannot be more grateful where she has landed. “Technology helps other people’s lives so much,” she stressed. “After all, if we can’t do it for that purpose, what’s the point?”

Another self-proclaimed “non-techie,” who stumbled upon the medium as a way to connect with and make learning meaningful to children, is educator Sonya Abbye Taylor. Initially using it-along with music and theatre- way back in the day to make filmstrips with students, Sonya immediately saw the huge, transforming impact it can have in most all realms of learning. As an administrator she went on to encourage her teachers to attend workshops and integrate technology as much as possible, realizing its profound enriching capability. “I truly value it,” affirmed Sonya about technology. “However, I’m still not a techie.” Presently teaching on the collegiate level, the lifelong educator specializes in teaching technology to students facing communication disorders, opening up a whole new world for them.
“Some of the services available to these students make change and going to places we never thought possible become possible,” said Sonya. “Technology can change the world, and we need to have the visionaries around who can see and make that happen.”

One of those visionary types of people is Stephen Shaffer, another Open Hub Hackathon participant who entered the world of technology in a non-traditional manner. A business major who went on to earn his MBA, Stephen has never taken a formal technology class. However, he has always possessed a very logical mind, one that has consistently queried about what can get him to an end result. Oftentimes the most expedient way is using technology, something he views as multifaceted as well as imperative to keep up with its constantly evolving changes. With a Hackathon victory to his credit, he revels in the “fun” nature they provide, something he likes to refer to as his “play time.” Attracted to the experimental appeal of Hackathons as well as the exploratory allure of technology in general, Steven wants to spend as much of his limited free time as possible continuing to engage in this wonderful “adult play time.”

Shannah White is quick to describe herself-even to this day- as more of the hippie type than a techie. Regardless, the entrepreneur found herself on the technology path for the problem-solving high she got from the immediate and tangible art of coding. A self-taught web developer, who started on a small scale, Shannah has slowly honed her abilities while staying true to her chief priority: self-reliance. Intent on avoiding the confinements of the “cooperate mold, 9–5” she worked arduously to develop her now thriving freelance website developer business. Discovering Open Hub was yet another game-changing moment in her career. Viewing the Hub as the ideal “marriage between uplifting the community and developing skills,” Shannah has joined the Hudson Valley innovative technology team as a Web Development Bootcamp instructor, who stresses real life projects, requiring creativity and critical thinking.

Not only did many of the 2020 HVTechFest Hackathon participants not fit into the traditional “techie” boxes of having a lifetime love affair with technology or even entering the field with a solid skill set, but several proved age need not be a variable. Anna Patel, now 11 years old, started to develop an interest in coding in fourth grade. Beginning with Basic Java, the pre-teen was immediately hooked, enjoying the challenge tremendously while prompted to explore more and more. Her quest led her to joining the Newburgh Girls Coding Club this past spring and summer, where her tech calling was further secured. Recently a participant in her first Hackathon in October, Anna earned the respect of the judges for both her positive attitude as well as impressive coding skill set. Now further inspired, she enrolled in Open Hub’s Web Development Bootcamp. Her present goal is to learn integral real world skills as well as critical other ones to develop professional websites. In just fifth grade now, Anna possesses unlimited, untapped potential and plenty of time to acquire priceless more skills as well as hone those she already possesses, allowing her to contribute to the field of technology in countless, exciting ways. This is just the beginning.

It’s also a new start for another youth Hackathon participant, Taylor Dinardo, a senior at SUNY New Paltz. Initially a Linguistics Major, Taylor “never, ever” thought of herself as a techie. However, one day she was posed with “a techie barometer test:” How would you tell a robot to transfer a cup of water from one hand to another? Providing a super detailed reply, Taylor also revealed her keen ability to think logically. This revelation led to her signing up for an accelerated Computer Science Master’s Program; she then went on to contribute her knowledge to younger females intrigued by technology, working this past summer as an instructor for the 180 member, country-wide “Girls Who Code,” a life-transforming experience.
“It was very reformative for me,” reflected Taylor about her teaching role. “It was an opportunity I wish was available when I was younger, so now, I want to pass on to others what I have learned.”

For still others, technology represents sheer survival, a precious pathway whose doors can invite in all kinds of possibilities. Meet Ludmila Smirnova, a professor at Mount Saint Mary College. Twenty years ago, the educator came to an awakening that technology truly is the future. It is a tool that can allow anyone in any field, including teaching to excel. With this epiphany, Ludmila relentlessly studied-day and night- all the ins and out of technology, developing a love for a field once completely foreign to her. Attempting to share that passion with her students, she ran up against a brick wall of resistance. Then, everything changed when COVID struck. Suddenly, all of her students took on roles of explorers, their creative juices organically growing; Ludmila embraced this opportunity, creating a “very creative and interactive syllabus.” Building a community through Triple Echo, the professor also had her students introduce their future selves using Flipgrid, a device that immediately attracted her charges for its engaging as well as empowering appeals. Suddenly, all were on board with the potent-dynamic and far-reaching- effects technology can have, especially on learning. “We need to teach students to be global citizens, who are not afraid of using technology, but rather than just using it, they are actually the curators of it,” affirmed Ludmila, who is a firm believer in the shared and motivating components of technology and how they can help shape as well as change the future.

Finally, there are those “techie types” like Max Pavlov; they are the ones who love to create things, seeing a product develop through each phase. Like so many others, Max’ initiation into the tech field was unique and non-linear. His first job was far removed from computers, in carpentry. However, the Pandemic, as it did with multiple thriving fields, put a slow halt on the construction industry. Max, not one to slow down, changed gears and enrolled in a Web Development Bootcamp, providing him with just enough of a baseline to create his own web projects. Pursuing this emerging passion, he learned both Cloud and AWS deployment. In fact, before he even had the chance to complete his own project, he was offered a job requiring the exact new skills he had recently acquired. Technology has been a sheer blessing to the once carpenter turned “techie,” who sees multiple commonalities between the two careers. “Both allow you to create what you want,” pointed out Max. “The only difference is there is no material cost in the programming; you have access to everything.”

Each of these HVTechFest Hackathon participants clearly reveals the changing face of those entering and passionately excelling in technology. There is no longer a specific gender, age, location, background or even innate skill set needed; rather all that is required is a curious mind, one that enjoys problem solving, creating and is intrigued by a rapidly developing field that has and continues to make positive, life-lasting changes in those it touches. Ultimately, it’s for everyone…..to what extent is totally up to you!
See it live on YouTube

HVTechFest Youth Hackathon 2020 Recap

We are super thankful to all of the amazing participants, speakers, mentors, judges and sponsors for being the part of HVTechFestival Youth Hackathon! We hope all of our attendees had a great time — it was fantastic to host so many interesting individuals.

If you missed out, don’t worry! You can now access the full Hackathon Day 1 & Day 2 Livestreams.

HVTechFest Hackathon

The second HVTechFest Youth Hackathon 2020 was held virtually through the online platforms Zoom & Discord on October 23–24th. The theme for the 2020 HVTechFest was Technology & Recovery — Adapting to the New Abnormal.

We kicked off with Special Guest Speaker, Julie Anderson (“Brain Lady”), who discussed people’s varying brain structures as well as accompanying strengths. Design thinking warm up exercises were then given to the youth, who proceeded to pitch 60 second ideas. In the two-day event, creative thinkers as young as 11 years old got to work on their coding and computer science skills creating solutions for Social Distancing, Digital Divide, and Jobs & Workforce Development.

Did you attend the event? If so, give us your feedback.

Highlights

  • Over 150 interested attendees and 75 actual participants that joined forces in the Youth Hackathon
  • 25 inspiring and unique ideas were pitched by the participants
  • Attendees were matched into 8 teams with dedicated mentors from colleges and tech companies
  • 13 projects were submitted including 5 submissions from professional developers
  • Judges presented 5 awards to the top 5 teams and the audience got to choose their favorite team
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Winners

  1. The grand prize (and the Audience Award) was awarded to the Space Track team. Jarred Duggal (Syracuse, NY), Taylor Dinardo and Tanner Festa (Suny New Paltz students, NY), Patrick Meaney (Poughkeepsie, NY), Gerard Vinyes (Catalonia), Aidan Young (Canada), Jacob Johnston (Newburgh, NY). They built the SpaceTrack website to help students, particularly those who struggle with executive function, to organize and prioritize tasks in the new virtual environment. Tasks can include courses, social interaction, exercise, and other goal-oriented activities. SpaceTrack includes games, a prioritization calculator, task selector, parent portal, and a VR display, not to mention its awesome space theme!
  2. First Runner Up prize went to Jobs for You — A working prototype for providing job opportunities for low-wage workers. It was built by Abhishree Verma — college student from India, and Aarna Patel (11 y.o student from Newburgh School).
  3. Best Ed Tech prize sponsored by DataArt was awarded to Remote Learning Wizard. Frangelina Cartagena, Caesar Bell, Lydia Lumbert, Arlo Weston from Poughkeepsie, and Anish Ganesh from India, created a platform where kids can access after school support. Staff assists with homework, everyday tutoring, upcoming exams or having the option of being part of a book club to improve reading and writing skills. Their platform’s mission is to resume access to daily educational support for remote learning changes due to COVID-19.
  4. Best Effort Hack prize was awarded to Owl Whistle for Kare — Your Emotional Companion. Tsering Norbu, Hibatallah Kabbaj, Ayoub Rihi — three computer science students from NY and Morocco — built a wise smart coach that can help people during difficult times. Kare is not only interactive but also a proactive application that contains recommendations, menu services such as meditation and music adequate to person behavior.
  5. Social Impact award went to Marist Cyber Group Connecting Students and Educators During a Pandemic Through Modern Technology. The award was given to three students from Marist College: Patrick McNamara (Team Lead), DeAnna Singer, and Cole Nielson. These students are senior cybersecurity majors who are currently enrolled in a capstone project which aims to evaluate the impact of the global pandemic on internet privacy. They hope to be able to incorporate the project that they created for the hackathon into their final capstone delivery. See their pitch deck here
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Sponsors

HVTechFest wouldn’t be possible without the help and support from our amazing sponsors:

HVTechFest Youth Hackathon provides unique approach for problem solving

  • Using hi-tech and low-tech functions to solve the public problems
  • Teaming professionals together with youth
  • Gaining entrepreneurial spirit while introducing collaborative way of problem solving

Get Connected

Here are few ways to get connected to HVTechFest and learn about our future projects and events:

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning DevFest by Google Developers Group – 9/17/2020

GDG (Google Developers Group) AI/ML DevFest is a free, interactive event sponsored by Google, joinly hosted by GDG NYC, supported by many GDG groups around the world.
Engage in live tech talks, hands-on sessions where you will learn machine learning, tensorflow, ML in prod. You will learn about AI/ML with Google products for Cloud, AI and ML. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from Google experts and network with the other developers!

Join GDG AI/ML DevFest 2020 September 17th, 2020