Research Park Technology Training Program

In July 2020, the University of Illinois Research Park launched a free technology training program in partnership with Software Carpentry at the University of Illinois to increase skills in programming and data analytics to elevate the local tech sector workforce in Champaign-Urbana.

The program will aid workers who need to gain programming skills to be prepared for technical roles and project work and will also seek to reach underrepresented and non-traditional tech populations in the community to help them enter the digital/tech workforce in Champaign-Urbana.

This free program will combine technical skill development with coaching and mentoring by local tech professionals.

The program is being offered in summer 2020 as a pilot with a limit of 20 participants per cohort to allow the online training and mentoring to be more personal and interactive for participants. The application has CLOSED.

WANT TO BE ADDED TO A MAILING LIST TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN THE APPLICATION WILL OPEN FOR FUTURE COHORTS? GO HERE. 

Tech Training Program

Minimum Tech Requirements

Participants must have access to:

  • Internet-capable computer with a major operating system. Tablets, phones, and Chromebooks are not feasible for the training.
  • Reliable WiFi connection. EnterpriseWorks incubator will also be an option for onsite use for participants who need dedicated internet.
  • Ability to download and install software in advance.
  • Must have technical aptitude, previous work with technology (programming skills are not required).

Participation Options

Option 1: Track Workshop Completion

  • Complete an Individual Track (Software Carpentry Course Completion)

Option 2: University of Illinois Research Park Student Tech Badge

  • Complete 3 out of 5 tracks
    • One of those tracks must be the Git/GitHub track which is required for capstone project
    • Must participate in a minimum 75% of workshop in “live” online sessions and view any remaining workshops as recorded sessions (can only miss one “live” workshop)
  • Complete and submit a capstone project for review by August 14. Capstone project will require use of Git Hub.
  • Attend at least two Research Park technical user group sessions

Option 3: University of Illinois Research Park Professional Blue Tech Badge

  • Complete 3 out of 5 tracks
    • One of those tracks must be the Git/GitHub track which is required for capstone project
    • Must participate in a minimum 75% of workshop in “live” online sessions and view any remaining workshops as recorded sessions (can only miss one “live” workshop)
  • Complete and submit a capstone project for review by August 14. Capstone project will require use of Git Hub.
  • Attend at least two Research Park technical user group sessions
  • Attend two hours of career coaching, mentoring, or job shadow options with local tech industry

Option 4: University of Illinois Research Park Professional Orange Tech Badge

  • Complete at least two out of any of the 5 tracks
    • Must participate in a minimum 75% of workshop in “live” online sessions and view any remaining workshops as recorded sessions (can only miss one “live” workshop)
  • Attend at least two Research Park technical user group sessions
  • Attend four hours of career coaching, mentoring, or job shadow options with local tech industry

Software Workshop Tracks with Online Workshop Cohorts

The program includes 5 different tracks composed of multiple workshops.  All workshops within a track will be offered in the same week. No previous coding experience is require for any of these tracks, but some build on each other.

Each workshop is 90 minutes and will be delivered virtually by a LIVE instructor from 4:00-5:30 pm .

Automating Tasks with the Unix Shell Series (3 workshops): July 7,8,9
  • July 7: Introducing the Shell/Navigating Files and Directories/Working with Files and Directories
  • July 8: Pipes and Filters/Loops
  • July 9: Shell Scripts/Finding Things
Building Programs with Python Series (4 workshops): July 13, 14, 15, 16
  • July 13: Setup/Fundamentals/Analyzing Patient Data
  • July 14: Visualizing Tabular Data/Repeating Actions with Loops
  • July 15: Storing Values in Lists/Analyzing Data from Multiple Files/Making Choices
  • July 16: Creating Functions/Errors and Exceptions/Defensive Programming
Managing Data with SQL Series (3 workshops): July 21, 22, 23
  • July 21: Selecting Data/Sorting and Removing Duplicates/Filtering/Calculating New Values/Missing Data
  • July 22: Aggregation/Combining Data/Data Hygiene
  • July 23: Creating and Modifying Data/Programming with Databases (Python)
Git/GitHub Version control (2 workshops) *required to complete capstone projects: July 28,29
  • July 28: Git Hub – Browser interface
  • July 29: Command line Git
WordPress Basics (1 workshop): July 30
  • July 30: Open-source content management system written in PHP for website development, which is paired with a MySQL database

Professional Development Components:

Participants will receive professional development and coaching from tech experts from the Research Park and Champaign-Urbana community to help them develop technology and digital career plans and learn about job opportunities in programming and data analytics roles.

  • Research Park Tech Recruiter-in-Residence Sophie Roney is the owner of recruitment consulting firm Picked US which specializes in technical talent and software engineering talent acquisition. She has previous experience at Wolfram and Granular building technical teams in Champaign-Urbana.
  • Research Park Entrepreneur-in-Residence Lori Patterson co-founded Pixo, a consulting company located in Urbana focused on custom software engineering and mobile application development. She is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Illinois and previously worked for Andersen Consulting, Caterpillar, and Solo Cup. Lori has mentored over 200 early-stage startups and established enterprises.

Participants will also have opportunities for job shadowing, mock interviews, and case studies from local tech employers.

Target Audiences

The availability of these programs aims to create a more inclusive and diverse tech community and to help employees impacted during the economic factors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will be selected based on their registration due to the small size of each cohort and workshop. This program is seeking individuals that are passionate about career opportunities in the digital and technology industry.

Registration deadline: 5 pm, Monday, June 29

 


OTHER OPTIONS FOR TRAINING AVAILABLE NOW:

Parkland Computing Degree Programs (with transfer opportunities to 4-year colleges):

  • Computer Science A.S. program consists of Mathematics, English, general education courses and beginning programming classes
  • Data Systems and Development Program includes include mobile application development, systems and database programming, and web development. Coursework includes Python, C/C++, Java, JavaScript, SQL, and internship options at local employers.
  • Digital Media Program prepares students for employment in gaming, feature film, web design, video and commercial production, post-production, visual effects, and architectural design.
  • Network System Administration and Support teaches computer and network hardware and software, analyze problems, implement security measures, and monitor networks.

Discovery Partners Institute: TechReady Illinois

The Discovery Partners Institute launched TechReady Illinois in June 2020 to help Illinois residents affected by COVID-19 gain new digital skills at steeply discounted tuition rates. TechReady Illinois will provide training courses for the high-demand fields of computer science, data and engineering programs – at up to a 75 percent discount. Courses will be offered in one of four tracks, with opportunities to obtain a certificate upon completion. These include: Data and analytics, Cloud computing, Cybersecurity, and Software development. Participating institutions include the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois System, the Illinois Institute of Technology and City Colleges of Chicago. To participate, residents will complete virtual courses, some conducted by faculty from participating academic institutions. Others will be run by partners, including Coursera and i.c.stars.