Do you speak code?

One of South Florida’s greatest strengths is our incredible diversity — cultural, intellectual, and linguistic. Anyone walking down a street in Miami will hear a chorus of languages from across the globe — English, Spanish, Creole, Portuguese, Italian, French. But at LaunchCode, we speak another type of language: Code.

Just as the cultural diversity in South Florida makes us stronger, so does our diversity in the coding languages we use to build the future and our willingness to adopt new tools for solving novel challenges. If we want to continue growing our tech ecosystem, we have to ensure our workforce speaks as many coding languages as they do linguistic languages.

What languages should people know? While there’s no right or wrong answer, some of the most popular languages we at LaunchCode see our employer partners in South Florida hiring for are C#, PHP and JavaScript. (This blog post from LaunchCode education partner Udemy gives an excellent summary of some of the most popular programming languages more generally).

Why does this matter? Because different languages, while enabling many of the same broad capabilities, also allow you to tackle different challenges. Imagine you’re doing business in Brazil and only speak Spanish. You will generally understand and be understood, but part of the message you’re trying to convey will get lost in translation. It’s the same in tech. If you’re an iOS developer who wants to build an iPhone app but you only “speak” JavaScript, you can use a “translator” like PhoneGap, but, again, you’ll miss some big things!

Fortunately, the tech and education communities in South Florida understand companies and startups require an array of linguistic fluencies.

As a result we’ve seen traditional educators like Miami Dade College and FIU launch cutting edge programs and facilities like CS50x Miami (in partnership with LaunchCode) and Tech Station, respectively. In addition, non-traditional educators like Ironhack, Wyncode, Florida Vocational Institute, 4Geeks, Palm Beach Code School and others have — in relatively short order — been able to equip hundreds of aspiring coders with strong skills in Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, PHP, Objective-C, SQL, and other key languages.

One of the ways LaunchCode is helping to diversify tech skills awareness and close the tech talent gap is through a series of “South Florida Speaks LaunchCode” events, which will highlight some of the most popular software development languages and technologies being used today.

On Tuesday, March 8th, we’ll host South Florida Speaks JavaScript at the Idea Center at Miami Dade College where our panel of experienced developers will give new and aspiring coders a 10,000 foot view of the latest developments with the “language of the web”

And, we’ll continue to host these discussions throughout the year highlighting important technologies and topics like C#/.NET, mobile development, and data science among other topics.

We believe these language lessons, in conjunction with the efforts of our innovative education and hiring partners will help us grow in regional fluency and ultimately technological competitiveness. And, it will give us the confidence to answer the question “Do You Speak Code?” with a chorus of “Yes!”, “¡Si!”, “Oui!”, “Sim!”, “function yes() { print (‘Yes!’); } yes(); ”