Today is Veteran’s Day here in the United States, or Remembrance Day in many places around the world, when we recognize those who have served in the military. Today many businesses will offer veterans a cup of coffee or a meal, but one organization goes further.
You might have watched ex-Army Captain David Molina speak at CodeConf LA, or GitHub Universe about Operation Code, a nonprofit he founded in 2014 after he couldn’t use the benefits of the G.I. Bill to pay for code school. Operation Code lowers the barrier of entry into software development and helps military personnel in the United States better their economic outcomes as they transition to civilian life. They leverage open source communities to provide accessible online mentorship, education, and networking opportunities.
The organization is also deeply invested in facilitating policy changes that will allow veterans to use their G.I. Bill benefits at coding schools and boot camps, speeding up their re-entry to the workforce. Next week Captain Molina will testify in Congress as to the need for these updates. The video below explains more about their work.
Although Operation Code currently focuses on the United States, they hope to develop a model that can be replicated throughout the world.
Operation Code is working to address a problem that transcends politics. Here’s a look into the reality U.S. veterans face:
- The unemployment rate for veterans over the age of 18 as of August 2016 is 3.9% for men and 7.0% for women.
- As of 2014, less that seven percent of enlisted personnel have a Bachelor’s degree or higher
- More than 200,000 active service members leave the military every year, and are in need of employment
- U.S. Studies show that members of underrepresented communities are more frequently joining the military to access better economic and educational opportunities
- Connect with and donate to Operation Code at operationcode.org
- If you manage a tech conference, consider offering scholarship tickets to veterans.
- If you are a code school or bootcamp, contact Operation Code, and they can guide you through the process of G.I. Bill approval with your state.
- If you are a code school or coding bootcamp, provide veterans with scholarships, partial or full-ride.
- Hire an Operation Code veteran through the Military Veterans Technical Talent Pipeline.
- Submit a pull request to help Operation Code improve their online platform.
- Volunteer to help teach and mentor veterans in the programming language of your choice.