5 Things You Should Know About Our New Online Coding Cohorts

July 19, 2018

By: Arianna Trujillo-Wesler, Director of Data Engineering and Community

Hi! I’m Arianna Trujillo-Wesler, a movement engineer who’s deeply passionate about democratizing coding knowledge so that our all communities can benefit from technology. I’m thrilled to share that last month we launched our first-ever Online Data + Coding Cohorts: a series of intensive, 4–6 week long, online training programs.

Wondering what we cover?

  • VAN/EveryAction administration: We cover database administration on VAN, a core field organizing tool for campaign.
  • Fundamentals of Movement Engineering in Python: We’ll start you on your journey of learning the dynamic and flexible coding language that is Python.
  • Fundamentals of SQL with GIS: You’ll learn how to query large databases and visualize them on maps using SQL and GIS.
  • HTML/CSS in Action Network: We’ll cover how to custom design and implement design pages and emails in the Action Network platform, although the skills are transferable to many systems.

We’ll do all this all while we evaluate the ways gender normativity is built into our database tables, write culturally competent scripts to standardize CSVs, and design pages that center our communities and our cultures. Here are five reasons why we are excited about this program:

1. Why coding and what are movement engineers?
We launched the Online Coding Cohort because the technology field continues to be stratified and inaccessible for so many of our communities. We want to change that. If we know that we need representative leadership in our government, campaigns, tech, and in our overall movement — we need software and tech that will have a positive impact in our communities. To get there, it’s vital that we train and invest in people from all different backgrounds, just like we need the development process of software and tech to be informed by our end users. It’s why we want to equip organizers, campaigners, and activists in the front lines with the capacity to use coding and technology to solve complex problems in our political and organizing spaces that uniquely affect us. This is what we define as movement engineering — tech that improves people’s lives.

2. Who should sign up for the program?
A wide of range of people — we’re looking for community organizers, activists, campaigners, data managers, and others who identify themselves as doing work in broader progressive movement. Maybe you have experience in electoral campaigns, community organizing, or issue-campaign work. The spectrum is broad! The only requirement is that you have some organizing experience under your belt. Our goal is to provide quality training to as many folks as we have capacity for, and we’re interested in helping people from all backgrounds take their skills to the next level. So if you’re familiar with community organizing, then you already understand the fundamentals of movement technology.

3. So does this mean all my learning happens online?
YES. By training people remotely, we hope to make this program accessible to people across the movement, particularly those with children, disabilities, or those who cannot travel or take time off to join us for our in-person trainings. All courses are also offered at a fraction of their price point in person.

Some specifics on the online courses: In all courses, each week has a topic and each topic is offered 3 times a week, so folks with varying schedules can get online and receive instruction. The model for facilitation is 30 mins for upfront introduction, 30 mins for small group work, and 30 mins for debrief/homework set up. You’ll complete homework each week in collaboration with your peers. You’ll also be supported by your online coaches who will troubleshoot questions with you after the sessions.

4. How much does this cost?
The courses cost anywhere between $550–750 per participant, depending on the length of it. We want to reiterate that these courses online are being offered at a fraction of the price they would be in person. We have scholarships for those in need — get more information on how to apply for them here.

5. What’s the deadline to sign up?
You can find full course descriptions, applications, and FAQ here. Each course has a different deadline and admissions are rolling. Here are the dates for each.

Are you ready to join us online? Or know someone who is? Register and spread the word about for our Online Coding Cohorts today. The future of movement engineering starts with us.